The word “inspire” is derived from the Latin word, inspirare, meaning “to breathe into”.
Inspiration refers to a surge of creativity in an artistic endeavor.
In my interactions with horses my intention is to follow inspired action. I strive to breathe into the moment, to stay present, to find creativity in myself or through an intuitive message and then to take action. Inspired action is not related to obligation or logic. It comes from the heart and it leads to fun and expansion.
Inspiration with horses can come in many forms. I might see a movie with a dog doing an activity and wonder, “Would my horse want to try that?” Or I might just have a gut sense that it’s time to study that rock in the paddock likes it’s the most fascinating thing I’ve ever seen. This might be just the thing that causes the horse I’m attempting to connect with to come over and investigate too.
Sometimes I ask the horses for inspiration.
Once while playing with my pony mare I asked her, “What do you want to do today?” I instantly pictured her walking under a blue tarp that was just over her head. The logical part of me thought this would prove too challenging for her. She was timid and nervous about things around her head. I followed the guidance though and set up the new obstacle. I had never set this up for a horse before and wasn’t even sure if my tarp would stay secure.
My pony followed me under the tarp on the first try with no halter on. She knew she could do it and she certainly surprised me with her bravery.
In another example I wanted to visit with my horse but she was in a far corner of the neighbor’s four acre pasture. She was grazing with the other horses. We were early on in the friendship. I didn’t think there was any motivation for her to want to be with me. However, I felt strongly that if I just entered the pasture and stood by the gate, she would eventually come join me. I stood for less than ten minutes before she left her friends grazing and came to stand with me.
These special moments where my horse and I shared in a willing experience came about because I was open to possibility. I had no agenda. I was willing to see whatever showed up and then try it.
Where can you open yourself to possibility? At what times have you followed inspired action?
People tend to have high expectations for themselves and their horses. This can be a blessing. Goals and expectations give direction and motivation. However when the expectations get high they can really throw a wrench in the horse/human friendship as well as the relationship with oneself.
I talk to clients who have the goal to be out riding their horses every day, but they don’t have the time or the fitness or the confidence. Instead they feel overwhelmed and pile the guilt on themselves. When they do interact with their horses they feel behind their goal and bring tension to themselves and the relationship.
Sometimes expectations and goals can cause us to feel overwhelmed and decide not to take any action at all. We might think that since we don’t have time to groom, tack up and ride for an hour that there’s no point in going to the barn at all.
However, when is the last time you saw horses drilling each other for an hour through dressage or jumping or reining? Horses spend their day dozing, grazing, investigating their surroundings and occasionally playing.
If you aren’t sure you have time, or if you aren’t sure where to start you can always start by showing up. Join your horse in their paddock and then see what comes up.