Drop Into Your Horse’s World And See What Happens

arin Be Present

Drop Into Your Horse’s World and See What Happens

by Arin Ingraham

I live a busy life. I own my own business, maintain a busy social calendar, travel tons for work, have a few passion projects going at all times, and look forward to the precious time I get to spend with my horse. Like so many of us, my cell phone is attached to my hip and it connects me to all my clients, friends, and customers. I often feel like the days just buzz by and I sometimes even forget to eat. But I always make time for the barn.

I have to see my pony and get a good shot of vitamin H! But honestly, there are days where I am skidding into the barn with very little time to brush, ride and feed my girl Honey. I often wonder what that must be like for her. She is just hanging out eating grass, enjoying life and her crazy human runs in chases her around the pasture, puts a rope on her head, drags her to the hitching post, brushes, saddles, and rides at a pace and energy level that is so foreign to horses. I can only hope all is forgiven when the grain comes out and I take her back to her pasture.

Yet I yearn for something different and I want my horse to actually enjoy and look forward to time with me. So, I am always looking for ideas and ways to improve our connection and create more time in my life to be more fully present at the barn.

The other day I came across something called the Trust Technique. Creator James French is a horseman, Reiki master, animal communicator and creator of the Trust Technique. I spent the morning exploring his website and watching his videos. He explained a simple process of dropping into a state of mindfulness meditation and being with our animals as a form of healing and connection. He challenged the me to try just 10 minutes a day for a week.

After watching these videos, I jumped in my truck and drove out to see Honey. I took special care to leave my cell phone in the truck and to make sure I had plenty of time to just be and see what would happen.

I walked into the pasture where my horses Honey and Hurley live, I left the halter and lead rope on the gate and walked in with the intention to just be. James says to stand or sit near your animal but to not touch them. If they try to touch you, just gently push them off. Honey was grazing along the fence line so I went up to her with no intention of catching her and just sat next to her as she grazed. Now, the instructions from James were to just be. Listen to the sounds of nature, feel the wind and sun on my skin, and send love and peaceful feelings to my horse. I got totally caught up in the glorious day. The sun was shining, the wind had a gentle breeze blowing, I could hear birds chirping and I felt a drowsy peaceful calm fill my body.

I noticed at this point, that the horse in the pasture next to us had come closer and she started grazing in what sounded like rhythm with Honey’s grazing. This hypnotic sound of the two horses grazing and breathing sent me even deeper into a state of relaxation and meditation. My eyes were heavy, my breathing was slow and rhythmic; I could have sat there all day soaking up this wonderful time with my horse… Just being present together. No asking or demanding or rushing –
just being.

Next, I looked around the pasture and noticed that we were also joined by a herd of about 20 heifers from the back pasture. There were very curious about what I was up to and it seemed like they too wanted to be a part of this pasture meditation. What an amazing feeling to be at one with nature like this. It struck me that for as much time as I spend at the barn, I rarely take the time to just be present and be part of the world the animals inhabit, instead of always bringing them into mine.

In James’ training videos he said that the animals often go into a relaxed trance-like state and in some cases even lay down and sleep. It is in this state that deep healing can take place. I didn’t see Honey visibly changing her state, but mine sure did! I could have totally lain down in that pasture right then and there and napped like a baby. But instead I decided to get the halter and take Honey out for a ride.

I haltered Honey and began to lead her out up to the hitching post. I noticed that we were perfectly in sync. Our feet matched rhythm and steps. If I slowed down, she slowed down. If I sped up she sped up. I realized in this moment that I could keep my relaxed state of being through my time with her; leading, grooming, and even during my ride. At the hitching post, I found that grooming her became a very calming and soothing rhythm. My mind stopped thinking about everything else and I felt like I had all the time in the world. Honey seemed to really enjoy this and even began to nod out a bit and nap as I groomed her. We were at peace.

I did my best to stay in this mindfulness state and our ride was pure bliss because we were connected and in the present moment – which is the place that horses always are. At the end of my horse day I felt rejuvenated, happy and ever so grateful for the opportunity to connect with my horse and nature in this way.

Try it out for yourself. Take a few minutes the next time you see your horse to slow down, quiet your mind, and just be with them without any agenda or expectation. Let us know how it goes!