Butte County, Sierra Nevada foothills, California.
An Animal Sanctuary. Three Horse Ranches. Cowgirls and cowboys. A life-saving couple. An inspiring man.
Being granted the opportunity to have insight into true horsemanship turned out to be a blessing. It meant getting a glimpse into the art of taking care of, connecting with, training and riding horses, while respecting their natural behavior and being.
It’s a grounding experience. And that’s exactly where it starts – on the ground. Because that’s how far the feeling should reach while sitting on a horse's back. Groundwork is establishing a solid foundation, an introduction between horse and human. It’s a bonding process using body language and mind.
Approaching horses in a compassionate, respectful way builds up their confidence, as well as trust. This way, horses can be lead in a soft manner regarding their sensitivity.
Horses are herd animals, but not unlike humans they also need their ‘personal’ space to feel natural, and to move more freely when in contact with people. Such an encounter is positively touching, and brings a feeling of joy.
Humans train horses, and fortunately in my short exposure to these beautiful creatures, the method was always considerate. What horses can teach us, if we’re willing to ‘listen’, is of immense value. The necessity of keeping the attention in the ‘Now’ helps to sharpen our awareness, and taps into the potential of profound connection. Along with meeting these graceful animals’ compassionate caretakers I can only express a heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for this unique experience.