Giving vs. Trading
I’ve had some amazing podcast conversations which have lead me to profoundI spoke with the remarkable Emelie Cajsdotter about relationships, particularly those with horses, her words resonated deeply: “Yes, it’s really about giving versus trading.”
Listen to Emelie’s Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/episode/2QUSmMUbjJL98hxhLCU3cq?si=88f568f2c1d14572
The Rescued Mare
This sentiment recently struck a chord when I received an email from a compassionate woman who had just rescued a 12-year-old mare from a kill pen. The horse had endured past abuse, leaving herbut profoundly frightened. The woman shared her challenge: “I can’t catch her.” She detailed her current strategy of placing the mare in a small pen and spending time with her, offering a bit of grain from a bucket, hoping the horse would come closer.
In response, I emphasized the shift from trading to givingThe expectation of receiving something in return for our time, even something as seemingly benign as a handful of grain, can create especially for a traumatized animal. Instead, I suggested a more subtle approach giving without expecting, allowing the horse to build trust organically through horsemanship.
The first step involves understanding the horse’s perspectiveSitting in a small pen may be overwhelming for her, so I acknowledging establishing communication from a distance. In a video example, I showcased how this method helped a former charro horse, known for hating men, gain confidence through increased testament to
Watch how I helped the horse that “hates men”: https://youtu.be/EQFCHbuPZ8o?si=oW5zequPWOD6TIMR
The Ring of Disturbance
In a separate podcast episode with Doniga Markegard, the concept of the “ring of disturbance” emerged—an energetic field that disturbs wildlife in nature. This idea seamlessly ties into working with worried and abused horses throughbeing acutely aware of one’s “ring of disturbance” becomes crucial. The space of comfort extends far beyond what highlighting the holistic nature of horsemanship.
To further enrich these insights in the context of horsemanship, Ty Murray, in a previous podcast conversation, shared a gem of wisdom: “You need to be aware of them at the same moment they become aware of you.” This profound statement underscores the importance of synchronizing awareness, creating a harmonious connection with the horse’s psyche—a fundamental principle of horsemanship.
Awareness of Awareness
In the realm of horsemanship, I often emphasize the intricate dance of communicating awareness—being attuned not just to the horse’s actions but to their awareness and perception of our intentions. Sometimes, it goes deeper, requiring an understanding of their awareness of our awareness. It’s a nuanced language that transcends spoken words, embodying the essence of horsemanship.
Working with horses through horsemanship, particularly those with a history of trauma, demands patience, empathy,to building trust. By embracing a giving mindset acknowledging the “ring of disturbance,” and syncing awareness with these majestic creatures, we pave the way for profound connections and healing in the world of horsemanship. As we navigate this intricate dance let us remember that working with horses is, fundamentally, about communicating our awareness of their awareness. Thanks for listening and happy trails on your equine adventures.