Revelations demand a choice

Revelations and breakthroughs come with a choice: you can either enter the Labyrinth and fight your monster, or you can return home to your safe, ordinary life.

When I’ve taught riding lessons, I’ve had student breakthroughs that were suddenly shut down by those who chose the latter path. They didn’t want to do the work involved (examining their life, changing old patterns, thinking through their relationships with loved ones, understanding the need for boundaries) and put up a wall composed of disbelief, concealed their inner selves to their own awareness.

As a teacher, these students were the ones who needed the most help, but couldn’t open themselves up to what was happening. Their fear held them back from fighting that monster and the joys of victory. These are the needy students at clinics, who suddenly freeze, drop the class midway through, or take the class with tears. In the end, they remain needy, clingy and with unresolved turbulent emotions that can’t be put back into the bottle.

Another type of student are those so deep in denial that they are impatient with the sobbing ones. They mutter stuff like: “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”, “stop whining and just get it done” and “what’s your problem?”

Horses, both as physical animals weighing over a 1,000 pounds with a flight response, and as an Archetype (sexuality, dark desires, the Unconscious, the animal that delivers us to the Underworld, a symbol of power) are both fearsome and heady stuff. It takes courage to be a Rider. The horse is not a steed for the weak. It’s why statues have rulers on horses, not peasants.

In Hempflings’ Dancing with Horses, all of the horses he dealt with in this book were stallions. All of them had rage issues related to human treatment. Hempfling’s message thoughout is not to face these horses with equal anger to “tame” or subliminate them but to match them with a calm energy that neither demands or gives in. This is the role of the just, compassionate ruler who, without instigating action, brings calmness to a violatable situation.

You can not be a shrinking violet when faced with the aggressive horse; nor can you be the tyrannical ruler. We must seek a balance in our nature, realizing that nature itself unbalances us. We must continually strive to be back in center. Few of us are at this point in our life so we must walk the Labyrinth, slaying – or perhaps embracing – our own personal monsters and coming to terms with ourselves as best we can. Sometimes that means monster-slaying takes up your entire week!

This weekend has given me some revelations about Z which, after 30 years, I am ready to understand (due to much monster slaying) and provide the support she needs. These revelations came about with the slow Masterson Method work, which required that I really take my time (I’m a Now kinda girl) and wait for Z’s feedback, and through the Reiki work husband did at another session.

As I’ve already posted, it became evident she was reluctant to release tension during the MM bodywork. You could tell she was hovering on the diving board, trying to make a decision whether to jump in and enjoy the water or climb back down that ladder.

It’s important that you understand that her hesitation was not due to fear. This horse fears little and she has absolutely no history of abuse. Instead, hesitation came from a deep survival need of never showing vulnerability. Her very, competitive and aggressive nature finds being soft abhorent! 

I completely understand this on a visceral level and I have to admit, that discovering this in Z came as a surprise to me. It was a huge LIGHTBULB moment! Horses have so much within them to reveal it is astoinishing! This is where the real Magic is – not in some Big Name Trainers’ overpriced vegetable stick.

During husband’s Reiki session with Z, he touched her Brachial chakra and her head suddenly came up from eating grass. This happened three times – he touched, sent energy, and head came up! He said he got a feeling of surprise from her, which is not uncommon with horses when first given energy by a human. Which goes to show how smart horses are and how dumb they consider humans!

While I was watching, I always give feedback without looking at what he is doing. At one point, I said, “yes, there she goes” and he answered at the same time, “yes, she just accepted and gave a huge release.” What did I see? I saw a horse who stopped eating green grass, whose eye glazed over and became inward thinking to the point that I likened it to a horse who just received a major dose of Ace.

Went he went to the Sacral and later Root Chakras, he said he could feel her hesitation. She had something to release, wanted to release it, but it would take husband’s patience and guidance for her to let it go. It didn’t come out as a pain sensation but just very tingly. Who knows what it was? Most times you won’t.

After all this work happened, I had a lot to process. It now makes sense why Rugby Guy’s way of riding it out with applying more pressure and demands will not work with Z. It makes sense why RH’s training of overstimulation did not work with Z.

Faced with tension she will become more tense because this alerts her very base survival core. A survival core that finds it difficult to release even in a calm, supportive, slow atmosphere with people she explicity trusts.

I know now, in a deep way, that I am doing the right thing by stopping RG’s rides and taking Z under my own tutelage. She needs time and attention that only I understand. This is very exciting and opens an entirely new chapter!

This entry was posted in Klaus Hempfling KFH, Rider Instruction, Riding, Z. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Revelations demand a choice

  1. acwudu says:

    That is a very good point, that you, having dealt with your own monsters over years, can now help Z with the patience and quiet energy that she needs. That is the role of the Wise Woman/Man who has gained the experience to guide the young adventurer (Z) through the labyrinth. You have been down the path, and have the perspective now to help her.

    • horseideology says:

      I agree, but you have to make sure you keep returning to the path. It is easy to get waylaid by Highwayman or leave the path to pick some pretty flowers 😛

  2. That’s interesting – an equine Archetype. But is there only one, given that there are several human Archetypes? I can envisage equine equivalents to the Shadow, Wise Woman (i.e. Sophia) and Wise Old Man. There are raw Shadow horses out there all right. Can you explore the equine archetype concept further?

    Increasingly I am realising just how a horse requires courage and leadership from its human. Indeed they draw these things out or, to a greater or lesser extent, walk over us. The more I grow as a person, the richer the relationship with my horses. It’s as if, yes, I am wiser but also they are showing greater respect.

    Also I feel as if at last I have grown beyond the concept that I was taught years ago – that one gets on a horse, gives him “aids” and – if he is “properly trained” – he obeys. Now I am in a very different place. This is a terrain that isn’t easy to describe in words.

    I’m just trying out a concept here, however more and more I seem to be reading about how we should “protect ourselves from horses”. You are promoting a wise relationship which I do accord with. Others, however, go on at every opportunity about using every type of “safety” equipment available. Horses are “dangerous” and “unpredictable”. Well, they are flight animals by nature. But are people en-masse losing connection from these creatures, against which increasingly they need to be “protected”? Are horses now foreigners to many riders? What do you think?

    • horseideology says:

      Riding or working with horses is a dangerous sport and anyone who wants to do it must realize it – and realize that there is no way to protect yourself from them completely. Why spend your time fretting and worrying about it? Take sensible percautions and about 80 percent of what could happen, won’t.

      Isn’t that the truth about life? You can live swaddled in cotton but at the end what you do have for it? Life itself is about risk.

      If you’re not wanting that risk, then get a cat.

    • horseideology says:

      From a practical viewpoint one reason for all the warnings is because most people are stupid. They pick the wrong type of horse to work with so their personalities and abilities are mismatched. They deny there is a problem and keep working with a horse they shouldn’t. They refuse to spend the time taking lessons BEFORE buying a horse, and then buy a horse from a trader/instructor who is selling it only to get them tied down to numerous training sessions.

      Getting older has it’s benefits. We see that there is more then the smoke and mirrors that Big Name Trainers present about horses. There is a deeper connection and understanding between ourselves, our past battles and our horses. We have learned patience, compassion and tolerance. We aren’t afraid of admiting our mistakes and know that they are just another rung on the ladder to reaching our goal.

      That’s for people who live an examined life. You can be old and just as stupid as a 16 year old 😀

    • horseideology says:

      You were discussing a lot so I wanted to break it up to different pieces…

      On the archetypes I’ll address that in some future blog posts. For now, if you read the Pony post, that is an archetype – The Origin.

      For people who have problems with ponies it is because the person themselves is still living an ego-driven life. They cannot support any being “getting it over on them” and their interaction with the primal (The Origin) is like a person screaming into the wind.

      Or in the example, I cited, when faced with the Primal the person with low self esteem and who subjagates their desires to others, rolls over and shows their total submission.

  3. Pingback: The Archetype – The Trickster, Puca and Zen Sage « Horse Ideology

  4. Working on a construction site carries risks. So the works are planned in advance learning from past experience, unsafe procedures are excluded, appropriate equipment is selected, activities are modified or eliminated in order to reduce exposure to danger, workers are trained in the tasks that they need to perform, and finally safety equipment is handed out to cater for the final level of residual risk.

    Much equestrian activity begins with handing out safety equipment. From that point on there is little planning, steps are taken that increase the risk level (taller jumps, harder competitions), equipment (horses) are often chosen on the basis of criteria other than suitability to the user (rider), training is rarely considered, and most often it is simply assumed that all concerned are competent.

    It’s no wonder that riding is risky. Horses are animals, etc. However it is riskier than it needs to be. My thesis is that many within the activity choose to ignore the elephant in the room, which is that how people approach riding (and what they don’t do) contributes much of the danger.

    The follow-up was that perhaps it is a mechanistic view of horses – rather than seeking to understand them – that has focused many riders on the view that safety relates primarily to what equipment the rider wears. Whereas we allow risk to assail us at a much earlier stage.

    I approached running a riding holiday business along much more of a construction site approach. As a result we stayed relatively safe. We eliminated much of the risk, which is avoidable, before anyone needed to rely on safety equipment to mitigate the much smaller residual risk.

    This might all sound obvious, however it has provoked some real anger from certain reactionary elements of the English riding scene.

    • horseideology says:

      JMO but those who advocate additional risky behavior in working with horses do so from a Macho viewpoint. It’s to prove how tough they are – how invincible, better then ordinary folk.

      For example, I know of a woman who rode a horse after breaking her hand. No, the hand was not in a brace, she had just broke it! But SHE wasn’t going to be defeated and trotted out this story about her bravery.

      In any other context, we would just say this woman was stupid.

  5. Pingback: Pony’s Archetype – Trickster, Puca and Zen Sage | horseideology

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