Before I came to Pippsway I thought that a successful relationship with my horse would look like both of us being happy all the time and my horse doing what I wanted as often as possible…I wanted to learn to ride properly so that my horse would understand me, do my bidding and that we would both be safe. I now realise that if what we want is a servant or a robot then yes we can achieve that but along the way something vital will be lost and safety will be a matter of pot luck. If we truly want to be at one with our horse then we must embrace balance. Physical balance, mental balance, emotional balance and also balance within the relationship.
I used to think of balance as a straight line...or a central point that one never veered from. Not only was this hard to achieve but, life being what it is, those moments of ‘balance’ were fleeting. I now understand that actually we must embrace every aspect of ourselves and our horses self, allowing the balanced version of full expression. I’ve said before that at Pippsway there is freedom and yet never chaos. That is because Pip understands the true nature of balance. It is not a central point, it is a spectrum of expressions and behaviours that are all perfectly acceptable providing they are within the limits of balance. When our horses are allowed to express themselves in balanced ways the need for extreme behaviours is negated. They have been heard and understood long before they would ever have need of getting into those states!
Pip’s horses are allowed to have an opinion. As she is their leader they must accept her final answer but there is not just blind obedience, they are allowed to ask a question. I used to think that being safe meant being in control. I have learned that the submission I was seeking merely serves to make our horses shut down until one day they may snap! Now I understand that the true path to being safe around our horses is by having a balanced relationship with them achieved through two-way communication and understanding.