We’ve established before that it isn’t just what we are doing with our horses that is important, it is how we are doing it. As is often the way of it at Pippsway, I have now discovered another layer to this sandwich…….Why!
Why we are doing something can dictate success or failure in a moment. I’ve had a major breakthrough with Amber over the last few weeks and it started with one small change. Was it that I was suddenly so much better at working with energy, intention and body language? That my freeschooling skills had improved overnight? Well…..no. What changed was why I was freeschooling Amber.
When I first started working ‘with’ Amber I wanted to do well. There were a few reasons for this. I wanted to improve my horsemanship skills, I wanted to feel good about what I had achieved and I wanted to have Pip’s approval. As you have probably gathered reading my blog, I view Pip as my mentor so the pleasure I feel at having done something well in her eyes is no small thing. Also Pip is not sycophantic so you know that when she praises you, you have earned it!
The problem in all those things is that they were all about me. They were desires driven by my ego. Why would Amber be interested in making me feel good about myself? Or making me look good in front of Pip? What is in it for her? I wasn’t working with her. I was feeling pleased with myself when she did as she was told. To be honest as soon as I would feel pleased with myself she would stop complying immediately!
So I went into the menage with a very different mindset. My only reason for being there was to be with Amber. My only reason for working with Amber was to be with Amber. My only desire? To share this moment with Amber. I left my ego at the gate. In that moment I didn’t care what Pip thought, or anyone else that was watching. I tuned out everything that was going on around us. In that moment my only focus was Amber. What a transformation! She moved with me like poetry in motion. The connection was effortless and flowing.
When we work with our horses we need to have a reason why we are doing what we are doing. We must have a purpose and that cannot be anything related to our ego or our horse will not be interested. Whether we are asking them to walk across the menage under saddle or to step aside in the stable, if our wish is for them to comply, we need to ask them with purpose and without ego!