He grew up without pets, a confirmed 'city boy,' while I lived with horses growing up, loving the earth they touched, the air they breathed.
Through the years of our marriage, he joined me on the occasional trail ride, as I haunted boarding barns, leased horses, trained horses...anything to be with them during my teaching career.
My husband, a military man, retired and finally agreed on a move to the land I loved, bringing my beloved horses home.As I reveled in freeing them from stalls and pens, I made a startling discovery: My husband had never been with a free horse! And my beloved Paint Renn didn't like him. The feeling was mutual. Their energy didn't match. Incongruency ruled as he expected compliance, as he had as a high-ranking military officer. Renn wanted nothing to do with that energy. Still, as horses do, Renn became curious, checking out 'that man' who helped fix fences, mowed grass and the many chores to be done on our new ranch. He investigated tool boxes, breathing on my husband's neck as he did so. And the softening of a soldier began.
In my job teaching Liberty Foundations, he'd seen me coach many students in the Foundation Activities, and now he wanted to learn what it was that was standing between him and the horses--and unknowingly--between him and the world. Renn was fine with easy grooming and friendly scratches, but as leadership came into the equasion, he and the others were "outta there!'
"Why?" he asked again. "I know they know how to do it. I see them Walked Down every day." And then he paused thoughtfully, saying "It's I, isn't it? What am I doing wrong?"
Softly I replied, agreeing to coach him in the energy change needed to unite on all levels with the horse he had begun calling his best friend. When he gave an "order," fear came up in the horses, blocking connection and communication. I asked him why he thought that was. and he came to the stunning realization that he was stuck in a pattern of giving orders from a place of force, frightening the horses he was coming to love. We worked with body language, asking instead of ordering, caretaking leadership instead of predatory power. The horses, of course, were his best teachers. Changes happened quickly, as he learned the Foundation Activities and mutual love and respect swept through the herd and my husband.
Enjoy a minute's clip of he and his best friend Renn sharing Walking a Horse Down, complete with halt and reward, and overcome with joy.
Fast forward to today, we find a changed man with horses...and not so surprisingly with people, too.
Happy Valentine's Day my beloveds: My husband, my herd...and three cats, too!
with Ruella Yates* and Susan Smith*
Founders of Liberty Foundations Training for Horses
Capturing the Heart and Mind of the Horse
April 5-6, 2014
Join us in this 2-Day Clinic
Spirit Horse Ranch
near Oklahoma City, OK
in Relationship with your Horse
Spirit Horse Ranch is centrally-located, near the confluence of Interstates 35 and 40.
April 4, Friday: Private lessons with Ruella and Susan, plus OrthoBionomy bodywork with Susan.
*Includes Friday evening potluck with Ruella’s ‘Natural Horsekeeping’ presentation!
*6 Guest horses accepted! Price includes lunches, snacks, water.
Only 12 students accepted, for personal individualized teaching, so reserve your place now! Email Ruella firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and enrollment details!