Brush off the dirt and LEARN
In doing the work of Equine Experiential Coaching and building a true partnership with your horse, you make a very serious commitment. You are committing to being 100% Authentic with your horse and allowing your horse to be 100% Authentic with you. You are committing to being good partners for each other. That’s an easy deal for your horse, they cannot help but be Authentic and want to be good partners. For humans on the other hand, it’s a much taller order.
The other week, I had a not so Authentic day. This not so Authentic day coincided with a lesson on a horse that I ride occasionally. Although I registered vaguely on my Body Compass that day that my body was not feeling well, I ignored it and allowed the belief to take root in my mind that I NEEDED to keep my commitment and ride this horse in the lesson. So ride in the lesson I did. My Unauthentic action led my body to be weak for the entire flat work, I felt like a noodle. That was my first warning… Did I listen? Of course not! I NEEDED to ride in this lesson. I NEEDED to jump this horse. So onto jumping we went. As soon as we started jumping, red warning flags jumped out constantly letting me know in no uncertain terms that this horse did not appreciate me breaking my commitment. These warning flags included falling off when the horse slammed on the breaks very suddenly in front of a jump. Luckily the fall was not dramatic, but did I listen then? Of course not! I NEEDED to ride in this lesson remember?! I NEEDED to jump this horse! So I got back on and kept riding.
Towards the end of the lesson when the fact that I had fallen off for the first time in several years began to sink in, emotions like shame
and embarrassment began to seep in, even some anger at the horse (why on earth would he do that?! How rude!). By the next day, after A LOT of self-coaching and using Byron Katie’s “The Work,” I realized how Unauthentic I had been with myself and the horse that day. I realized that, not only was it silly to be mad at him, it was rude of me! Although he certainly could have had some of his own stuff going on that day, what I have control over is myself and I had broken my commitment. I made a commitment to him to be Authentic, to listen to him in his Authenticity and be a good partner. What had I done? I had ignored all of those commitments. I had been a poor partner and an unsafe leader. I don’t blame him at all for giving me a hard time that day. I don’t blame him for me falling off. I thank him for being Authentic with me. If he had not been Authentic with me that day, how would I have brushed off the dirt and learned?