What is Spirituality in Holistic Horsemanship? A Path to Conscious Horsemanship
“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.” - Swami Vivekananda
What does spirituality – being spiritual – mean to you?
How does it show up in your life and in the interactions, relationships, you have with others, including your horse?
The meaning of spirituality has developed and expanded over time. Various meanings can be found alongside each other such as traditional understandings that include religious beliefs to modern explanations that widen the experiences to sacred dimensions, esoteric interpretations, supernatural and personal growth.
Spirituality in Holistic Horsemanship has shown me there is something greater than myself, something more than my human experience. It has shown me the value of connecting to others (horses included) and in ways that are meaningful to them.
Being spiritual is a journey. I’ve had many guides along the way, but none as profound and positive as my horses.
Choosing a spiritual path with horses has shown me how to get outside of my head, away from my ego, while never leaving myself, my soul, who I am or what matters to me.
How many times have I listened to others and lost my way, lost my sense of self and what matters to me? Many.
How many times do we listen to professionals and allow them to guide us down a path we feel in our heart, our soul, is not right for us, or our horses?
That is the most important aspect about being spiritual and following a spiritual path. If you allow spirituality to guide you, you will stay true to yourself and others, including your horse.
The best things about getting older are experience and wisdom. These are things you can’t learn in a book or through someone else’s experience. You must learn them on your own.
Experience, combined with becoming more attuned to who I am and what I feel is best for me, and my horses, is what has helped me become more aware of when I am sliding down the slippery slope of ego, and going against my heart.
I would not be where I am today if I had not chosen a spiritual path with horses as my guide, my teachers.
Horses are so tuned in, attuned, to their surroundings. Their nervous systems are so highly evolved they act as an interpreter, sending messages through their body that tell them they can either relax or they need to pay attention to something potentially harmful.
This is how working with horses has influenced my personal growth, and guided me on my spiritual path.
Everything is energy. What we think, how we feel and of course what we physically do creates energy. Because horses are so sensory aware, they feel our energy and this can make being around them and working with them challenging, especially if we are not aware of how our energy is affecting them.
I wasn't aware of my energy when I got back into horses. I was in a very different head space then and one where I was completely linear, laser focused and stuck in my third chakra, my fire energy.
This meant I was either electrocuting my horses with the intensity of my energy - it was like an internal flame that never truly quieted, or I was pushing them way too hard.
Because of this I learned to really slow down and began practicing the meditation I used when I was younger and more in touch with myself.
This became a process of peeling back the many layers of myself that I had forgotten, protected, and denied. While my personal horses helped show me the parts of myself they liked and didn't like, holism helped me understand who I had become and navigate the complexity of my being so I could become who I wanted and needed to be.
This became a spiritual journey into myself, my very being and while I was exploring myself on a holistic level, I was learning how to approach my horses the same way and WOW! What an transformational journey were we on.
Being spiritual with horses means I consider the whole horse when interacting with them, caring for them, handling, and working with them. This is called holistic horsemanship.
Holism is an approach, a mindset, a level of mindfulness that is used when interacting and working with horses that allows us to better connect, communicate, listen, understand, be compassionate and lead.
My spiritual approach to developing a partnership with horses not only uses a holistic approach to horse care, handling and horsemanship, it teaches the language of horses.
The language of horses is about interacting, connecting and communicating with them naturally, using the same language they use to create deep and meaningful relationships, respect, and partnerships with each other.
Being holistic and natural with horses is a spiritual journey because it takes us outside of our heads, our egos. It asks us to feel of and for another sentient being so we can connect, communicate, and partner easily and fluidly.
Horses also show us how to be congruent, true to ourselves, and how to flow and be in harmony with emotions, energy, and others.
Most importantly they show us how to trust the process.
Whether you are on a spiritual journey into self-actualization and enlightenment or a journey into discovering your horse, it’s begins with personal growth.
We can’t forge ahead into a spiritual relationship with others unless we are willing, and open, to forging that level of relationship with ourselves.
“The prerequisite to loving others is to love yourself. If you don’t have a healthy respect for who you are, and if you don’t learn to accept yourself, faults and all, you will never be able to properly love other people.” – Joel Osteen
In addition to learning how to become one with your horse and in everything I teach, the spirituality aspect of my method works on you and with you, teaching you the many aspects, and subtle nuances, of heart-connection, congruency, conscious leadership, relationships and working in harmony with horses.
The secrets to my success with horses are founded on three core principles: relationship, regulation, and flow. There is one universal principle that connects all three, energy.
Horses are masters at sensing, connecting, and using energy. Their nervous system is hardwired to receive and process energy frequencies for survival. This is what makes them one of the most sophisticated prey animals, their ability to "feel" the subtle changes in energy through their body and like a barometer, they understand and reflect the changes they feel. Energy is also part of their subtle, non-verbal language and how they silently connect and communicate with each other. It's how they choose friends and partners too.
Like the law of attraction, like energy attracts like. When a wild horse wants to be accepted into a new herd, they will find the horse most like them and mirror them at a distance until the horse they are mirroring accepts them and invites them in.
This is what I refer to as finding flow and choosing the path of least resistance when developing relationships and partnerships with horses. This course will teach you all about this, the language of Equus, so you can attune and communicate as they do, easily, clearly, and congruently in heart, mind, and body connection.
This is the secret “glue” I often talk about in my videos that binds the two of us so we can be one in everything we do together. It's also how we develop a bond so strong our horses will want to be with us, take care of us, choose to work with us and protect us like their own.
In addition to learning this way of Being, connecting, and communicating with our horse, you will learn how to work with your horse holistically, from the inside out, developing them from the ground up and in a way that works best for them. This means you will learn your horse, its needs, personality, fears, triggers, and potential.
Would you like to begin the new year feeling connected, excited and at peace within and with your horse?
I offer online courses that focus on developing you and your horsemanship together, as well as in-person workshops.
Please click here to learn more about two of my online courses that are a great start to a spiritual journey with your horse:
Please click here to learn more about my upcoming workshop: Heart Mind Body Transformation Workshop which is an intense, 2-day workshop limited to only 6 participants because of it's intimate nature...
May you have a Happy and Healthy New Year and may you always be one with your horse!