It has been quite some years since I wrote down some of the things horses teach us… Well today is one of those days where I have seen so many different aspects of things that I know, but as it always is with wisdom: you really integrate it by experiencing things again and again in different and especially deepening experiences. As this is such a wonderful example of how horses are much more than mere mirrors of human behaviour and emotions I thought it would be nice to share.
In the (hopefully near) future we are moving to our new land. At our current pasture everything seems to be falling apart. One of the things that occurred is that my horses (or I should say one of them, because I am pretty sure who did it ) destroyed the wooden box I had built many years ago for feeding their hay on the paddock. (my little herd lives outside 24/7 with open stables)
So I was at my pasture with my two year old son and we were taking all the wood from the box apart and started placing it outside of the paddock (to avoid injuries with the nails) As I was moving away a big piece of wood I suddenly hear my horse Amal warning me (he was moving around in a very specific manner and I felt him warning me/ the herd). I turned my head to see what was going on and noticed that my son was not where I had left him.. panic. So I run toward my horses a few metres further, where they were eating hay, and see my son running between them and laughing…
Amal was looking at me and was moving around: “This is not how this is supposed to happen!” Me: “I know!!! (silent) (panicking and at the same time calming myself down not to panic my horses) I shout(suppressed)/speak: “Calm. Careful” to my horses, and at my kid: “Come here” (off course he doesn’t come…)
He is standing right behind my mare Shamala’s hind legs (She is standing very very very calm, in a specific, unusual manner. Like a statue. Showing me that she is standing as calm as one possibly can. My mare Shamala is the most sensitive horse I ever came across in my life and she can be moved by a feather. She often speaks with her body to tell me things. Especially when she wants to make herself very clear (to me). Okay, this calms me down a bit…
I also see that she influences everyone in the herd. Like she does, influencing the whole with her presence… Meanwhile my son is still running around as excited as a toddler can be, unaware of any danger.
He then moves to Amal (son of Shamala) A strong and powerful horse. He can be as sweet like a teddy bear, but once in a blink of an eye kicked down a horse trainer who approached him from a position of dominance. He protects the herd but within this job has killed a bunny and chased my mom’s dogs to get rid of them. He does not like hectic energy at all.
So is my hectic toddler in or out? (the herd) / slight panic…
Intense communication. It happens very fast. I feel in this same instant everything can go wrong. Amal doesn’t do “anything”.
My son moves towards Lupe (again behind the hind legs…). Lupe is a child horse. Undisturbed by hectic behaviour, pure love for children, but has been feeling a bit off and even a bit angry lately. She was feeling better; but is she okay now? She seems her calm self.
I can focus more on my son. I tell him to sit down, sit down… He looks at me and I see him think: “Why is she so upset?” He smiles innocently and sits down. Lupe is like: “Huh?”
Oof… I pick up my son. Thank all my horses for their responses… (three minutes have passed and this is only a glimpse of the layers and layers of communication and exchanges that occurred between all of us)
So yes horses can mirror energy, and they do. But they can also very consciously choose how they respond in a situation with humans.
ps Although I love my horses and communicate and work with them they are still animals and there is a large part of them that responds in an instinctual manner. That is something that we mustn’t forget. So I would not advice anyone to let their child run around between a herd of horses…