About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Friday, March 27, 2009

Meeting In the Middle - Making Compromises for Your Horse

Photo from: http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj184/makielmeguel/rp%20males/horse_by_heise.jpg

A really close friend of mine read yesterday's blog post and commented to me, "Just read your Whiskey blog. It was very informative. (And such a pretty photo!) One thought, it has been *really* useful for you to have realized that you yourself are a Left Brained Extrovert (extreme?!). You’ve consciously modified your natural behavior/responses to accommodate his Horsenality. ;-) Versus Fosse, who is naturally much more like you!" Which brings me to the reason for this post. Her comments have evoked some thoughts I'd like to share about humans, about horses, and about compromise.

As humans, we tend to desire our counterparts (professional or personal) to adjust their behaviors, their thoughts, their outlook on life in general, we desire and sometimes expect them to "change" to suit our needs when they don't meet our expectations. Yes, we will say things like, "I don't want you to change" but, in reality, we would love for everyone to agree with us, think and act the way we do, we view it as peace, we view ourselves as right, and we are, as a matter of fact and biologically, human.

Do you recall hearing this famous quote by American Theologist Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr? “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This is SO TRUE and SO NECESSARY!

Although human, I am the extreme left-brain extrovert of horsenalities. So, my left-brain extrovert, Fosse and I get along great, test each other, communicate very well, with little effort, and are always testing each other's leadership and herd status. It is fun and not work, not really. It all comes naturally.

Now, perhaps you can imagine me trying to communicate with a horse like Whiskey (right-brain introvert) without making any changes to my tendencies? Oh, my gosh, no way, not unless I change for him, period! Well, I have to admit, in the beginning, not knowing better, I kind of did this, tried to communicate without adjusting my tendencies, thought I was just being me and he being him (and I wonder why we had issues). LOL We are naturally, exact opposites! Check out this chart I created based on the Parelli Horsenality Chart.
Remember, the four main influences that make up the horsenality are innate characteristics, learned behavior, environment, and spirit. So, the next thing to do is to strategize how I take my natural tendencies and adjust them for Whiskey, to keep our relationship in tact and to improve upon it, I must compromise. I posted about this and me making the shift to a larger extreme than in the past, in a sense, on Wednesday with my Online Parelli Patterns and Play Time discussion. And, for the record, I do this and have done this for some time but now, I am becoming even more aware of it, aware of the need for it, and aware of the results (no matter how subtle). We found middle ground, we found success, we had fun the other day, on days in the past, and should see even more in the future (and hopefully more frequently). This all translates to our riding too! Remembering that he and I are different, and that it is okay, that is key.

What I take from all of this is that whether you are dealing with people or horses, you need to find middle ground, we all need to compromise, that being different is okay and diversity really is a desired reality for a fun and complex life.

Pat Parelli's 8 Principles spell it out, don't you think? Read them again (with my commentary in italics for fun...)

The Eight Principles

1. Horsemanship is natural. - It is natural to bond with life's creatures, especially the horse, isn't it? I cannot imagine life without the horse.

2. Don’t make or teach assumptions. - Don't assume you have to be the same, don't assume being different is wrong or bad, be creative, be focused, invite the concept of life-long learning for both horse and human, invite diversity.

3. Communication is two or more individuals sharing and understanding an idea. - How can you have a relationship without this sharing of brain power and desire? How can you learn without the exchange of ideas? You can't.

4. Horses and humans have mutual responsibilities. - We all have responsibilities, this is how the universe works. Why not have each partner in the relationship have responsibilities to each other? It is matter of accountability and trust.

5. The attitude of justice is effective. - Justice means impartiality, conforming to a principle or idea, to be fair. Both partners need to be just towards the other for the relationship to work (this gets back to the 8 responsibilities of horse and human).

6. Body language is the universal language. - This is true for humans to humans as well as horses to horses so why not horses and humans? It makes total sense, we can "speak" the same language, in many dialects of course, but this body language allows for the most important part of the relationship, the communication part.

7. Horses teach humans and humans teach horses. - Partners of all types must learn from each other. This is how we grow, how we learn, how we find success.

8. Principles, purpose, and time are the tools of teaching. - Our comprehensive and basically, fundamental doctrine we follow with Parelli, having a purpose to do so, and a purpose for having horses, having a purpose (or plan when we go play with our horses), taking the time to make progress, taking time to develop a relationship, and everything else that goes with it is crucial for success.

I hope that this was interesting to read. Be flexible, have fun, as Pat Parelli says, "Put your heart in your hand, then rub your horse with your heart." Enjoy your weekend, enjoy your horses!

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