Dissolving the separation of riding in vibrational terms, has been unfolding in our herd over the last few months. It occurred to me one day when I was with the horses how different it feels to be with a horse on the ground and then on their back riding. Two different worlds, yet the same beings. Perhaps this exploration was prompted through our subtle energetic dialogue, either way I began to question it. Some things are so entrenched in our consciousness they develop an insidious nature where they can hide from our sight. This blind spot was ready to be seen, and it has been a beautiful unfolding.
The Two Elements
When I say it feels different to be on the ground and on top of a horse, I mean the connection between us. That the relationship when we are both standing on the earth in full sight of each other and aware of our reciprocal expressions has a certain openness. We can gaze into each others eyes, we can hopefully feel free to behave as we wish towards each other. There is a clear space where energies can meet and influence each other. Often if our interactions are loving and trusting. Ans so this grounded element of the relationship is relatively straightforward. There are two beings and they can meet up as they are led to. Yet that all changes when we climb on their back.
On The Ground With A Horse
A horse might initiate a grooming session, or wish to stand peacefully. Their human might be more or less attentive to those indications, but whatever their individual sensitivity, they have to interact face to face. There is opportunity to observe, to watch and to listen. To act as an individual being.
Interestingly some people, for various reasons, will skip past this on-the-ground relationship in order to ride. They will have a horse prepared for them, and they avoid having to interact face to face, in quiet and stillness. This unwillingness is certainly part of the overall imbalance and why it has come about.
On The Back Of A Horse
Once the steps have been taken to get on to a horse’s back, the relationship seems quite different. Mostly there is an assumption of the right to be there that propels the person deeply into the horse’s personal space. Whether the horse accepts, feels obliged, feels forced or feels numb about it may influence the way the rider will then behave, yet the possibility of retracing those steps of assumption is not really there. Even if you get off when you feel unwelcome, you have already taken that step and initiated the consequences.
There is something about having taken that step that seems to mute the horse’s voice for us. It can be heard, of course, through their body.. how their sides feel, how they move, what they do… but there is something different. It is as if we are now interfacing with a whole new being. Some people might relate to this in terms of some horses who are aggressive or hostile on the ground, and yet when ridden they change and seem more amenable. It can go the other way also, but there is always some essential difference. It is as if we can take liberties now, we are plugged closer into the horse’s body and no longer have to deal so intimately with their mind. And unless they are particularly expressive in resistance, we no longer have to even relate to their mind.
The circumstances do change in many ways between the ground relationship and riding so maybe this difference is to be expected, but again I feel that our acceptance of the change as normal is a blindness to some greater dynamic that is happening. Especially when I compare it to my experience with Quaramba. It is so easy to see with her, because we haven’t yet developed a ‘riding’ relationship. It was when I realised that I don’t know her in that way (to ride), that I saw how odd it is that this happens. How odd that she would change from who she is.
Filling in this gap is fundamental to our dialogue as a herd. We started listening to each other, and following this energetic unfolding, because I wanted to feel the reciprocality of our relationship all of the time. To seek out and let go of every boundary that was ignored, and to genuinely explore together. Before we started there were times I would bring equipment to a horse, tack them up and ride without feeling any sense of their input at all. They might seem fine with it, but that is a long way from having an active voice. I knew then that so much was missing in our interaction, and the loss happens in that moment from being off the horse to being on. This is where we were going to listen.
Preparing In Golden Surrender
Looking back, this new development was germinated in the space of golden surrender we have been embracing for a little while now. Golden surrender is being together without expectations or defensive barriers, where a rich medium of potential is generated. This one day I was spending time with the herd in summer barn. We were enjoying the feeling of having no pressures, no agenda. Just a lovely relaxing time, trimming some feet. Quaramba seemed to want something, and she lined up eventually to the fence to invite me on to her back.
After I got on I realised we were ready to go into golden surrender here and now. It was very intense in some way, a physical aligning and merging, yet not for too long. After I got off she nipped me a little like she does when she still wants something. She kept pushing close, but it wasn’t grooming she wanted.
It felt right to continue merging with her. It felt so good and comfortable and comforting and as if we have been preparing for this forever, this level of commitment. I was aware that we have been merging like this for a long time. Years, maybe lives, and it felt that we are circling a drain and at some point we will swoop down together. There was a knowing then that what we are doing together is not about riding itself, but about merging, and sitting on her just happens to be a marvellous way to focus on it.
Freeing Another Layer of Expectation
The process of awakening into this moment involves dissolving layers of attachment and forms of expectation. Dissolving attachment to those practices that we feel we need. And discovering that when they dissolve, a deeper need is met by a clearer force of love. One of the attachments I have been dissolving is the need to be feel closer and closer to the horses.
In softening that need, and letting go of it as a purpose, an agenda, I have come into understanding that horses will engage directly with your energy. Your vibrational essence. So you cannot un-become that or become it in an interaction. You are who you are, and being able to let that be allows an out-breath of engagement into pure presence. If you offer a confusion in yourself about who you are, a horse might offer confusion back, but the truth of your common field of love is always there.
Soft Hands, Soft Feet
I discovered a way of being incredibly soft and gentle with the horses. The way I felt in their presence, yielding to them, how I touched their skin, and scratched them. Even asking them to lift a foot or shift their weight. The first day we went so deeply into the state of softness there seemed to be a backlash from the biological nature of the horses.
Both Quaramba and Honey went from being profoundly defenceless in the softness to driving Totti away in a display of relatively extreme aggression. It felt as if their the herd integrity was threatened somehow.. that they let their vigilance soften too much.
The next day I was a little more careful with the softness practice. It had such a power, such amplification, and it was destabilising the horses herd structure a little too quickly. It is also growth, a vital part of our evolution together. That we could gently grow out of needing to maintain such a rigid hierarchy. Following on from the soft work together, we went more deeply into listening itself. And there was a sense of feeling ready to go into the possibility of meaninglessness. Allowing this to arise was encouraging a layer in myself of the need to create false meaning. When this resolved we felt a truer meaning coming through for our relationships. That our relationship is about being heard.
Dissolving Separation of Riding
The day after this we went into a profound healing exploration of the discrepancy between the two states of being on the ground and on a horse.
We’ve been tuning into this sense of riding, being on top of a horse being a different world almost from the world on the ground with them. And that we take advantage of that in some way, like imprisoning the horse in that. So we’re tuning into that the energy of those two feelings. Not necessarily a negativity just how it feels to be riding and how it feels to be on the ground and truly present.
Feeling The Trap
And there was this clear feeling of the horses being-ness and energy and presence and personality and everything shutting down like a trap when we get on top of them. It’s like it shut down and it all went down into the ground. And there was just this feeling of layers of emptiness and colourlessness. And everyone started licking and chewing again as we’re going back into that because we were just allowing that to be. And just embracing that state of affairs and then there was the sense of the horses energy and power just coming through so strongly.
But the point being that we can’t initiate that. It has to be the space of potential that allows them to come through in that way. So it’s not something we can push or create or inspire, even it has to be an openness. Almost like a stepping back energetically. An intentional step stepping back and allowing them to fill the space and them to come through.
The Horses’ Power
So we’re just going to tune back in, and it was interesting because there was this motorbike, making a lot of revving noise starting off and kind of distracting or trying to distract. And that felt like this human insistence on being heard. And so that’s okay, we were just letting that be part of the pattern. So now we’re just going to tune back into the two dimensions and see how they feel, because it was a very physical feeling of bringing them together. Aimee is doing a lot of licking and chewing now, so I feel this licking and chewing is like a, almost like tasting this energy tasting this new possibility in this place and and processing it like breathing it in.
And Honey is right here putting her head against me. So let’s go back in and feel how it feels to be riding and how it feels to be on the ground and fully connected within. It still feels like the riding is very overbearing. It’s almost as if it was a painting and the riding creates this layer that’s so thick. So let’s just allow that thick layer, feels like just a sort of thick, heavy, obscure grey paint and it just overrides everything.. interesting word.
We’re just being with that paint layer, there’s a sense of frustration. On both sides. A frustration of not being able to meet, not being able to find clarity. Lack of communication. Quaramba licking now, and Rafi. And Honey, so we’re just processing this layer of obscurity that happens when we tune into riding… as it is.
The Static Battle
And we’re inviting some perspective, some light, some space to come in. Honey likes that, she’s pressing in again. There’s a feeling of joy and sunshine and spring time on the edges of this cold. It feels kind of cold and damp now. It’s taking on a bit more character and it feels really unpleasant like cold concrete painted with grey paint and dirty and damp, and just allowing all that to be.
There’s a sense of oppression, very strong oppression. A sense of the horses banding together and uniting, a sense of how that affected them…being oppressed. It feels a bit like when they’re out in the rain and they’re standing hunched against the rain, away from the rain and their tight a little bit, a sense of static battle.
And now there’s a feeling of melting and comfort and a feeling like the sun’s coming out and warming their backs and a sense of consciousness changing, awakening, a sense of joy and fun and humour like it’s not that serious. A sense of relief, and now there’s a different feeling in the riding energy like an upward energy. Similar to how we’ve felt before with the whirlpool. It’s very powerful though, it’s like a geyser. We’re just going with that. It’s like the horse’s heart energy breaking through, breaking through that layer of oppression. Very powerful.
And there’s ease and smooth and calm and a sense of breeze. And just elegance and grace and lightness and a sense of that hard energy, that geyser expanding into the human consciousness, and just changing, just reprogramming who we are, how we are, what we want. A sense of hope like delight, a kind of vision of lily pads in the lake, a beautiful lake.
Idyllic feeling. Now there’s a sense of like physical pain in the horses, like a physical pain that’s able to release now, it’s releasing itself. And there’s like a tinge of sadness, that emotion, feeling like things that have been held down or the lids coming off now. They’re able to express themselves. It feels particularly related to Quaramba. Interestingly. She is the one who has not experienced that, the only one really in the herd. It’s like she’s acting as the, what’s the word…
Lifting Out The Pain
the valve, the valve for this pain to be lifted out of the horse collective. All the physical pain like shoulders that been compressed spinal issues and I can feel it’s very strong very deep. Honey is just licking and chewing with that. And there’s a sense of there’s nothing to hold back anymore now. It’s like it was a vacuum and now it’s coming out. Just gently, just coming out and coming out and it needs to fully clear to fully drain. There’s a sense of great relief, and a feeling of intelligence now. Like witnessing and awareness and knowing – watching this process and understanding.
And there’s a completely different feeling now when I’m tuning into riding, it feels too soon to be doing that but it also feels somehow necessary, and if feels like being in a whirlpool. Like being taken in and swirling down into the horse. Becoming part of the horse and not having an option. Like not being able to have control or keep control in that separate way. Like becoming the horse.
Becoming The Horse
It feels very potent, very intense. And the horses are really processing that, and I’m processing that feeling of integrating energetically. Which is also becoming physical. It’s a sense of being dissipated out through the horse. And just being like mist. Part of the horse now. And the horses feel very ethereal now, very, almost looks like they’re integrating and they’re like clouds that are just coming and going and vapour. Very light, light feeling but very but present.
And all the little molecules of them are very present. There’s is no loss, and the same with with me, representing the human aspect. And it’s very restful now. It feels like we’re lifting out of that place. Together feels like we’re together we’re dispersed like an aerosol like there’s no discernible difference. There’s just this feeling of mist, and relief and lightness.
And it feels almost impossible to go back to that old sense of riding, it feels like that’s been released. And there’s just this feeling of joining the whirlpool. And everyone’s licking and chewing and processing that, the whirlpool. There’s a sense of excitement and possibility, potential. And a sense of enjoying this feeling and resting in this feeling and that it’s enough. That there’s no need for more focus or more processing right now.
Voice Recording of Merging Energies
Taking This Forward
After our session of feeling the two states, Quaramba again invited me to sit on her. As I was sitting on her I felt an inspiration to tune into the sense of being on the ground with her and then how it feels to be on top, of her. And then tuning back into the state on the ground and back into her, and weaving back and forth from one one state to the other. As I did this, as we shared this practice, I could sense her Self being able to rise up and be felt from this place, by both of us. Through her, by me and through me, by her.
Some time after this intense episode of growth I could feel Quaramba was agitated for some reason, but I wasn’t feeling very grounded so decided to go and clean the fields. She clearly didn’t agree with this and she put her foot in the gate, getting herself stuck for a fraction of a moment.
Quaramba’s Full Self
I came back straight away and it felt right to offer her my willingness to get on her so we could re-balance. She lined up straight away and invited me on. This time I summoned the sense of her self fully for the entire time.
It takes some concentration for me to stay attuned to her and stay present and not go back into the separate ‘riding’ world perception. It felt important to lock this in and apply myself to it. Quaramba clearly feels that too! I also learned that I don’t always have the privilege to be feeling in the perfect place for this work, sometimes I have to get on with it, and the horses will not hesitate to insist.
One day later on we were having a healing session in the herd for someone. It developed into a healing masterclass, and again I felt that I was just touching into a vastness of experience and wisdom in the horses. When I feel them like this, I feel like a child with the elders, and that I capture less than 5% of the gift they are offering me.
In this case I was learning from the horses how to stay in the potential and not attempt to ‘fix’ the pattern by seeing or feeling it too solidly, in too small and enclosed a perspective.
The deeper meaning came back to flow. The willingness to receive the greater flow into all areas of our being, and that is the greatest healing force. It heals our perception of separation on any level.
The masterclass prepared me for seeing another layer of conditioning in our relationships. This affects us all, and perhaps especially Quaramba.
Sometimes she will be protective and controlling of me. She wants me to attend to her alone, and she follows me and keeps me close to her. She will push anyone else who comes in away, and occasionally she even threatens me. It feels as if she is seeing if she can control me too.
I sat down and allowed this pattern to be fully heard. And then it came to me very clearly that I was imprisoning her with the conditional nature of my love. Conditional love in the form of anxiety about her in particular. Her being my ‘soul horse’, my special one. The one about whom I only relax after I have seen she’s ok in the field… my favourite even. And yet I saw the artificial nature of this perception. Like a cloudy plastic sheet placed over the truth, which is my unconditional love for all of the horses. For all horses in fact and all beings.
And in seeing the falseness, in that moment, just like that, it was gone. It was as if a film of energy, a bubble around her popped, and she was free. She went into a deep rest and no longer even noticed where I went or what I was doing. I was also aware that this is another practice to be upheld until it becomes us fully. That the conditional love would return and must be witnessed and dissolved over and over.
Parallels of Conditionality
The next times Quaramba invited me to sit on her I could feel that the two states were becoming integrated as one. As her true self was no longer muted through the conditional patterning in the horse and human collective. So sitting on her was becoming less of a separate thing. It was losing the false significance of being separate, like the false significance I had imposed on her. It was becoming part of the whole dynamic of togetherness, of one herd and one heart and one voice.
Part of this is being able to receive the horses fully as who they are.
One day Quaramba was feeling grumpy and she made a face at me, which is so unusual. Instead of pushing her away or being upset I was able to receive her whole Self and give her a lovely soft hug. Her hostility melted instantly and she was back in her usual compassionate self. I understood that when I can receive her fully, she is able to let go completely in my presence. And as I am drinking her in, she is doing the same of me. And it becomes a full-circle reciprocated flow.
The Herd Elders hold a wise and infinite space for us.