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Golden surrender is a state of being I have been blessed to come into, in the company of the horses. We didn’t create it, because it was already there.

Sometimes being human feels like a conflict between the power of my mind and the openness of my heart. I know that if I allow my mind to run unchecked, making up a story, it will have the power to influence my feelings. Is this the habit of western society, where there are hardwired patterns of thought that keep some people ensnared their whole lives? Patterns of thought like success is how much money you can make and how many others you can influence, or how many objects you can own.

Over time it becomes clearer that this route of the mind doesn’t really offer fulfilment. It seems to, because at each external success there is enough of a boost to take us to the next challenge. The joy is limited however, because there are so many conditions attached. And the conditions tend to multiply with experience! In other words we need more and more evidence in our lives that we are succeeding in order to feel happy.

golden surrender

Although I feel that I have understood the lack of authenticity in this pathway for a long time, understanding is not quite the same as fully living the authentic pathway. Yet this is where the horses are leading me.

Being with the horses isn’t about thinking or deriving joy from an identity. It is a multi sensory experience of living, and opening my heart to it is the way in. Every resistance that arises is met with a gentle, yet pervasive coherence. Just like water. Soaking, filling and teasing apart the superficial web of what is not true.

The truth is that we are already joy, and nothing else is necessary to experience it. Only an opening heart.

In the last few months I have been letting go of the need to be validated, to be seen, in fact to have to be anything extra to what I already am. Many supportive forces have come forward to facilitate this liberation. I experienced my worst fear, when our beloved dog Gracie died, and this became deeply healing. I understood on every level that I am not a centre of control. 

A beautiful group of subtle energy healers supported me in identifying how I became separated from feeling my enough-ness, as well as embracing my reconnection. And finally the horses showed me that the final step at this stage is to give up the need to be seen. Through their consciousness I saw that this need was like a great clanging cymbal in my life, distorting the still point of being. And just feeling that vibration through their love was enough to remember that I am love, and love is everything. 

Just being in the herd, breathing them in, both the physical microbiome and the energies, is such a potent experience. The less mental separation I create with expectations and concerns, the more deeply I can breathe this herd vibration. And it feels that this is enough.

This being with horses as equals, without confusion, with uninhibited choice, is actively changing our world. Just as the trees oxygenate our planet, this ownership-free, obedience-free, fear-free space of original love and joy is liberating us from this conflict. The self created conflict. 

I know I created the conflict myself when I thought I had to train horses and keep them safe. When I was responsible and I was their healer. Even when it was my purpose to share a message and be a pioneer for horse wisdom. If I have learned one thing from them, it is that there is nothing to save and nothing extra to be. We are already there, and in experiencing that we can grow and flower and make fruit. 

When I think back, I realise that my recent letting go was triggered by the deep state of defencelessness we have been finding ourselves in as a herd. Especially between Quaramba and me as we move forward carefully with our reciprocal riding project. The words golden surrender came into my mind for this state of shared bliss which can only arrive through emotional and energetic exposure. 

Going into deep rest, Quaramba beside me at the ledge. Touching her. Feeling the opening out of what we are creating together… the unfolding of it. The sense of being filled up and stretched out with the bliss of it, and how it is the becoming not the doing that is the root creator.. this is so clear.

Suddenly feeling a huge muzzle breathing on us from above. The great spirit mare of the horse collective visiting us and breathing joy on us for this journey. We are going deeper and deeper into defencelessness… into vulnerability with each other. Feeling how that renders us more and more porous, until we are becoming one being.

Like golden threads spinning together, and I feel our DNA merging. I am being drawn into the spiral of energy that we have been creating, I am joining into it as it swirls up out of Quaramba. Now it is changing direction from anti-clockwise to clockwise and I start to understand that energy pattern can solidify into physical feelings.

This merging through the spiralling energy is creating a real physical counterpart when we are riding as one. It is still growing and I am realising that all this time it has been preparing and growing and strengthening. And it isn’t about the sitting on her but about the touching of our vulnerability together… the creation energetically every step of the way… the dialogue, the vibrational awareness.. that is the progress. 

At about this time I decided to examine my intentions with the horses again. It seemed important to clarify. Especially at this time when I was letting go of so much. I recorded the exploration out with the herd (on a windy day!).

After asking the question why do I want to connect with the horses in this way (being invited to sit on them and discover a way to do this together beyond control) the ultimate answer was simply it is home, going home. And maybe all of our deepest desires feel like this and that is the role of inner guidance.

Maybe it doesn’t matter why, but it seems to me that the authenticity matters. That it is rooted in love and not fear. This is why changing the paradigm from a control based, expectation of obedience to a discovery based expectation free relationship feels so good for me. It is an expression of our love and mutual appreciation. That we are equals whatever our body type and species. 

This project we have together is largely just being together. Feeling the energy of being-part-of. Often this is enough, and there might be many little inspirations and realisations within the state of being. For example recognising the power of the energetic process, endorsing it and being it, together. The sense of how it is becoming a physical feeling of how to put your weight down (sitting on a horse)… a kind of heaviness which merges and fuses and glues our boundaries together. Understanding that these physical manifestations are being born and growing. This feels like creation. Knowing that all will become clear in the physical realm in time.  

One day I was feeling a bit stressed. It was just before a seminar I was attending, I was investing in strategies to encourage certain things to change. I see now that this was the build up to letting go of the not-being-enough. I tried to connect with the horses but I wasn’t feeling it, so I went and sat on the concrete slip on my own and Quaramba came out of the barn and stood across from it. Then I remembered our vulnerability place, the golden surrender. I was tuning in to it as deeply as I could… and it felt a bit half hearted… Tiger kitty was there doing happy claws…

After a nice while I was feeling more comfort and ease and I was just thinking of going to do something else when Quaramba began to come out of her resting. The other horses were now coming out of the barn and they were full of activity. I expected Quaramba to turn and go with them when they went past, but instead she sniffed at the ground between us for a while  and then crossed over to me.

I scratched her ears for a while, then she was so close that I got on her back. She was still trying to rub her ears though, so I got off her again and did some more. Then there was one of those real decision moments… I was pretty sure she was saying, come on hurry up! so I got on again, and she waited for a bit, as if she was making sure I was alright, and then we went down into the herd. 

She sought out Rafi, who is her best friend, and Gorrion the other gelding, was coming up behind us. I now realised she was in season and wondered if this had been a bad idea! Quaramba did a big squeal and she struck out, but she didn’t jump and I felt perfectly safe. She seemed to consider what she wanted to do and decided to move on.

We went along the back of the buildings on the path round to the back field and at one point she went up a bank. It was so easy to be on her, so natural, and although it was so familiar it was incredible too. It is difficult to explain why those moments with her are so magical, but I think it is the way I can experience not only her power and her grace, but also her will.

In French there is a beautiful word volonté which captures this, what she wishes to do, how she wishes to be. In this way of riding, without aids or control, there is no concession or sacrifice of this, she is fully her and I am me. I don’t need to channel who I am into being in control, and that is also a great gift.

And I am getting more familiar with being on Quaramba in this way. The fear of lack of control is transforming into trust and pleasure in what is actually happening. When she was deciding whether to enter the back field or carry on, I had a little intuition to get off her. It seemed like she couldn’t make this decision and be fully present with me at the same time. There is such a growth happening, and it’s such a big deal. The miracle of her consent…and it is more than consent, it is her inspiration, and she is a horse. I see the enormity of how greatly we have crushed this part of horses in our horsemanship, and how immediately they are prepared to actually connect with us given the space. 

I am understanding that the place of golden surrender reveals the sacredness of the horse. It reveals that sacredness in all of us. And the assumptions we make that we can control them and ride them feels like a stranger here. In this place there is only appreciation and acknowledgement. The deeper I enter the more I can see the magnificence. Their wholeness, their sculpted energy, their subtlety and gentleness. As well as their ease of action. It is clear that this golden surrender place is the birth of all things, because it is the merge place, the coordination, the egg. Visiting it creates and grows it.  In fact golden surrender is the place we receive Source itself. 

There was a time in my life when I was very young, and I experienced not being enough for the first time. Whether it was the first time, or a particularly hurtful time, I don’t know. So I began to look for ways I could change, and things I could do to be enough.

It took a long time to come back to this place with understanding and re-evaluate. And yet this is the journey, this is the whole point, perhaps for all of us. Going astray from our inner enough-ness until the path back is wide and clear.  

The relevance of this in my relationship with the horses was to make my commitment to the connection itself and not a result that might come of it. This need for validation or proof was a thin yet tenacious wall between us. This wall doesn’t just go away in one awakening experience or several, the commitment must be reformed and re-clarified in every moment. There is no need to seek validation in what we do, because we are enough. We don’t need to prove anything, or succeed in some way, because we are already complete. And in the depth of this golden surrender we know ourselves as love. 

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