The spirituality of our horsemanship is redefined every day when we enter the presence of a horse
Spiritual horsemanship means a lot of different things to different people. For me it is the miracle of being aware, the practice of becoming receptive to this moment now. When you start exploring sentience in that way, a world opens up that is so nourishing. It is so familiar in a going-back-home way, that you just want to stay there. My journey with spirituality has been so beautiful, so challenging, and so perfect. I see that same journey happening all around me in everyone else. Not only for those who are aware of what is going on, but everyone. It truly is a miracle we are all experiencing, and those blessed with horses in their lives have attracted some deeply influential guides to go with them.
Listening to the Way of the Birds
When I meditate in the morning I listen to the birds singing. At first I just listened to the beauty of their songs, and over time I started to feel their personalities. It was heart warming to touch into their joy and the particularly unselfconscious delight that fuses so perfectly into their cute little bodies so pumped full of life. They are glorious, and complete, so filled with love for themselves and everything around them.
After a while I started to tune into the vibrational frequency of their communication and the meaning would come through. It was easy to capture from a place of open receiving. And I discovered that they would sing about all kinds of things.
The blackbird would sing about being a ground bird, the particular perspective they have and the appreciation and love for their territory. One time I heard baby birds who were just joining the morning chorus. They were so full of confidence and delight, telling everyone of their first flights and how marvellous it is to be a bird. One time a bird was singing of his female love, and another time a different bird was celebrating his home, a physical home, presumably a nest, but what came through was his pleasure in his ability to create his own personal space in the world.
Some of the songs were more philosophical, more symbolic. They seemed to be drawing attention to and acknowledging the fundamental tenets of the Universe. In fact the first birdsong I ever tuned into on that level was about the miracle of individuality, how each of us has a voice and all of the different voices make the whole symphony.
I think I have been absorbing this idea.. the vastness of it.. for my whole life.
How my Horsemanship became more Spiritual
Up until a few years ago I was borderline fanatical in the rightness of my beliefs concerning horses. In my experience of management and training approaches. There were many ways and one right one, and I was the one who was figuring it out! I was disheartened by the lack of understanding for horses that I perceived from this perspective. When I saw the depth of ignorance and the painfully slow awakening of the average horse person, that fixed my prejudice in deeper.
This phase of my life was nevertheless important. I had to define my voice and believe in it. I came to understand that I could believe in my voice without thinking it was the right one for everyone. It was a great revelation to realise that my voice only exists because other voices exist. And that none of them is the only right way, because they are all right for us in each stage of our journey. My current ‘right’ is not the same as my ‘right’ even last month, let alone years ago.
The Miracle of Inner Guidance
When I began to become this truth rather than just understand the concept, I entered a place of appreciation for the bounty, the diversity that is Us. All of us, horses, humans and all life. It feels very much like baby steps still, and I know there will be challenges… yet the knowledge that there is always a loving perspective to discover, that comes from within, is such a profound support. It is everything in fact. To be able to ask your inner guidance the truth and to make that shift from judgement and smallness to unconditional love and vastness is a fabulous gift. And we all have this gift. This could be the ultimate miracle.
I am asking myself now, how does this shift in perspective about diversity and individualism influence my own spiritual horsemanship journey? It is an interesting question. There are several answers. I feel less attached to my opinion, and defending it. There is a new serenity about not having to be seen or followed. I am enjoying my experiences for myself, which might seem self-centred, and it is, and it is also self fulfilling. I don’t need others to believe in me to make me believe in me.
The Power in Diversity
What does inspire me now is helping others get that same joy from their own unique voice. I do love it when I feel in alignment with other people’s beliefs. It feels so good when messages I have heard are heard in different ways from different sources. Yet there is another, even greater potential in acknowledging the differences. As a species I am not sure we have gone there much yet! Differences can be scary and we attract what resonates with ourselves. Exploring that edge however, stepping into that growth place… that is pretty amazing. Experiencing that whoosh of strange energy when your world expands…
I know it is often still my habit to fit what I see in with my experience and my beliefs. To judge people in terms of beliefs is a way of seeing the parts of them that can be diminished into a limited shape. There is a certain comfort in that. To tell oneself they are only successful because of this, and they maybe do this but they don’t really understand that. It is a way of preserving the self which actually limits our self. Because if we can’t see the potential in someone else then we aren’t feeling it in ourselves. This is a Universe of Being-ness. When you see good you feel good and you attract goodness. So seeing success in others makes us feel that in ourselves and attract it.
― Vernon Howard
“Inner guidance is heard like soft music in the night by those who have learned to listen.”
Everyone is their own Miracle
I am ready to see the good now, in everyone. Soul Herd is the miracle that has been born out of this readiness. Soul Herd is the celebration of the chorus and every single voice. It is the celebration of who we are, and our awakening. The miracle of awakening. Of being able to change and to grow, to accept and expand. This is spiritual horsemanship.
And most valuable of all, to accept the pauses, the stuck times, the lifetimes of experiencing the struggle and turning away from trust. To embrace the entirety of this process – what can be called the dark – as well as the light. We can do this because there is always a moment that will arrive when we choose the light, because we are not travelling alone.
The whole is more than the sum of its parts because of the dynamics between the parts. One seeing the light in another. The spaces in between which allow individuality to exist, and the sparks of new and undiscovered vibrations being created.
We are Ready for Spiritual Horsemanship
I trust that one day we will ride with horses without the need for bridles. We will communicate our feelings with each other and dialogue will be our relationship default. Spending time together and travelling the spiritual dimensions will be enough. Yet we will take great joy in the miracle of physical accomplishments as One. Horses will invite us to sit upon them, and we will experience unified movement that can only happen within the medium of utter willingness.
I believe that Soul Herd is a portal for the voice of the Horse Collective. The Collective is speaking through us in a thousand different ways and we hear them just as we hear the birds. I know that humans who have embraced the horse in their lives will share their perfect journey here.
There was a moment when I was listening to the birds that I shifted into their perspective. It seemed that I saw the world as they do. The ground as we know it was relatively small. It was just like the field of an amphitheatre seen from way up high in the stands. The sky truly is their limit, the sky is the body of their world. This is how it is for us and our potential, we all have the sky inside us, and we are all remembering how to fly.