Sunday, March 20, 2011

Becoming Part of Your Surroundings

I have been asked by a reader (thanks, Jessi!) to further explain what I meant in a past post about "becoming part of my surroundings." I have been reading Tao of Equus and at one point, Linda Kohanov is having undemanding time with her horse and she describes how she is mentally during that time. What she writes is out of this world and I highly recommend the book to anyone who wants to read about new perspectives on the horse.

What I really took from the reading was that undemanding time can grow to higher levels depending on the skill of the human. At first, it's just about doing nothing with your horse--not touching the horse, not catching the horse, not staring down the horse. That's a skillset in and of itself. You might need to take reading material out just to occupy your mind. However, I realized that there are higher highs! One thing I tend to do is just go crazy thinking. I may or may not be thinking about my horse. I also watch the clock like the white rabbit. At that point, it has become a job to me, and a difficult one at that.

My challenge to myself became to stop thinking about things and to only be receptive to my environment. This exercise causes you to flow into the environment, rather than forcing yourself onto the environment with your thoughts and business of the brain. Just listen. Match your breathing to that of your horse or to a rhythmic sound of rain dripping through the roof. Listen to the water move in the ground as your horse shifts his weight. Smell the dust blowing off your horse's coat. You attach yourself to your environment by assimilating yourself into it in the manner. Your breathing becomes your horse's breathing. Your coat becomes his coat. You are hearing the same sounds as your horse--your ears become his ears. This is how horses feel. They are receiving information, receiving information. They are natural! So, when you turn off your thinking and internal monologue and just use the receptive powers of your brain, you become part of your environment.

I don't know whether or not that was just saying a whole lot of the same thing over and over, but that's the story behind how to become part of your surroundings according to this horselady!

Natural Horsewoman Out.


  1. Seems like you are having a blast with your beautiful horses. Hope to meet you on Parelli Connect!
    Isabelle- Parelli Regional Coordinator. Australia

  2. Loved that book, too! Very cool read...

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
    Parelli Central


About Me

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I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

What We Are Currently Playing With

  • Moving Close Circles at Liberty
  • Soft, Balanced Canter on 45' Line
  • Zone 5 Driving