Thoughts related to horses and me.
| I do not have an inner child. I have an inner mare, or filly I'm not sure which.
The theory I learned this weekend is that all the problems owners complain about with horses come from one of two roots. The many and varied problems are only symptoms of the root cause. The causes are lack of respect, or fear, plain and simple.
One of my first thoughts was of my marriage relationship: lack of respect and fear of intimacy. That sums up the root problems quite well.... I was so struck by the thought that I wrote a note to the trainer thanking him for sharing his experience and telling him how much like couples therapy this workshop was, ...but then it went on to be very much individual therapy....
My problems (primarily) stem from fear... yes, I know I have heard that at therapy. Not a revelation. However, in a horse when she is controlled by fear, she is reactive, not using the thinking side of the brain, but the fight or flight side of the brain.
Wow, that struck me. I am so not thinking when I am anxious/ fearful and allowing that to control me.
Fear of the present, future and past has controlled me to the point of wanting to die to be free of the fear and resultant hopelessness.
The solution with a horse is to desensitize the horse to the fearful stimuli and get the horse to use the thinking part of the brain not the reacting part.
One illustration the trainer used is barking/chasing dogs. If the rider allows the horse to run from the dog/predator , the horse will likely bolt and endanger self and rider. If the rider turns the horse toward the dog and faces the dog down or runs toward the dog, likely the dog will turn tail and run, and the horse will be confident. I can hear someone (perhaps my therapist?) saying something about facing down the barking dog at my office... hmm. Yes, it makes sense, and is even plausible. Today.
I don't desire to give chemical adjustment much credit, but for whatever reason, I am able to use the thinking part of my brain and not the reacting part just lately.
Another problem a fearful horse may often have is stiffness. The rider... before even getting on the horse.. needs to work on suppleness, flexibility. This fit right into what I learned from Dr. Gloria before my first half marathon. Take frequent inventory of my body parts for stiffness, tension if I want to run well and comfortably... as I was running this morning, doing a mental body check, it so clicked that I am quite like a mare, and I smile gleefully at the comparison... I am planning to practice suppleness, and desensitizing to fearful stimuli. Using the thinking part of my brain. I don't know how I will desensitize to fear of the past, present and future but I trust that will come.