I once attended a 5 day horse clinic where the instructor would smile patiently, and tell everyone repeatedly,
"The horse is always right,"
his blue eyes sparkling with amusement.
So what did he mean by that statement? And why was it so funny?
What he was trying to get across was this-
Anything the horse did was because we asked him or her to do it, whether we realized it or not!
It was equally humbling and frustrating to realize that 99% of the time the things I didn't want my horse to do were only happening because in one way or another I was unintentionally asking him to do those things! Our horses can do all the maneuvers we could ever ask for out in their pasture. So what stands in the way of them performing a task when we ask? Our ego, and our communication system. If our communication system is flawed, the horse will not understand what you want and will not be able to do it. It makes sense, but when you tell somebody their
communication system with their animal is flawed... well they might get pretty upset!
Rather than seeing this information as a gift, and a way for us to improve our communication, since we are human, we start to personalize this information and make it about us.
If our communication or training system is flawed than what does that say about us? We let our ego take over, we let it fight for it's survival, it's identity. The "master trainer", the "animal person", the "horse/dog lady".... whatever your ego's perceived title, we get defensive and fight this gift because it makes us "wrong" and our ego wants to be "right".
Thankfully, our ego is not our truest self. Our truest self knows that anything truly beautiful comes from a place of love, compassion, and understanding. That there is no right and wrong, only trial and error, and that thankfully, the horses are always right -
so they can always guide us to the right answer!
The same can be said for our dogs!
Try to imagine something your dog does that drives you a little crazy-
now try to think of how you accidentally trained your dog to do that?
I'm not saying it's ALWAYS the case but 9 times out of 10 if an animal is doing something,
it's because it works for them.
You may feel your ego waking up at this very moment, screeching
"no way! I always do it right!" or
"My dog is just stubborn and doesn't listen!"
It's not always an easy pill to swallow!
Realize that that's all it is. Your ego. It wants to be right- and to be right, someone has to be wrong.
Our dogs live in the present, they don't naturally bring baggage to their day, they just take things as they come- moment by moment. To communicate more smoothly with our dogs (or our horses) we also need to live in this present mindset. If we bring hardship from the past, or anxiety and anticipation about the future, we miss out on what's actually happening. We miss out on the secret to life right in front of us!
The present moment becomes obscure. We start to see what we think will happen- meaning we are basing the outcome on the past rather than the present,
or we see what is going to happen after what happens, happens!
Our mindful guardians are teaching us to be in this moment with them. To see with our eyes (not our mind) what is actually happening- so that our mind cannot warp what's happening into some ego-laced delusion.
Unfortunately, I have found the more wrapped in ego a trainer is, the harsher their training method is. People who tie their identity to the performance of their animal have effectively linked the "appearance" of their survival (the survival of their ego- their identity) to that animal. That means they start to do whatever it takes to get a behavior- and sometimes that can look pretty ugly.
If we can re-frame the communication challenges we have with our animals, and instead see them as gifts-
our knowledge, our connection, and our hearts grow infinitely wiser, and open us up to a world of possibilities.
So allow your mindful guardian to help keep your ego in check- by helping you become more aware of when your ego is becoming activated.
I promise to always do the same!
They are doing us a profound service in helping us find greater peace, happiness, and joy in our every day lives.
Hope you are living presently and in tune with your mindful guardian<3
Valerie & Lewen