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Liberty with a human may be a traumatic experience for a horse that has been denied the opportunity to live as one. This is the very first thing that Pip showed me. I had taken her into a large jumping arena, just the two of us, on our first day together. When I removed all of the tack, she was seized by an overriding panic which caused her to frantically rush up and down the fence line. No contact with her was possible and hence no communication.

Instinctively, I felt a need to halt her frenzy, to restore contact and to reassure her but without using any physical restraint on her body. Holding a rope in one hand and switching it to the other if required, I managed to confine Pip in a corner of the arena and then just stood there trying to relax while searching her eyes for contact. Eventually, it came and then we just stood there doing absolutely nothing for as long as it took for her to calm down. This was a ritual which we employed many times before it was no longer required.
Pip and Andrew spending time together doing nothing

Pip and Andrew spending time together doing nothing

Instead of going to your horse, why not just be present, calm and do nothing. Above all, expect and want nothing. And when your horse finally chooses to be with you, to seek contact with you, can that not be the start of something magical? For after all, it is your horse’s decision and not yours, is it not?
And when Pip finally chooses to have contact with me, is this not the start of...?

And when Pip finally chooses to have contact with me, is this not the start of…?

2 Responses to “Lessons Taught Me by My Horse, Lesson 1: Be present, be calm and do nothing!”

  1. Patrick says:

    hullo Andrew and thank you for your recent message; of course I do appreciate the gift of your recent book via kindle. This message from me to you raises a tetchy point that I feel free to fire at you because you are a wordsmith.
    The word-construction……’do nothing’…..is surely an oxymoron…?
    Yet it seems to be widely used…..and it bugs me A LOT! ( How daft is that ?)
    Am I incorrect ?…….the only person on the planet to be troubled by this ?
    I just think that we are all free to not do anything but it is impossible to do nothing.

    Cheerio meantime from Patrick

    • Andrew says:

      Hi Patrick

      An oxymoron, perhaps. But then again, perhaps not.

      This is not the same as “Don’t do anything”. The emphasis here is on “do” as in consciously do. What should you consciously do? Nothing. The assumption is that people are always doing something, if not physically at least with their mind. Their thoughts take them everywhere except to where they are at the very coalface of life.

      The idea is that by consciously doing nothing, we will still the mind and, by doing so, become fully aware of ourselves and our immediate surroundings. Once we achieve this, we will have entered the domain of the horse, for this is where they live.

      It might be impossible to do nothing but why not just try doing it in the presence of a horse? Expect nothing, want nothing and see how the horse responds, if not today, perhaps tomorrow or the next day.

      Be well!