#3...How we learn from horses.
by Laurie Henderson on 12/18/15
As I stated earlier, I am a horsewoman. I have a farm in NH where I teach lessons and solve horse behavior issues based on Natural Horsemanship. The basic rule is when we work with horses we need to "listen and speak" their language which is based on how they act in the natural herd setting. Horses are prey animals and rely on their instincts to survive which are based on "fight or flight" tendencies. The skills we learn to hone when working with horses are: boundary setting, patience, persistence, empathy, determination, diligence, communication, and capability. Horses are great at clearly asking for what they need but also at revealing like a mirror of what we need. The most amazing things happen to a person when they allow the dance between a horse and themselves to unfold...it is not always easy, pretty, smooth, or without circumstance, but it usually ends up in an epiphany of some sort.
For anyone who knows me intimately, I am a high energy person who has high expectations of herself and the people I share space with. I have learned through working with my own horses how to slow down, breathe deeply, relax, and live in the moment, but the most important thing I have learned is how to take baby steps to reach a goal and how to end on a positive note.
In looking at all of the responsibilities we have around the Holidays as wives and mothers it is important to remember the rules of Horsemanship. I feel that it all begins with clear communication which can be as simple as making a "to do" chore list for your loved ones in order to delegate some of the responsibilities to them. We have always had a large chalkboard in the kitchen. When our children were younger and living in the home with us I would put their names at the top of the board and list all of the chores that they had to complete that day...kids love boundaries...seeing it in black and white helps. We still have one child at home and she still asks me to put the chore expectations on a list and gladly checks off each one as she accomplishes them.
It is also important to have realistic goals of ourselves and our loved ones. For me, since I am a "big now" person, I make lists of everything I need to accomplish for that day to help me stay focused. I keep decorating simple and to a minimum of mine and my families favorite things. I find candles glowing, primitive baskets and boxes filled with greens, pine cones, and berries, a simple tree cut from our land, and annual favorites like my wooden mantle Santa Figures to fit the bill.
Balance is not only something we seek to achieve. It is something we create, accept, and are willing to flex and bend toward.