Energy. It's a funny thing. I've watched videos on youtube showing the effect that words have on something as simple as a drop of water. Dr. Masaru Emoto did his experiment using water that is frozen and filmed at the moment the word is uttered. Then he repeated the idea using rice, growing it in a controlled atmosphere, again showing the effects that violent language as opposed to language promoting peace, love and kindness have on a living entity.
It's an old experiment dating back to the sixties, showing the effect that the word "love" has on growing plants. When I repeated that experiment for a class when in college, I was amazed at what a little love and attention had on a plant. The plant that was neglected (all I did was water it and give it exactly the same growing conditions, fertilizer and soil) was half the size of the other, it changed my approach to everything I did. The impact was that profound for me!
I'll never be perfect. No one is. That's part of being human...learning, practicing, making mistakes and trying to relearn again. I do try to keep that idea in my mind when I'm with people. It's better to give them positive feedback, positive attention, positive emotions than it is to castigate and criticize. If I can't keep it on the plus side, I do my best to politely walk away. One of my favorite quotes from Pat Parelli is "Don't walk the extra mile for someone going in the opposite direction." I decided to interpret that as "Smile and walk away, politely."
When I'm with Lucky, it's even more obvious when I'm not using my energy in a positive way. He lets me know when I'm being unclear in my requests, when I've forgotten to be polite and passive in the proper position, or when I'm not being honest with myself or with him about how I feel that day.
Both of my horses are extremely sensitive, as are all horses. They've survived for millineum by being hyper aware of what the other horses in their herd are saying with their bodies, and what Predators are doing. They know when to turn and run in a nano second, and they do without questioning it because the herd survives as a group, not as a collection of individuals who question each other. " Oh yeah? Who says that lion is hungry? he could just be stretching or something." Wouldn't be any survivors in a herd like that one in very short order. They are masters at interpretation of the finest details in their environment. Run first...question later.
Lucky and Apache have allowed me to become their alpha mare. It's something I never take lightly. I identify so clearly and deeply with this that I've even begun to have dreams where I walk with them and, as we move together, I lean over on to all fours and become a grey mare. It feels so natural for me that, when I wake up, I'm sometimes surprised that I'm in a human barn and I'm wearing a human body! Sounds wacky doodle, I know. But that's the way it's been this year for me.
Something has happened to my ability to work/play with Lucky. Sometimes, when I'm in 'the zone', I think what I want to do with him and HE DOES IT! And when I'm deeply in to my 'zone', where time has taken on that strange liquid feel, he knows what's going to happen before what happens happens. And SO DO I! For me it's better than dancing, better than painting, even better than chocolate. Describing it in words is inadequate. It's become a kind of spiritual quest for me.
I don't always hit that 'zone', but when I do it's magic! It centers me like nothing else I do.
Yesterday, when a friend of mine and her two sons came for a holiday visit, I took them outside with me when it was time to being my herd in from OUTSIDE. (for those of you who are only just finding my BLOG, OUTSIDE is when I put up a rope to keep them away from the road and let them outside the fences, into the hay fields. They love it! So much room to run, so little time to do it. And, of course, the grass is always greener on the outside of the fence!)
She hadn't been out for a while, so getting her reaction to the new level of communication and trust between Lucky, Apache, Willow and I was informative, not to mention the strokes to my ego. They were at the back of our long fifteen acres hay field, so far that you could only just see their backs because they were standing on the down side of the hill. They always know when I'm there. I know they can hear and see me. But I didn't do anything except whistle my three note tune to them once.
Heads came up, ears turned towards me and KAWANG!... in they came at a canter which became a race. The energy coming across that field towards us was awesome! It was a full out "WOO HOO!". They were, all three, galloping before they'd crossed half of that field. I stood and waited, "YEE HAWING!" with them because I know how much they're having. I love watching them stretch out and let out all the stops.
Lucky always wins. He's longer and taller and has this amazing power coming from behind. He zigged just before he got to me, doing this beautiful flying lead change from his left to his right lead. Oh my! Gorgeous. Lucky skidded to a stop long enough to touch my hand, then gaited into his paddock and up to his feed station, tossing his head with his mane flying.
Apache was next. He's like a locomotive. He puts that head down and GOES, pushing from behind. He gets so exuberant, though, that he usually starts bucking and jumping for the shear joy of it. UP AND DOWN, UP AND DOWN like he's on a giant pogo stick. Sometimes he does what he did yesterday. He slides to a stop right in front of me, about ten feet away and then jumps up and down over and over. Then he prances over to me, neck arched, and says "SO THERE! He's fast but I can jump!" and then into his stall he goes, turning to look out at me while waiting for his grain and carrots.
Last but never least is Willow. Donkeys are different physically. When they run, because of where the head connects to the neck and the neck to the body, they run with their head up and, in Willow's case, her head just a bit to the side. She did a buck and fart too. She never jumps up without coming down with a "TOOT!" It's so undignified...and so Willow. She always makes me laugh. She slows herself down by running in a circle, bucking and farting. I totally love having her! She is so much fun. And she's even funnier when she does her buck and fart circle because she's having a temper tantrum! Wish all tantrums were that easy to handle.
I turned to tell my friend's kids where the buckets of grain were, and there they were, all three, standing in a row with their jaws dropped. It was, I think, the first time they'd had a chance to see what happens when your relationship becomes "Parelli" 100%. To most horse people (and other's for that matter), it verges on the miraculous. Horses are usually evasive when their humans enter the environment. And they certainly don't have a race to see who gets to their person first!
Now I'm going to give you the real secret to cooking and baking. Put LOVE into everything you do, the same way you put your heart into your hands when you're with the horse you love...or the dog, child, lover, friend, whomever you're with. Really think about it. Wish them happiness, peace and success. LOVE THEM while you cook.
If you think about what a simple word can do to a drop of water, think about what your LOVE can do to the meal, or muffins or cookies you're baking! Profound, don't you think?
I am, ever yours, Nancy...smiling (and now you know why I always sign like that. I'm sending my story to you with LOVE)
Keep it positive. Keep it natural! (Love it when any of the Parelli staff signs like that!)