Last night I went to enjoy time with Hope. I had gone back and read my notes from Aimee Brimhall-McCord clinics, and had a few ideas (which I had mostly forgotten) along for the ride.
Fast forward so I don’t have to bore you with the details of our loving grooming or the time I took while putting the surcingle on for her to feel okay and calm with it…. and to the main point here.
We went out to the pasture side by side. My intention was togetherness, softness, and encouraging healthy body movement through creating an example of softness in balance in my own mind and body. I breathed deeply and mindfully. I smelled the smells and watched the grass. We paused for a moment.
In movement, I fiddled and foddled until I found some good flow in my own body and mind. She patiently went along with me… But regardless of the little details and pieces of what I was doing, the most important thing was the intention of softness.
She melted with it, joining me in that softness, breathing deeply, curving her body around me, listening for what I had to whisper, and checked in regularly. She would come up softly, and out my palm would go, a soft cup, as if I were going to receive a gift of water. And each time, she placed her whole muzzle in my hand, quivering her lips a bit, and then relaxing them… resting her weight in my palm.
Hope has given me both the experience of the softest horse I’ve ever seen and the most fear-driven and explosive horse I’ve ever seen.
It’s like a painting… Sometimes the most important things are not the things in the painting, or the paint you use, or the brushes you use, or even the canvas or lack thereof, but the color and the way you stroke your brush and the feeling you have behind it.
Regardless of all those little details, I believe the intention of softness and loving-kindness is most important. At least, that’s what the horses keep telling me.