Through the practice of Liberty Foundations I have reignited the magic in me I found as a child with my first horse Zoe. That precious and incredible bond we developed purely at liberty (although I didn’t know it at the time) came through hours of hanging out in a field together and developing a great level of trust between us both. We became each other’s caretakers and protectors and the majority of the time it felt like we were one spirit in two bodies.
Unfortunately as I grew up I lost that magic. Although I still loved horses I had developed an “adult brain”, my ego, and what I wanted from the horses really got in my way. I began to worry about all sorts of things, how I looked, what people would think. I got lost in my thoughts worrying about money, and work, and all sorts of things. I had forgotten about that inner child who was free and able to just be in the moment enjoying everything as it was, who saw the beauty in everything around me. That child who simply loved being with horses.
Through the gentle practice of Liberty Foundations, and giving myself the opportunity to work with free horses, just as they are in any given moment, I had to let go of my ego and agendas; the horses could choose to walk away at any given moment, which really upped the ante for me. I learnt how to become a caretaking leader for my horses instead of being their boss. I learnt that I had to be dependable and trustworthy, and to look at and understand things from the horse’s point of view. I also learnt that I had to be congruent, being honest with myself about where I was at in any given moment (which can be quite difficult at times). As I learnt these skills I also found that I was also able to reconnect with that inner child. I found that life-loving, free-spirited part of me by offering the horses I worked with freedom to be themselves in all their glory. In challenging myself to let go of my agendas, judgments and ego, I learnt how to simply be in any moment accepting it just as is it. I learnt to embrace that childlike wonder, yet also be the caretaking leader my horses needed me to be.
Both the horses I have worked with and my children have been incredible teachers through this continual journey, and I feel very fortunate that my 2 youngest children are not only horse crazy but also live and breathe the paradigm shift that Liberty Foundations brings to working with horses. Both boys are incredibly passionate about sharing this incredible way of being with horses. Cedric loves to explain that there is so much more to do with horses than just riding to anyone he can, and Michael my youngest even wrote a statement to share with his class in the hope that they might understand how he sees and relates to horses:
“I love horses. They love me. It’s not all about racing and riding. Respect them ‘cause they love you. Do not be mean to them. They’re friends of mine. Start meditating now!”
They both have such a beautiful and innocent view of horses which reminds me of the bond I formed with my first horse at liberty when I was a teenager. I’m sure that many of us still hold this childlike wonder somewhere in our hearts.
Down here in Tasmania we have just started a two-week school holiday. When I picked them up from school at the end of the last day, Michael exclaimed “Mummy it’s the holidays, that means we can spend lots of time meditating with the horses!” This brought a huge smile to my face because it is just wonderful to see his excitement at having more time to spend with the horses. It also means I have more time being with the kids and the horses together, which I just love. I really can’t wait to see what lessons and inspirations are waiting for me.
It gives me such pleasure and joy to see my boys practicing liberty with the horses, and I’m pretty sure the horses enjoy interacting with the boys as well. Both horses intently watch when the boys are playing. If they are climbing trees I look over to find the horses standing close by watching their every move. When they play soccer or tag they will move around to get the best view of the game. I’ve even seen them standing over Michael watching him build a rocket ship for them, the whole time looking at him with adoration, almost as if they knew it was for them even if they weren’t sure what it was.
One of the things that really amazes me is the understanding the horses seem to have of the boys. At home there is not a lot of time that either of them are still or quiet unless they are asleep. At times I think they quite possibly have enough energy to power our entire household (I’m still trying to work out how to harness that)! Yet with the horses they can incredibly manage to be still and quiet, with a gentle and low energy. When they do get restless the horses seem to understand, and they know how long the kids need before being able to settle down again. I have seen Coco our older mare initiate meditation sessions with Michael, and when he gets a bit restless or distracted she will wait patiently for a while just watching him before she somehow draws him back to her for a while longer and then they will just wander off for a walk together, as if they are in their own little world. I have watched Cedric meditating with Ranger and start to get restless and gone to climb a tree, both boy and horse still maintaining a strong connection and a low and gentle energy until Cedric was able to settle again.
I never cease to be amazed by the incredible and inspiring things I witness between my horses and children. I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of it. I have no doubt that as they grow they will keep that magical inner child and spread the joy that working with horses at liberty brings. I truly believe that the future of the free horse is safe in their hands.
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- Reignite the Magic with Liberty Foundations and Rozlyn! - July 29, 2016