Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses

Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1603425659

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Eastern philosophy enters the stables in this unique guide to horsemanship. Allan Hamilton describes how horses understand and respond to the flow of vital energy around them. They use this energy, called chi, to communicate with their herd, express dominance, and sense predators. Hamilton shares safe, simple techniques to make you more receptive to your animal’s chi, so you can develop a calm and effective training style that will not only help your horse follow commands, but strengthen the spiritual bond between horse and rider. 

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view we can access? Our ego’s control is so forceful and pervasive that we may not even ask ourselves the question. Sometimes, however, our right hemisphere interrupts us and invites us to imagine what music we might hear if only our inner voice could be silenced. The right side tempts us not only to observe the Universe but even to join with it. Such notions of a shared existence, of being part of something greater than our own existence, make the ego quake in its boots. What is going to happen

the voice of our egos creates a silence that introduction 7 is at first frightening, but later, we learn, also enthralling. With that silence comes breathtaking power and clarity of thought. As Obi-Wan-Kanobi in Star Wars encourages Luke Skywalker to trust “the Force,” so horses exhort us to trust our intuitive right-brain abilities. Working with horses gives us the opportunity to return to a primal, nonverbal state of awareness. Without the interference of language, we reconnect with the

of the trailer more than a dozen times for me. It had taken us a month and a half to accomplish this, but now he was going in and out of the trailer of his own free will. No one had laid a hand on him. The horse had been given the opportunity to make choices and, in the process, had displayed great courage and respect. The story does not end here. There was still plenty of work to be done to ensure the horse would eventually go in and out of the trailer on command and certainly without the

smaller the detail, the better, because it draws your chi into focus. Exhale. Focus. Lead off with determination. Expect your horse to follow. If he does, the first three or four feet of the lead will remain slack (see figure 10.5 ). If the lead becomes tight in your hand, you’ll know he has not stepped out. Let a few more feet run out through your hands and then brace yourself to move to the second level in the hierarchy. l e a d i n g t h e way 139 10.5  The Ask. This handler is leading the

themselves — strong, powerful, beautiful — and it has the capability of giving escape from our mundane existence. Pam Brown 156 L e a d i n g a h o rs e i s the best way to assess the amount of chi we generate as handlers. There’s a bubble, a force field of energy, around us, as there is around all life forms. Some days, when we are feeling strong and positive, that bubble is large and energized. Other days, perhaps when we may be sad or anxious, the bubble around us is contracted, giving off

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