Spirits in Unity Column 4 by Garry Meek – Hurting Humans Help Hurting Horses

Spirits in Unity Column 4 by Garry Meek – Hurting Humans Help Hurting Horses
 CFN– This Column of “Spirits in Unity” is being published by CFN for the community of Stormont Dundas & Glengarry. It is an honor to have you as a reader. I welcome any comments, questions or topics you would like me to discuss.  I hope you enjoy reading about the wonderful world of horses and the impact that natural horsemanship can have in making it a better world for both horses and humans.
   Thank you for you kind comments about last week’s column.  I have received several inquiries as to who the young lady was in the “Shotgun” Story.  She has given me permission to include a photo of her and Shotgun in today’s column.  Her name is Bryanna Hickman. Photo by Lynn-Cassels Caldwell at www.horsephotos.com.  It fits with today’s topic as you will learn in a future column when I tell you more about this amazing young lady and her love for a really difficult horse.
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In the meantime…..
“Hurting Humans Help Hurting Horses”
   Since I became involved with natural horsemanship, it has always been amazing to me how hurting people and hurting horses can come together and end up helping each other rejuvenate their lives even from the damaging effects of various forms of abuse that they may have encountered.  The humans help the horses to trust again and the horses help the humans learn something healing about themselves in a non-threatning, non-therapeutic way.
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    Perhaps it is because both human and horse have experienced similar things in their lives to whatever degree and have a special empathy for each others feelings from the onset.  Often I don’t learn that the human was experiencing any hurt until some time into their horse-human relationship when they have started to experience some sense of recovery.
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    It seems that learning how to understand why horses behave the way they do, how they learn, how they play and how they think has many connections to the way humans interact with each other.  Horses can be rescued from abuse, and even women, teens, and children who have also suffered abuse can learn how to care for the horse’s emotional needs and in so doing help raise their own emotional agility .  As the students learn techniques to help the horses recover they in turn find healing for their own hurts.
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   Life’s lessons are not always learned from sitting in a room with a therapist, but from interacting with some therapists of the four legged variety.  What makes them such good therapists is the fact that they are easy to trust, never manipulative, always honest, and they have a way of getting through to the heart in a very special way.  It is one thing to have another human tell you your attitude stinks, but quite another thing to have a horse tell you.  How do you argue or justify yourself to a horse?
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  Horses help us learn how our own attitudes affect everything and everyone around us.  Horses are very clear communicators, are aware of and are reactive to energy and non-verbal signals, are non-judgemental, strong-willed, resilient, forgiving. They know how to live in the moment and are authentic in their actions.
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  Horses function as a herd and rely on emotional messaging to keep themselves safe and alive.  This can be channeled from horse to human to help us gain emotional agility through the messages we send through our non-verbal language. I call this Horsemanship-Humanship.
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   As I began to teach students the principles and practices of natural horsemanship, I discovered that they were developing relationships with horses that were generating profound changes in themselves.  I started to see the importance in teaching our students the value of horse psychology and body language through game play.  The importance placed upon  the relationship with the horse is what was making the changes possible.  The lessons in horsemanship helped students begin to step outside their own comfort zone and break through multiple barriers.  As they learned the training techniques, their horses responded to their training, the students learned to adapt, experiment and change in real time.  It was allowing students to develop new social, behavioral and cognitive skills while learning to take initiatives, solve puzzles, experiment and take responsibility.  Students learned how to identify patterns of behavior, build healthy relationships, set boundaries and communicate more clearly.
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  We can learn many things from horses including: leadership and managerial skills, regaining joy in your life, building self-confidence, improving communication skills, listening to your emotions, enhancing self awareness, attaining balance in your life, discovering inner wisdom and strength, managing stress by going with the flow, learning how to control anger and regret, rediscovering creativity and becoming inspired, improve emotional agility and self-awareness, discernment, developing a competitive edge as an individual and in teams, how to lead by following, making positive changes in your life.
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  Giving people of all ages the opportunity to bring horses and humans together in a new, productive and healing way is incredibly exciting to me.  It is also a lot of fun.
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  Some call it “Equine Assisted Personal Transformation”.  As a result of being in a relationship with a horse I have observed that powerful things can happen in student/teacher, parent/child, supervisor/employee relationships.
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  This is why this column is titled “Spirits in Unity”.  When two souls become one amazing things can happen.  As we continue with this column I will attempt to give you some insight into how we can develop this special relationship that humans have with horses.
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   Whether you are just a horse lover, have dreams of owning a horse someday, or already have one, I hope these columns will give you some insight into the true nature of these magnificent creatures.  I hope you will find them both informative and inspirational.
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May all your dreams come true,
Garry “Horsetalker” Meek
Drogheda Manor

3 Responses to "Spirits in Unity Column 4 by Garry Meek – Hurting Humans Help Hurting Horses"

  1. Stan   June 29, 2012 at 5:51 AM

    Such a wonderful article, I’m looking forward to more.

  2. Barbara Fenton   July 3, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    A very powerful article. Liked the idea of sprirts in unity and agree that animals can teach us so much. Great work !!

  3. Freddie Helmer   July 3, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Great articles Garry! Keep up the awesome work, both in the articles, and at the stable.

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