I had just come to the barn from an acquaintance’s house. We had been talking about her and her daughter’s struggles with Dad – who is a patriarchal male: “I own everything, I’m in charge, y’all do what I say.”
The daughter wanted to get a horse and the neighbour had offered her a free lease. They had 10 acres of land and Dad owned a bunch of cows. There was an old shelter and a section of the field where the cows never went (it was across a water ditch) that would be perfect for a horse and companion pony and could be gotten ready in a day or two. But Dad said, “No.”
I was trying to explain to these two what the horses had taught me about non-triggering, non-confrontational, resistance… moving forward from the peaceful, yet respectful energy of: THIS MUST BE, or, IT IS. And how I wished I had understood this concept and this method when I had lived with my own patriarchal father!
I could see that although they could hear what I was saying, they couldn’t get a real understanding of it – certainly not in any way that could lead to action. Then I arrive at my herd and guess what happens?
Yep. The horses act this out for us, so you can see, feel, receive what this state of calm, respectful, yet rock solid IT IS, or THIS MUST BE space-holding looks like in real life.
Cobra (white horse with black mane/tail) plays the role of the patriarchal male and Kaliah (black horse) plays the role of the female holding the energy/space necessary to get what she wants in the midst of patriarchal oppression. The full-length video of this dance is in our Member’s area, but this clip gives a good illustration of what the process looks and feels like:
The energy and space-holding Kaliah embodies here shows us HOW to exist in situations of dominance – where we can’t, don’t want to, or aren’t ready to leave – and yet not give our strength, autonomy and dignity away.
Dr. Juliet sums this up perfectly:
“Kaliah is just such a ninja master of this. She doesn’t make a lot of noise, she is not dramatic in her presence, she doesn’t need attention or demand it. She just is. When you were discussing that true leadership is not power OVER, it struck me that what Kaliah holds is power IN. Power in herself.
In session once she shared this wisdom with a client when discussing boundaries: ‘True boundaries start within. They are not fences that you build around yourself. They grow from that place of power, or strength/identity/wholeness that sits in the core of you. Then you grow and expand this outward from your center and hold it as far out or as strongly as is necessary.’
I could almost feel that between Cobra and Kaliah in this video. She was not pushing it at him, but she was holding her: Here I am, Here I will remain.”
Think of the relationships or situations in your life where you would benefit from developing the ability to hold a boundary (wholeness) IN yourself. One that is not dependent on others’ reactions or response – nor requires any change in behaviour from them.
Jini Patel Thompson is a natural health writer and Lazer Tapping instructor. She began riding at age 2 in Kenya, and got her first horse at age 8 in Alberta, and so continues a life-long journey and love affair with these amazing creatures.
9 thoughts on “Horse Wisdom: Transmuting Patriarchy or Dominance”
I like what you say about power and leadership.
The best human leader I ever met was my boss aboard a ship I was on. He always took care of his crew first, made sure we got some sleep, made sure we got some chow, and when there was nasty, hard, dirty or dangerous work to do, he was always first in, last out. He was a mentor to all of us, and made a very big deal of it when one of us got a promotion, or did a job well. He was lavish with praise, and constructive with criticism, and so impeccable in his own conduct, he inspired emulation.
He would have made a good horse.
Sounds like a stellar human being! If the majority of us could function like a herd our world wouldn’t be in such poor shape.
What a delightful Sunday morning encounter! Absolutely love the roll at the end and the slow motion replay! Big Ma Ma is just marvelous truly love her energy!
I grew up with a patriarchal father then my first relationship at 13 with a boy who had an abusive father and who was 16 was very controlled and he dictated everything! Then at 19 I finally came back to me and left him! That (& my true self at that time) had an affect on me that I was a mean bad bitch and would do what I wanted how I wanted when I wanted! I have had to find balance to this in the last 15 years as that was no longer serving my best self! Of course the horses showed and guided me to finding peace and love and that is where I now find my happiness. I am always evolving though and I find it interesting that my husband who was always the calm peaceful guy has been a bit far removed from this and he is now trying to come back to his balance! We all evolve in waves and chapters it’s a magnificent journey! ✌🏼💚🐴
That was my first thought when you said you began shifting 15 years ago: How did that affect your husband?? Because even though a change is positive, it can be difficult in a long-term relationship, because all the relationship patterns are based on the old you! When I’ve seen women evolve into greater wholeness, it usually creates difficulties/stress in the marriage.
And yeah, Audelina really is magnificent – even just in her BIG SOLIDNESS alone. I delight in watching her. And maybe someday she will invite me onboard for a ride – what an exquisite gift that would be!!
The lighting this day is perfect, everyone is just gorgeous! Wisdom from Kaliah. She is just such a ninja master of this. She doesn’t make a lot of noise, she is not dramatic in her presence, she doesn’t need attention or demand it. She just is. When you were discussing that true leadership is not power OVER, it struck me that what Kaliah holds is power IN. Power in herself. In session once she shared this wisdom with a client when discussing boundaries: true boundaries start within. They are not fences that you build around yourself. They grow from that place of power, or strength/identity/wholeness that sits in the core of you. Then you grow and expand this outward from your center and hold it as far out or as strongly as is necessary. I could almost feel that between Cobra and Kaliah in this video. She was not pushing it at him, but she was holding her: Here I am, Here I will remain.
OMG that is languaged PERFECTLY!!! I’m actually going to add that to the post, because many people don’t read the comments. xox
Thank you all for this beauty&wisdom.
Our lead mare Stelling also tries to teach me and the other horses this calm in the eye of the storm, as I tend to think of it. And of course when I am with the horses, they want to be with me when I have something of this space of security, calmness, clarity and power in me that doesn’t want anything from them, but just is.
Stelling is a very strong leader but doesn’t ever move the others around if it’s not absolutely necessary. She never manifests or uses her power in that way. Our oldest mare Geisla is 36 now (!) and for some years Stelling has let Geisla move her and take her food. And also, Stelling watches over Geisla when she takes her nap. They come into the barn every day to rest together ❤️
Oh my… how utterly precious and adorable!! Geisla is 36 – wow! That’s wonderful. What a gorgeous herd you have and your barn looks so clean and fresh! Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your world 🙂 I am energetically hugging and smooching all of them.
I know, I love the light in this barn, it’s like a chapel 🌞 But I think the horses might appreciate it more because it keeps cool and free from insects in the summer!