Is Riding a Positive Pressure?

If you’ve ever ridden a horse, and you’re now reading this blog, you likely have a more informed, liberated, or expanded view of the whole riding issue. Here’s one more aspect of it:

“I felt like sharing a thought I had on riding and perhaps how it could be a necessary pressure. I was reading a post on your blog a follower had written and you had asked a question about her horse needing to be riding to work out knots and release energy. Your question asked about why running free in a herd couldn’t achieve the same result and what was riding possibly doing that couldn’t be done freely? I was interested by this but didn’t explore it much further. Today I was studying a course on barefoot trimming and they used the Brumbies as a blueprint. As they discussed, the natural movement of the Brumby enabled it to self trim, they pointed out the fact that they had to travel large distances daily for food and water.

It got me thinking of the natural external pressure of survival. How this pressure for movement beyond what the horse would naturally do for pleasure or play when its food and water was readily available, could possibly be a necessity, but is removed when the animal is in captivity. This I could relate to personally as well. I got an external pressure to bring in an income (I’m a stay at home Mum) and it actually felt really grounding and strengthening, even though it isn’t something I wanted to do.

Perhaps we have a need for external pressure to push us beyond, once coming from the pressure to survive in the wild, but could now possibly be achieved through riding, or other activities that push the horse beyond its wants or comforts. Anyway I thought it was an interesting theory and worth sharing. Sending love to you and the singing horse herd. – A.V.”

Such an interesting, understandable and valid perspective. And very timely, because Kesia is smack in the middle of this journey/exploration with Jax. He has invited her to ride him a couple of times, but there has been a process leading up to that, and of course, they’ve only just started. She’s journalling everything and hopefully will be able to share more with everyone on the blog, as she goes along.

The thing that comes to mind regarding this perspective, is that intention is key. Because it provides the WHY. And the intention/energy held is far more important than the action or activity.

As a very base example: A man drills a hole in my tooth with the intention of helping me and helping my tooth vs. a man drilling a hole in my tooth because it’s fun for him and he doesn’t care whether I want that done, or not. The action/activity is exactly the same, the intention, the WHY makes all the difference to how I feel about the activity, and the amount of pain I feel.

I think manipulative training (which often masquerades as natural horsemanship or ‘liberty’), where the human pretends they’re giving the horse a voice, pretends they’re being nice and considerate, does far more damage to the horse’s core and psyche, than a matter-of-fact “Okay, you need to do this job, cause we all gotta eat” approach. I have met horses far more shut down or damaged from these ‘cloaked’ methods, than ones where the owner is honest that the horse doesn’t have a choice.

My own childhood horse never refused to carry me riding. She also dumped me whenever I was being a jerk – and then waited for me to get back on. She never took off after bucking me, or ran for home, she simply waited nearby for me to get up and dust myself off. She would also come and get me to go riding; make me leave my friends, and take her out riding instead. But she had a VERY important role in my life – she literally carried me away from my abusive home, stripped the chains off me and made me feel I was flying free. She had a crucial role/job to keep me alive.

When I sent a picture of that riding relationship to Aude and how the energy travelled between us, and it was so wonderful, she said, “Eeeuuuuwww!! When you and I ride, we will be two Queens, riding out together.” Makes sense right? What was appropriate and necessary when I was 10 would be gross and parasitic now – because I am no longer that person!

Me and Big Mama Aude

I also love this reader’s example as a mum who thought she was going to just work at home, but was required to take on paid work… that’s exactly what I mean – because her WHY was real and authentic and absolutely necessary.

The night before Juno left for Kesia’s he said to me, “None of us wants to go, but it’s the next step that must happen.” That 48+ hour trailer ride was an excruciating initiation process for Juno. I think he knew he would get on that trailer a youth and get off that trailer a ‘man’. He had weaned himself 6 months prior to the journey – perhaps then he knew it was coming. So that’s exactly the kind of pressure we’re talking about. It was a horribly challenging experience, but it was necessary for a larger purpose. So then, it’s a net positive.

I recently watched a 4-part series on barrel racer Fallon Taylor. According to my standards, her horses have a shit life. But you can see in the videos, she LOVES her horses. And through their journey together, she develops into someone who consults animal communicators, meditates and visualizes. And she is helping MANY humans with her stories, videos, posts. I think her horses are fully cognizant of their role and that they are helping her and her tribe as much as my herd helps me and all my readers.

It’s all relative. What is your intention? What is your WHY? Fallon’s herd and my herd and so many horses/herd around the globe are assisting humans to shift and expand their consciousness. It’s all good.

Is Riding a Positive Pressure?

7 thoughts on “Is Riding a Positive Pressure?

  • June 6, 2021 at 6:49 am

    Intentions are everything! This has been front and center for myself and the four horsemen the last 6 months to a year! I have lived first hand that the illusion of choice and the matter of fact makes a big difference in how the horses relate to me! When I try and become this softer type wishy washy person the horses are basically almost repelled by me! But when my authentic self the strong, loving , fair reliable & consistent shows up they seem to resonate with me and want to be apart of what I am doing! I have let to much outside noise influence and take me away from me! Even though I have done this for the sake of trying to be softer and give the illusion of choice it doesn’t seem to serve me or them? As all things it truly is a balance of so many emotions! Staying in the now is what serves me! Presenting what I feel in each and every moment based on how the horses are feeling and responding to me and there immediate life wether at play or work or rest! Being a dictator is not me anymore…but being strong, certain and loving and full of admiration and respect for the four horsemen is me at my core! I love horses so deep inside me that my lines do get blurry but when I stay true to me and not some idea of how or why I should be a certain way life flows and meanders in the most beautiful way! ✌🏼💚🐴

    • June 6, 2021 at 4:36 pm

      So absolutely spot on Michelle! I have often watched Juliet or my daughter Zara with the horses and wished I could be more like them… but that is not the herd’s wish!

      That would be like wishing Montaro could be more like Cobra! No. Each is perfect in their own way and has their own place/space within the herd.

      When we learn to look at life, projects, experience as more of a collective… then we open to really inhabiting our authentic self, knowing that we are vital to the collective, because we must each inhabit different roles/energies for the collective to be it’s most vibrant.

      And yes, each of us has strengths and challenges inherent to our core expression and unique to us. So it’s fascinating to watch the horses require/teach different things and in different ways depending on the core personality or default settings of the human!

      I love the way you’ve defined all this and in your relationship with your posse… it’s so beautiful the way you’ve languaged it here. xox

    • June 7, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      This is a great resource Monica – thanks for sharing it. I especially like this section of their presentation:

      ” However, with some horses, or rather depending on the situation, the signs of pain can be hard to see. Of significance is that as a rider, one has the feeling that the horse actually might enjoy being ridden. We asked ourselves what the reason for this could be. Here are a few possible explanations:

      *The horse is conditioned to be ridden. Many horses are already ridden at a young age, when they are easier to control and subdue.
      *By releasing morphine-like substances, the sensation of pain is suppressed. Other messenger substances such as adrenalin and noradrenalin can cause a kind of intoxication.
      *Horses usually know very well that humans will ask again and again for what they want. Although a no is accepted by some horse trainers in the moment, it is not an option in the long run.
      *Most horses are naturally very willing and highly developed to cooperate, especially when they have established a bond with their human. Others, which are strongly dominated, and try to avoid conflicts at any cost.
      *Every domesticated horse is dependent on humans and therefore has limited choices.
      *As there is often no correlation between back pain and a horse’s apparent willingness to be ridden, the rider continues as usual and the horse enters a state of learned helplessness.

      Other explanations are possible. The point of conditioning of man and horse is often not yet examined with sufficient critical awareness. The human being perceives many things as normal, which in reality are not. It is therefore important for us to raise our voices for the horses.”

      If there is any TRAINING, tools, or treat-rewards involved, then the horse is not making a clear choice.

      If the horse is unhaltered in a 5 acre+ field and comes up to you out of their free will and ASKS you to get on. And then 1, 2, 5, or 10 minutes later asks you to get off…. and you listen immediately. Then you have a fully sentient horse that is actually choosing to give you a ride. Just like I’ll give my kids or a friend a piggy-back even though it’s hard work and uncomfortable for me.

      I carried my children on my body for years, even though it damaged my tissues and spine – that was my fully sentient CHOICE.

  • June 8, 2021 at 5:09 am

    Quite an interesting topic with deep moral implications.
    I have a lot more questions than answers, but I think the answer may be highly individual, and variable for both horse and human.

    I’m reminded of the film, The Bounty, starring Anthony Hopkins. There’s a scene in which the crew is ordered to dance. The Captain’s intent was to keep them fit and give them a recreational outlet — but the WAY it was done was forced and joyless, and what might have been play became punishment instead, and led to increased resentment. Eventually, the crew collectively bucked Mr. Bligh of it’s back.
    I think it’s possible that some horses love to “dance” with humans on their backs, similarly to the way a man might dance with a child by having the child stand on top of his feet to “follow” the steps.
    But not every horse loves to dance, or loves to dance with every human.
    In tango, if you’d like to dance with a certain lady, you try to catch her eye. If she holds your gaze and smiles, you approach and invite her to dance; if she looks away, you don’t. This practice saves everyone a lot of embarrassment. I think we could use an equivalent custom with horses.

    Like all intelligent beings, horses seem to enjoy exercising their intelligence. Humans can provide them with extraordinary ways to do that. My old partner, for reasons of his own, loved to joust. He was a laid back character, but once he understood what the game was, he would suddenly transmogrify into Mr. Impulsion, and I could scarcely rein him in. Forever after, he would caper and prance like a kid at the mere sight of a lance.
    Also, I sometimes left it entirely up to him whether we would turn right for a slow walk through a meadow, or turn left to a spot where we often cantered and did such things that required more physical effort. (Maybe I was suggesting somehow, but I did my best, dropping the reins, taking my legs off, and putting my own mind in neutral). Sometimes he felt like working out; sometimes he didn’t. I left the driving to him quite a bit, and found he had some particular favorite places to go.

    I think the only way to know what’s what with any particular pony is to establish a relationship of mutual respect, trust and affection. Some people “love” horses, but what they really love is what horses DO for their ego, and not for the horses’ own sake. It’s like a guy who “loves” a woman because she’s “beautiful” of face and figure — and falls out of love if her appearance changes. In my opinion, that ain’t love.

    I would never impose on a lady who didn’t care to dance with me, nor a horse, either.
    I hope I’m sensitive enough to know when that’s the case.

    • June 8, 2021 at 6:54 am

      Amazing comment Adam! ✌🏼💚🐴

    • June 9, 2021 at 12:38 am

      Very good perspective Adam – I always enjoy hearing your stories and seeing the pictures you create in my head.

      Having had a horse who told me, “Get on my back!” because she wanted to adventure for longer than I was physically capable of hiking, I do know that a horse may choose to have you onboard even though it causes them physical pain. And I rode bareback with just a halter and leadrope and let her decide where to go. It was a total win-win experience.

      So I hear you! xo


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