Monday, November 21, 2016

Of Hearts and Horses

I was thirteen when I bought my four year old mustang mare.  I had saved up my babysitting money for two years and then by the grace of an incorrect address, I found the first love of my life.  She was a golden buckskin with a black mane and tail.  Sure footed and strong, she brought balance, inspiration and riches beyond belief to my young life. 

My mother was ill and took to her bed for most of the years of my teens.  The pressures of school and working in our family business left me in need of just what my horse could provide: freedom, joy, a sense of personal power and a deep heart connection.  Whenever I could, I would head for the hills with my beautiful mare.  I'd pocket a few morsels to share with her and there we would be, together, in nature, all day long, dwelling in the eternal moment of now.    

Since she was an adult and I was just a kid when we got started together, I figured she knew better than me in most situations.  Plus, my meager purchase price left the saddle, bridle and the show ring out of the question, so we never developed the, "Teach the horse who's boss," type of relationship.  Instead, we made most of our decisions together, by consensus, and that didn't really change much as I grew older.  With her superior sensory abilities and well developed intuition, she had many times over proven herself to be the wiser one.  And that held true for the almost four decades that we shared together.

A relationship of this sort is truly extraordinary, and I feel Divinely blessed to have found my way into it.  But then again, almost all deep relationships with horses are just as remarkable as mine.  Be it the humble milkman with his wise equine helper who knows just where to stop and how long to wait, or the sturdy little neighborhood pony who teaches all the children not only how to ride, but solid principles of respect and good manners as well.  Horses can be beautiful, inside and out, and given half a chance, they shine brighter than gold.

Research in recent years has shown the contribution to our relaxation and healing that animals can provide.  They calm our hearts and lower our blood pressure.  Animal-assisted therapies, especially those involving horses, have long been known to bring improvement to the psychological lives of humans.  In taming wild mustangs, rough inner-city teens find that they have tamed themselves.

A month or two ago, I came across a piece of research that shed a little more light on the ability that horses have to enrich our lives.  Horses have very large hearts, not only emotionally, but physically as well.  And their hearts are oscillators.  Anything that holds a steady beat or impulse sends it's rhythm out into it's immediate environment.  This rhythm is picked up by smaller oscillators in the area.  And smaller oscillators generally tend to align themselves with the larger oscillators.  In this study, owners sat with their horses while both wore electrodes.  The results showed that calm and happy horses definitely do positively impact our hearts and thus our lives.  By calming our hearts and minds, they bring us a sense of deep inner peace.  And peace within is the first step to peace all around. 

So, if you get a chance, give yourself the gift of spending a little time around horses.  Let their big hearts put your little heart at ease.  Allow yourself to find the love that is ever so sweetly and patiently waiting there for you.

© Josephine Laing 2016

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