Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sun to rain

Here's a first attempt at describing the shift in consciousness in terms of circles rather than levels. Thanks Monica!
Yesterday I got another email with some very differently arranged circles to help understand the shift. I want to wait until I have permission to post it here along with the email and then we'll all get to see what another reader has come up with.

Meanwhile, here are two pictures from two days ago that I thought had gotten lost. First, the progress of the oak leaves.

Next, the status of Patrik's shedding. This spot on the shoulder is always the first spot to fully shed.

And here is the picture of our turning point two days ago, when Patrik and I had our face-off.

And this was today....

Before the rain started, four of the seven sheep got shorn...

and two of the three goats got partial haircuts. Tuesday we'll try to finish them.

The rain today was quite cold and turned to sleet for a little while later in the evening. When I got to the pasture Patrik was hoping I'd come to give them hay under the shelter.

When he saw that I hadn't brought anything he made his way to the shelter anyway and then neighed for the girls to come.
Sundance heard him and nickered back but chose to stay out on the grass...

so rather than be alone under the shelter, Patrik came out and went back to grazing.

Poor Joseph, half naked in the cold. At least they have a warm barn.

And finally it was time to give the horses their hay under the shelter. When the horses get cold and are in close quarters under the shelter they always seem to have shorter tempers than when it's warm out. I arranged to meet JD so I could work with him getting the horses in. They were already in by the time I got there but I watched as he gave Sundance her grain without Patrik getting it. I find it fascinating to come up with different solutions to whatever presents itself in the moment. Here you can see JD holding the whip and watching Sofi as he gets her hay. There is a lot to pay attention to in this moment. Once the person knows how to read the horses it's quite safe. We've been working on JD learning just how much energy is needed to move the horses without overdoing it.


  1. Those circles still imply a progression upwards. Also, doesn't Spilker sometimes use rather conventional tack? I'm not sure, cos Empowered Horses was written a while ago. If she still uses conventional tack sometimes, then I don't think it can be excluded from the Most Exalted Level.

    Also - I've been thinking about how to introduce the Communicative Horses approach to conventionally-minded riders, many of whom would stop listening if they realize they will have to quit, at least temporarily, a lot of what they're doing. Maybe a good suggestion would be to spend equal amounts of time doing what you want and doing what the horse wants. So if it takes, say, 2 hours to catch, groom, tack up, ride, untack, bathe - before you can do that again, you should spend two hours being at your horse's disposal to do whatever he wants, whether it be just hanging out in the field, or scratching him, or taking him for a walk, or whatever. And during that time, you should use no pressure or coercion for any reason.

  2. In thinking about a circular model the idea that comes to me is a single circle (similar to a Medicine Wheel) that reflects personal development, increasing awareness and evolution of consciousness. Someone had previously mentioned Bill Plotkin's "Eco-Soulcentric" developmental model from "Nature and The Human Soul". I am not sure that an equine version of this model could truly be represented by reference to what tack you do or do not use. My sense is that is just an outward manifestation of a much deeper process, which I think would be useful to further elucidate.

    Here is a link to Bill's developmental model on his website for "Nature and the Human Soul":

    It is my sense that most of us communicating on this blog are in Stage 4, where we are going to the depths of soul to truly understand how it is we are meant to be with horses. When we connect with that on a soul level we move into Stage 5, where we seek the "delivery mechanism" through which we can share what we have discovered with our human tribe.

    I did a workshop with Bill at Esalen a couple of months ago and really find both of his books to be very powerful. The other is "Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche". This is the type of work that I am integrating into my work with women and horses.

    I will write up a introduction soon. I do have a blog (My last post crosses into the imaginal...and somewhat goofy, for an escape from the more serious nature of the earlier posts) My website is

    Right now I'm heading out into the snow to watch the Mama Moose and her calf who are sleeping in the forest outside my dining room window.

    June, I suspect that encouraging others to think about "What does true friendship with a horse look like?" will draw people in to considering how they relate to their horse. Perhaps, rather than stating out front "No more riding", letting people read "Empowered Horses" and see what you do with your horses will plant a seed for them. As Imke states, "There is an entryway. Once you go through it, you will never again be able to distance yourself from the concerns of horses. You will not longer be deaf to their language. You will no longer be unreceptive to their feelings. It is up to you to take this step. We invite you into the world of horses. Come with us now to the other side..."

  3. Oops, my blog is .com (not .ca)


  4. That is true about the entryway, Sandie. It really bothers me to see horses in cross ties now.