Monday, November 09, 2009

Trail Tale

A friend & I went out painting last week in a "natural area" near a trail that was being used by hikers, joggers, etc. We didn't have much time, since the sun sets early this time of year, and we were engrossed, ignoring the occasional foot traffic behind us.

After quite some time, I heard a voice from the trail say, "Could you start talking?" I didn't pay any attention, but my friend said, "What?" and the voice replied, "Just say he knows that you're just people."

I looked up and saw a horse & rider on the trail. The horse was standing stock-still, head up, ears alert, nostrils flaring. I started talking in a reassuring tone. I asked if we should stand up so he could see us better, but she said, "No, he needs to get used to weird things." It must have been the silver umbrella facing into the sun that struck fear into his heart. I kept coaxing, and eventually he walked up and sniffed my outstretched hand. Brave boy! He even walked over a wooden-plank bridge when they went on their way.

There have been many books written lately about new ways to relate to horses, from learning about "prey consciousness," learning their language, to Equine Assisted Therapy, to intuitive communication and tapping into collective consciousness by listening to our horses. I think these techniques are the same things we need when we go painting - to create calm, confident energy and a clear intention, to visualize the desired outcome, try looking at things "soft-focus," to silence the inner critic, to be in the moment, be authentic, be patient (and to patient with yourself).

And to be open to the magic of a chance encounter.

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