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The Project:

One Mustang directly off the range, One trainer, No tools, Just body language

The Goal:

To discover how far Equestrian Art can be developed solely using body language.


 A Year of Living Honestly


I find myself drawing closer to this challenge. Me, a Mustang fresh off the range, and a relationship based on honesty- no tools of force to muddy the waters between what the horse wants to do and what the horse is required to do. I gave myself seven months to get ready, and somehow six months later I am still teasing apart the knots in my mind of how this will all work. It’s time; I need to quit mucking about pretending this is happening sometime in the future. This project is happening now. I have one more month to get myself together, prepared for a process I believe will be unlike anything I have done before.

Honesty, integrity, and authenticity. Somehow I crave all these things from my relationship with my horse, and I also want our wants to develop on a shared and common path. I want my horse to honestly want what I want. When I want to travel left, I want my horse to want to travel left as well. When I want to stop, or speed up, or spin around I want my horse to be an extension of my intentions. A horse is not a machine though. A horse has honest desires than may have nothing to do with mine. When I want to run, my horse may want to nap, when I want to nap, my horse may want to play. This year is going to be a melding of honesty and integrity into a partnership that is hopefully stronger than simply one character yielding to another.

Yielding is important, perhaps even a vital component to relationship, but there is a large difference between choosing to yield to another versus yielding because there is no other choice. Each time we choose to yield, we choose to be part of something larger than ourselves. We bond, and connect, and become stronger. When we are forced to yield to another, the stress of that yielding creates a rift in our honesty. We wanted something other than the course we felt forced to take. That rift tears us apart. We learn to vacillate between helplessness and fighting to be heard.

Over the next year, I would like this horse to choose me- to choose to yield to my ideas honestly, with integrity and authenticity, to become part of me and gain a sense of strength and connection without losing any sense of self in the process.

If I expect that of my horse, I get to expect that of myself as well. Honestly yielding needs to become a way of life, not just a concept I expect from others. I need to experience the things I ask for.

When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself. ~ Louis Nizer

This project is fairly simple, yet surprisingly challenging. I need the horse to choose to go, stop, speed up, slow down, turn left and turn right in harmony with me. Sounds easy right?

So what do I need from myself that is fairly simple, yet surprisingly challenging? How about drinking enough water every day, feeding myself real food instead of living on stimulants that just make me feel good for a couple of hours, finding a balance of exercise, rest, work, play, quiet, and socialization. Simple, yet seemingly not easy for me.

What if I task myself to yield willingly for one year to living honestly up to my own standards? Sure, there is a catch-22 here. I am setting myself the task to yield honestly as I will ask my horse to yield to me, for one year. Will that one year challenge make me feel forced into action, or inspire me to positive change?

I don’t want to drink as much water as I know makes me feel better. I don’t feel like it. It’s inconvenient. If I force myself to do it I feel stressed- angry that the human body is so needy, helpless as I go through the motions of doing what’s good for me, fighting to be heard as I childishly stomp my foot and say I don’t want to!

My horse is going to go through that too. After four or five years of living independently, making all his own decisions as to when to go, stop, speed up, slow down, turn left or turn right, learning to consistently choose to yield and connect to another is going to be a challenge.

So here goes: what I ask of my horse, I will ask of myself.

Can I honestly and willingly yield to caring for myself in all the ways I believe I should? For one year. One year of living honestly.

Live connected and bonded within myself, my beliefs and my actions authentically aligned. So when I ask this horse to connect and bond with me, I know I am doing all I can to understand the leap of faith it takes to yield willingly and move forward.

One year of living honestly starts now. Wish me luck!

Elsa Sinclair


  1. Good luck…is up to you. And be good to yourself, even if it’s time-consuming. You are worth it. 😉 Michael

  2. One thing keeps my mind busy: the ‘one year’ concept. I have the strong feeling this ‘one year idea’ should stay in the background, so that it will not overrule your ‘being in the present’, which seems to me the most important factor to make this whole project a success.
    I think you’re right in that you should be willing to act as honestly and authentically as you would want this horse to, but I don’t think forcing yourself into behaviours you feel resistant to, like e.g. drinking more water than you would like to, would help you, nor this horse or project. Wouldn’t staying-close-to-your-heart do the job better, instead of being too detailed about it and losing the joy in your heart?
    Last week I made this video, which brings about (at least in me it does) the ‘foundation feeling’ all activities with horses should be based upon. To me the sharing of undemanding space and time is the most important ‘activity’ to create the bond with horses, which makes them want to be with you, and yield to you (to stay in the frame of your topic ;-)).
    Hope you’ll like it:

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