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Tag Archives: meditation

The Project:

Horses from many walks of life, communication through body language, tools used only for safety, never to train.

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The Goal:

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

 

Movement and Trust Building

 

The rose hips bright red on the skeletal frame of winter rose bushes, the hawthorn berries in their dark red glory adorning the fairy trees around the pasture, the last withered apples falling from the high branches of the trees in the orchard and the grass slowly turning winter dormant under our feet. This is the backdrop for Myrnah and I as we delve into the meditation of the moment.

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This meditation is about movement.

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This meditation is all about the upcoming movie to be filmed in January and February and the pieces of understanding that will need to be developed around this project.

 

You see, there are two predominant categories of questions come up when people watch the first Taming Wild movie.

 

The first question is how much time did you spend with Myrnah in the year of filming the movie? The answer is from 3-6 hours a day five days a week. The follow up question is always what if I want to do Freedom Based Training but I don’t have that much time?

 

The second question has to do with history. Since you did this with Myrnah, who was a clean slate and didn’t have any bad associations with people, how does that apply for those of us who have horses from bad situations, horses who perhaps have good reasons for not trusting people. How can Freedom Based Training be applicable in these situations?

 

I find I can answer these questions in theory, but not in practicality because I haven’t had personal experience walking the path that would let me fully EXPERIENCE the answers to these questions.

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“Taming Wild: Pura Vida” is the project that will allow me to dive in deeply and live those questions so I can experience all the learning that comes from them. I am doing the project for my own personal opportunity to learn and we are filming the project so that people all around the world can experience and learn from it too!

 

So here I am walking around the pastures of San Juan Island with Myrnah meditating on how those questions might be answered?

 

We ask: If a horse comes from a situation where they have little reason to trust people, can we use a freedom based approach to help them learn to trust people again? How might we apply our understanding of relationship to build that comfort, trust and, bonding to the best effect?

 

I believe that movement in partnership is one of the keys to lowering stress, and lowering stress opens the door for bonding and trust to occur.

 

In the first movie, Myrnah moved when she chose, and I worked in a passive leadership form around her using the movement choices in my own body to lower her stress. Then, when I thought her stress levels were low enough I progressed to assertive leadership where I asked her to do things with me.

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For those of you who have seen the movie, you know I was not always accurate in my judgment of Myrnah’s stress levels, which meant sometimes I asked her to do things at times when she could only say NO to me. I accept that both of us were learning together and mistakes are often made in that learning process… besides my mistakes made for a potentially more entertaining movie for you all to watch.

 

“Taming Wild: Pura Vida” will be no different. Andrea and I will have ideas that we are working through with our equine partners. We will get it right sometimes and we will get it wrong sometimes, but we will give it all we have to give and learn every step of the way.

 

Yes, I literally mean that, every step of the way. This project is built around the idea that movement is one of our greatest allies in building relationship with horses, so we are going to do this work as we walk across the country of Costa Rica from the west coast to the east coast.

 

Wait you ask:

How is this Freedom Based Training if you have a proscribed path to travel during the movie? What if the horses don’t want to do that?

 

The answer to that question is one of those I am excited to explore. We are to some degree counting on the idea that horses in the wild travel and move a fair amount each day, and we believe we can use this natural instinct to support the trust we are aiming to develop with these horses.

 

Will the horses be completely at liberty?

 

No, we will be using halters enough to keep the horses safe in the human traffic filled environments they will be crossing and enough to make sure we do not lose them into the jungle never to be seen again.

 

Will they be at liberty sometimes?

 

Yes! As much freedom as we feel we can safely give them!

 

How is this Freedom Based Training if you are walking a proscribed path and using halters?

 

While the first movie was FREEDOM based training with the emphasis on the freedom idea, we were able to do that with Myrnah only because the environments we chose to work in were completely safe for horses.

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In the second movie we will be using freedom BASED training. With the idea that we will be focusing on using freedom as our BASE of understanding and communication to the degree it can be safely experienced. For example ropes will be placed across the horse’s back as much of the time as possible, halters removed in areas where we won’t encounter traffic and can safely and responsibly do so.

 

I learned more in the one year of FREEDOM based training with Myrnah than I have in all my years with horse’s combined. I believe this second project will again be a dramatic development of knowledge for everyone involved. We will be focusing on freedom as the BASIS for what we do. Freedom will be the framework to understand how time and trust are intertwined in this partnership journey between horse and human.

 

Until we have boots on the ground in Costa Rica, and meet our new horse partners. I will be walking with Myrnah through our pastures here on San Juan Island, and meditating on what it means to develop trust through movement.

 

I promise to keep you posted on the things we learn along the way.

 

If you haven’t yet, stop by the Kickstarter for “Taming Wild: Pura Vida”. We have an amazing community developing around this project and I would love you to be part of it before the Kickstarter finishes on December 7th.

 

Hooves and Heartbeats,

Elsa

TamingWild.com