• vslachman

The Biggest Gift


Look at that body! Love him so much.

Dorian and I are trying out a new saddle and I'm full of worries! Is the sweat pattern ok? Is it rubbing him somewhere that will cause soreness? Is there enough padding? Is the padding in the right places?


So with that in my thought, what do you think our ride yesterday was like?


Right. Dorian was an anxious little boy beneath me. He hung in there, though, as we first headed into the indoor arena where there were new, interesting things to find.

Show me the hand! :)

And then out to the trails to meet up with friends. We got down to the walnut grove and Dorian hoofed around quickly, always pointing his nose back towards the trail to the barn. I finally said goodbye to everyone and headed back, Dorian doing a quick step. The others followed and one person mentioned what a fast walk Dorian has. Ha. Yeah, he does, but yesterday he was speed walking!

At the edge of the walnut grove. So peaceful there, most of the time!

It's so interesting to me that I can so quickly abandon focus, without even knowing it, and fall back into a huge pool of "not knowing," or maybe it's more correct to say "not trusting what I know." That's where all that worry came from.

Horses reach into your soul and pull out the good and heal what isn’t.” Sandy Collier, Hall of fame horsewoman

I know I'm not alone in this. I'm trying to get underneath that and know what causes us to so quickly lose trust in ourselves, in our deepest knowing--what I called elsewhere Deep Remembering.


Horses are such great reflectors, great healers. I know Dorian is fine. It's not him who needs adjusting, it's me!


I've been learning a lot about structure lately. There is power in the structures we create both internally and externally. There was a competition not so long ago to create a new Baha'I temple in Chile. Winning architect Hariri Pontarini wanted his submission to "embody light" and for it to welcome all through its nine openings.

It's an organic structure filled with light.

And aren't we all that? Don't we all want to be more fully that--a structure filled with light? That we are, really, "light" at the sub-atomic level is not so outlandish, according to some in the quantum and particle physics fields, not to mention the Gnostic Gospels where "light body" is mentioned in the Gospel of Thomas.


I've been practicing this a lot with Dorian, because I think that inner light--who we all authentically are, after all!--comes from opening to deeper levels in myself. That, though, absolutely is never possible without first trusting myself, and then yielding to and allowing myself access to my innate inner knowing.

The biggest gift we can give our horses is the trust and confidence in ourselves . . . This is where internal work is so important and how they are such great teachers. Guliz--Listen To Your Horse

When I fetch Dorian from the pasture, I've been asking myself to be aware of what I take to that meeting. More and more, I've noticed that when I'm not focused on his outward appearance (lovely as that is!). I'm more able to connect to who he is as that wise, spirit-filled, always present being inside that big body.


It's such a relief to be there with him, to connect to him and with him at that level, one beyond appearance. That's a very different structure from a relationship where I "talk to" or "talk at" him, where my thought is filled with concern, struggle, my intention, my agenda. Where we're more separate beings than at-one with each other.

Exactly the sort of life I want us both to have--peaceful, contented, at home in the world.

The discipline I'm devoting myself to is not coming to Dorian to teach him anything or accomplish anything, but allowing the day to bring the lesson that's needed. And it's nearly always one I need to learn. That lesson often translates to moving forward in what we do together, what in other structures looks like "training."


For Dorian to have trust, I have to have to have trust--and isn't that true in so many aspects of life? If we want to be trusted, we must be trustworthy, and what better way to do that than to be authentically ourselves? And what better way to arrive at that than to allow ourselves to be, to open and trust who we truly are.


For me, it's so much about letting go of fear, of all those ugly messages (and we all have them) lurking in the background. Unplugging from those debilitating and so often unconscious message-structures, and making new choices about what we accept about ourselves.

We can surmount any obstacle, even a tarp filled with water that was so scary to Dorian. He leads my way, always.

A final word about structure . . . Up until the mid- 20th century, "we" thought no one but humans made and used tools. Obviously, that is wrong--chimpanzees, gorillas, even crows, make and use tools. When the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, they did so in a cultural atmosphere that thought flight was impossible. There are countless--literally countless--examples of structures that "believed" one thing, and those who stepped outside of that achieved the impossible.


So . . . can we all unplug from those debilitating messages that have formed the very structure of our experience, and create what we love? What we, in the innermost part of ourselves know is true, is possible, is who we truly are?


Yes--in case you're wondering--yes, we can. . . I can. You can.


All we have to do is accept this . . . then we can love ourselves enough to be ourselves, I think. Then we can connect with ourselves and our horses in such effortless and life-enhancing ways. At least I've found that to be so with Dorian.

Why is this so necessary, and so important? Because the truth is each one of us is valuable beyond measure, has much to give to a world in great need, and certainly we are all filled with light. And that is the biggest gift of all.

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