Thursday, February 14, 2013

connecting with horses via the heart

This week I tried something new. While standing with Keil Bay a few days ago, as he hung out in his stall after breakfast instead of going out to graze with the rest of the herd, I blew softly into his nostrils and waited for his usual response - he blows softly back.

An idea popped into my head. As I stood in front of his stall door, and he hung his head over, I focused on my heart beat and on his, meditating on the two synchronizing and beating together.

I was just playing around, as I do, to see what happens. I had no idea this little exercise would be so powerful.

Keil became perfectly still as I did the meditation. After about 20 seconds, he let out a long, soft breath, and then became still again. Each time I purposely allowed my mind to drift from its focus on our heartbeats, he nudged me gently until I re-focused.

We did this for about 5 minutes, and then I gave him a big hug and walked away to do some chores, thinking he would head out to the field. A minute later, he was whinnying at the stall door for me to come back. I did, and we did the heart meditation again, with the exact same response.

He actively wanted to continue doing this exercise, not leaving the stall and calling me back when I left him.

Yesterday I tried this again with both he AND Salina, but from a distance, 10-15 feet away, when they were otherwise occupied and not interacting with me.

As soon as I focused on our heartbeats, both of them would stop, get still, and then turn to look at me. And then they both lowered their heads slightly and began to lick and chew.

I also tried it with the pony in a grumpy pony moment and he pricked his ears forward and then he too licked and chewed.

It's St. Valentine's Day today, with all kinds of focus on love and hearts and romance. My husband and I will go out to dinner to celebrate, but the main focus around here will be exploring this new technique with the November Hill herd.

Heart equines, all.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Horses of the heart for sure. Interesting. Have a great day and celebratory dinner!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Lots of love to everyone on November Hill! (((♡♡♡)))

Jane said...

Beautiful. And something I will definitely try with my pretend-to-be-grouchy boy.

billie said...

A, thank you - just home from the wonderful dinner out and I think you could say I have the human equivalent of a hay belly!!

billie said...

C, back to you and Val the the critters too!

billie said...

Jane, I would love to know how it works with your boy. I did it again this afternoon with pony boy, in the field. He was grazing and when I started the meditation he came and stood in front of the wheelbarrow, as if he didn't want me to move. It was sweet.

I also did a slightly modified version this afternoon when a new neighbor rode a new horse with two dogs up our lane and my entire herd were on high alert. The dogs had cut through my front field at one point and I was worried the donkeys would start running, setting Salina off. I did a quick all-hearts-beat-as-one thing with me and the herd, and every single one of them stood like statues and although alert, they remained very quiet and calm and still. It was pretty amazing.

Matthew said...

One breath. How beautiful!

billie said...

Matthew, try it and see what reaction you get!

Máire said...

What a nice idea and one I will definitely try.

billie said...

Maire, let me know what happens!