Catch Me If You Can
Who’s been there? I’m sure we all have at some point in time. You go out to the pasture to grab your horse and they walk away from you or take off running. No, your horse isn’t being a jerk. Their brain doesn’t have the functionality like humans do to plot against us. This is your horse’s way of trying to tell us something. Maybe the last time you came out to catch your horse, you rode a bit too hard or above their fitness level. Maybe you’ve had a bad or stressful day and your horse can feel that energy coming from you. I know if someone barged into my room or office and I could tell they were having a bad day, I’d start to get uneasy too. Or maybe they’re just having an off day. They’re not machines; they don’t feel perfect 100% of the time.
Instead of getting mad at them for not letting you catch them, stop and reflect as to why they don’t want to be caught. And because I know I’m going to get the comments “well, of course he doesn’t want to leave his friends or grass’, my horses will routinely walk across the paddock to meet me at the gate (and I’m not the one that feeds them every day so it’s not food motivation that’s bringing them to me). Stop and think. Are you still frustrated at that driver that cut you off on the way to the barn? Are you stressed about a work deadline? Are you stressed about your lesson or upcoming show? All of these things can affect the energy you give off.
The next time you go catch your horse (even if they’re in their stall but turn away from as if they don’t want to be caught), stop and practice this grounding exercise. Move to a safe spot, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds. While you are doing this, visualize your energy flowing down through your boots into the earth. If your mind starts to wander or get busy, go back to focusing on your breathing. When you are calm and clear, open your eyes and go back to the paddock or stall. Just stand there for a moment and see if your horse acknowledges you. If they lift their head to look at you, just stand there and practice your breathing. If they walk over to you, great. Let them smell you. They may let you pet them. Then you walk away. Your horse may even follow along behind you. If they lift their head to look at you but go back to what they were doing, you can start to approach them and when they look and acknowledge you, stop and acknowledge that you see them. Continue until they come to you or you are able to approach them. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results.