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January 21, 2018: Making the Horse and Human Body Awareness Connection

It’s now a month past the solstice, which was on December 21st. The last time it was this light was November 21. It was then I had the feeling that the world was closing in on me. Just the knowledge the light is coming back is heartening, although the fact it is now light at 5 p.m. is what’s mainly doing me the most good.

Today I taught my body awareness class at the local recycling center. It now consists of two individuals, Carole, who is a VCRS employee, and Rose who used to be a VCRS employee and is a good friend of Carole’s. Both women are intelligent, intuitive, and a lot of fun to be around. And they both totally understand what I am getting at when I provide a rationale for the various lessons.

If something is unclear, they will ask. For instance, Carole asked me about the geyser imagery, she had thought that the water spout came up under the chin. I told her no, that it comes up the middle of the body and the head rests on it. It was then that the light of recognition went off in her mind.


I started out by going over a lesson from last week – first I asked both participants to imagine raising their arm, then I asked them to imagine raising their arm and opening a door. I presumed the latter would be easiest because it involved ideokinesis, but after, I got puzzled looks. So I threw out another image, and instead suggested that they imagine raising their arm and resting it on a box. This image worked because once the hand was on the box, they could feel it relax and become heavy.

It is so easy for me to think up images, and put them to use for myself. It is also easy for Rose, or so she said. Carole who may have more analytical leanings, said that this a bit more difficult for her. This is why I am all that much more impressed with her receptivity to this form of exploration.

We did a number of other exercises, mainly thing that related to what was coming up in conversation. Next week, the focus will be on seat bones while sitting on chairs.

I will always be indebted to these two wonderful women because they have made me feel more confident about teaching body awareness. I feel in their presence like I am also a student, which is both humbling and gratifying.

I came home immediately after class. Pete was heading out to saddle up Hrimmi. I told him to start to get Raudi ready for me. It was seven or so degrees, so I put on my suit. Raudi had expressed her displeasure yesterday and this morning about my spending so much time with Tyra. She said that I’m “spending too much time with that spoiled little bitch.” So I had no choice but to spend time with Raudi. I came up with a challenge for us both, which was for me to ride her with my new bareback pad. This meant no stirrups. I was a bit nervous going downhills and my body stiffened up – so Raudi sped up. I took the dog leash and rigged up a handhold, which was between the two D rings on the sides of her shoulder. This worked really well – I will rig something better up for future rides.

It was getting dark, but I did agility with both Raudi and Hrimmi in the Playground of Higher Learning. I was feeling a little stiff, but I would have felt more so had I not done the class lessons today. The horses did wonderfully – Raudi is figuring out the S bend and Hrimmi is trotting beside me now when she’s supposed to be.

In working with the horses previously, I realized that I’d been striving for an ideal in their alignment and in my own. We had all talked about this in class. I had explained that there will never be a time in which we feel perfectly in alignment; rather, there will be a time in which we feel in one way or another, more limber, agile, balanced. I am going to call this “the new normal.” This is applicable to Carole, Rose, and me and also to the animals I work with. So what if the horses and I flub up on some obstacles? This is not the point. The point is to learn what we can and to have a good time. The improvements will be incremental and come in time.

Next: 22. 1/22/18: Off we go, to the Local Human(e) Shelter

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