I can hear your protests already.

"I'm not a horse and I have things I want to accomplish."

"My to-do list keeps me sane!" (Does it really?...)

"I have people counting on me."

All of that is legitimate. For sure. I also have things I want to accomplish and things I need to accomplish and daily grind sorts of stuff that must be done.

But between paper lists, sticky notes, and phone pop up reminders, I think most of us have gotten a bit beyond "need to remember this" and more toward "slave to the grind."

I think most of us are FEELING this too... when we can take a moment to breathe.

Spending time with horses can remind us of something essential about ourselves and about this life: What really needs to get done, gets done. Eventually. And especially if we can approach our days with less agenda and more openness to spontaneous action, more horse-like, if you will. Horses don't have the sense of time that humans have. They live in kairos, while we tend more towards chronos. Kairos (the sense of time horses live in) : a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action : the opportune and decisive moment Chronos (the sense of time humans often live in) : chronological or sequential time Ideally you learn to integrate the two concepts of time, taking the best of both worlds with you through the day. If your to-do list is running the show, pause, take a second to notice your breath and feel your feet on the ground, slip into kairos and see what opportunities the world outside of your to-do list is offering you.

  • Stephanie

Have you wondered why I call it Still Point Equine?

It comes from a lot of intersecting interests, including philosophy, fractal geometry, quantum physics, unified field theory, energy medicine and so much more.

When there is no more separation between 'this' and 'that,' it is called the still-point of the Tao. At the still point in the center of the circle one can see the infinite in all things. ~ Chuang Tzu

Finding this still point, helping others to find this still point, is both my own source of never ending wonder at the inherent divinity of the universe and the foundation of my work. At the still point (the black whole) we are both everything and nothing at the same time, both the creator and creation. There you don't have to reach out to touch the infinite because there you ARE the infinite, accessing more information than you ever dreamed possible.

Following the "still point" thread has made sense of so much of life for me. It covers the entire spectrum, from full on woo-woo to hard science.

The still point and the shape of the energy flow around it (called a torus, see picture above) is a pattern repeated at all scales throughout the universe, from the smallest particles to entire galaxies. It helps explain the way the world works on so many levels: physical, emotional, energetic. It's a blueprint to our physical bodies, our emotional processes, our relationships, and consciousness.

Once we understand the presence and power of the still point and torus energy in our lives, we can become more fully aware of and empowered by who we really are, creating our lives around a paradigm that is simultaneously both new and ageless. Old stories fall away, new perspectives form, and duality collapses into the singularity.

It's probably becoming apparent why I've been described as equal parts zen master, free spirit, and closet science freak! This stuff LIGHTS. ME. UP.

Horses are the icing to my still point cake. Having the depth of knowledge that I do regarding horses and the horse-human relationship gives me a bridge to bring this knowledge to others in endless ways. I would love to know what resonates with you here and how the still point and torus flow show up in your life.

In the meantime, here's a short video that talks more about torus energy, which is the shape and flow of energy and all that is in the universe.

  • Stephanie

Were there bad horses before humans decided to tame and ride horses? Probably not. I imagine the very first bad horse showed up as soon as the first horse displayed behavior that was unwanted, inconvenient, or resistant to the human agenda.

One of humankind's responses to bad horses has been an interesting variety of equipment and training techniques to make the bad horses better behaved and more compliant (where the human agenda is concerned). In the face of much of this equipment and many training techniques I have to ask, "At what expense?"

To an observer of both subtle and obvious equine body language, many horses seem more content without a bit in their mouth or a saddle on their back and hanging out with herd-mates as opposed to in the midst of a training or exercise session. Considering that, the importance of well thought out and smartly and compassionately used equipment and interactions becomes paramount.

What does this have to do with the title of this piece?

Many of us have either heard about or met what other people call bad horses. The ones that bite, buck, rear, bolt, or spook come to mind easily. Definitely bad horses, right? How about the ones that are barn sour, refuse jumps, dislike the horse trailer, are girthy, or won't stand still for mounting? Also bad? How about the ones that don't respond to cues quite the way you'd like, that turn their head away when you reach with the halter, whinny for their friends instead of paying attention to you, or prefer to go only one way when lunging? Are they bad too?

What's really going on when we run into a horse with behavioral issues? What if a "bad" horse is really a horse who is scared, confused, uncomfortable, or unwell. How else can horses communicate with us except through body language and behavior? If we miss the head turning away, the holding of the breath, the first signs of tension, then the horse must speak "louder" through more exaggerated behaviors. If they have to resort to rearing, bucking, bolting, biting, and spooking they will, but often by the time that's happening the horses have already been "speaking" to us about the issue in more subtle ways for a while- we just weren't listening.

From my experience, a large number of these "bad horse" issues can be traced to real or anticipated pain or discomfort, and much of that is related to equipment (the physical equipment itself or the use/application of it) or to management issues that fail to take into consideration the physical, psychological, and social needs of the horse. (Sometimes, of course, there are medical issues and those must be ruled out first.)

Behavioral issues are rarely solely training issues, are not solved wholly and thoroughly by more or stronger equipment, and punishment is rarely, if ever, the answer.

There are fair and kind ways forward with win-win solutions. This is why it's important to work with a professional who can examine the big picture as well as the details. You and your horse's health and happiness may depend on it!

Do you have any behavioral issues you're currently struggling with? I'd love to hear from you about your experiences.