Saturday, July 18, 2015

18th July, 2015 I Have the Touch

It's been a while since I have felt a burning desire to write a blog to get something out of my system, something I feel is absolutely fundamental. I've just been reading Mark Rashid's book 'A Journey to Softness' and how he discovered that the key to softness was in the initial contact and that the key to that initial contact was the intent within it.

If I have a gift, any gift at all around horses, then it is the ability to touch them in a way that they like. I've always been able to do it, always done it, instinctively. As a child I felt a heart to heart, soul to soul, connectedness with my pony, Smokey, possibly from spending a good few hours crying into his mane when the world had gone wrong. I've never had a complaint in the whole of my life about the way that I have touched man or beast. I've always somehow known that touch was for the benefit of the recipient and no-one else. That doesn't mean that in the past I have always done the right thing by horses - far from it and I live with a deep regret for that - but when I have put a hand on a horse it has always been welcomed.

I have it...
Nowadays I am much more conscious of it, had to try to find words to describe it, and that takes it out of the realm of a gift and into a deliberate, mindful, act. When I'm working with the owner of a horse I talk about trying to reach the horse's soul not his skin, the quality of the touch, and doing things with love.

Gale has it...

Sadly, I've watched people wrench bridles over horses' ears, groom them as if they are a carpet, bang saddles down on their backs, scrape headcollars over their heads or mangle their ears through a browband, thoughtless, mindless acts that tell the horse everything they need to know about the person they are with. I'm forever seeing people use light, tentative, disconnected touch to touch their horse's body and fiddling with the muzzles of horses that are sick, sick, sick, of trying to say how much they hate it, turning their heads away from someone who will never notice. Patting, what is that about?

I still have it...
Most, if not all, horses like deep, flat, slow touch, with a deep, loving, intent. It's when you put the two together, the touch and the intent, that there is that heart to heart, soul to soul connection. It's not a gift, it's something you can choose to do.

and Kate has it too...(note: also applies to horses without stars or stripes)