Like everyone else, I have many facets of my personality that make up the “whole” me…
Researcher – I love doing research on many different topics, especially horse behavior.
Observer – I love to just sit, and watch nature unfold around me, especially with my horses.
Thinker – I love to try to figure out how everything I study, see and experience all fits together.
Philosopher – I love to think about the “why’s”, and the “what if’s” and the possibilities of life.
Lover – I often allow my heart to rule my head and guide my responses and my actions.
Spiritualist – I love to imagine how life and the universe all connects and visualize how it all flows together.
Are any of these facets a part of your personality too?
Maybe you are more one over another. Me, I think they all have equal parts within me, it’s just that they come out at different times depending on the situation.
And sometimes they all work in unison to form something beautiful!
“I love it when a plan comes together”
Ok, I’m showing my age here with this reference, but do you remember the A-Team TV Series? I watched it all the time when I was a kid. I think it taught me that everything is connected, and you need to look at the “big picture” to see how the details make a plan come together.
This is what I experienced this week in my backyard…
For those who have watched my backyard pond grow and the life within it develop naturally, my pond now has a life of its own.
- There are lots of underwater plants thriving, which give the fish much needed oxygen and a great area to lay their eggs. The frogs have also used this area for their little ones and the tadpoles have grown into the cutest little froglets.
- There are tons of floating plants which give the fish protection and places to hide, plus places for the frogs to sit.
- And when these floating plants become too many, they produce the perfect amount of rich fertilizer for the outside pond plants.
- The Koi are now about 12” long and the Goldfish are about 6” long. All of them are happy and healthy. And I just saw a few baby koi in the pond, so they are multiplying.
- I never did put frogs in my pond. However, one or two frogs found the pond and I now have at least 20 frogs that call it home.
I go out every day and sit by the pond to relax and just watch how nature is developing. The birds come by and take birdbaths and drink water, the squirrels come by and bury their peanuts by the outside pond plants and drink water, the foxes come in the evening and drink, and the cats enjoy sitting out there on the pond’s edge in the sun.
Every week there seems to be something new.
Well, this week I went out and sat down in my chair with my bare feet by the water’s edge and a frog jumped out of the water and sat next to my foot. I thought that was odd and then I noticed why he jumped out of the water…
It was beautiful though. Jet black with a bright yellow ribbon down its back and one on each side. Luckily, I knew right away it was a “ribbon” snake and it was non-poisonous, and from the garter snake family. This snake wasn’t venomous, and it was a constrictor so it didn’t bite its prey, it would grab it like a boa.
Not something I wanted to see, but the odd thing was this snake was a baby and was swimming around having fun! It would swim past a frog or two, without stopping, and it looked like it just wanted to have fun in the sun.
It was climbing on the pond decorations, pausing for a bit of sun, and then getting back in the water and then out again to sun. It watched me and seemed not to be afraid of me at all.
Then I noticed another one on the outside of the pond by my other side. This one also looked like it was having fun as it slithered up and down the small tree next to me and in and around the flowers. It too watched me and wasn’t afraid.
And this is when my spiritual side came out and I started just talking to the snakes and they seemed to communicate back. It was an enjoyable interaction.
Plus, I told the frog by my foot to stay there and not move, just in case. I didn’t want him to become an afternoon snack. And he did just that for the whole time the snakes were there.
I think they all knew that I wasn’t a threat because they could feel my intentions and my heart and knew I was enjoying just hanging out with all of them. It was so cute to see these two baby snakes having fun.
Yes, I used the word “cute” and the word “snake” in the same sentence. Not something I’ve ever done before, by the way. But there’s always a first.
Then, I saw “MOMMA”!
She was scary. I’m not going to lie about that. I froze and the atmosphere immediately changed.
The babies were about 2 feet long and they had the diameter that was smaller than my little pinky. Momma was at least 4 feet long and had the diameter of two of my thumbs put together. And she had a very slow, methodical movement. You could feel and see that she was on the prowl and not playing around.
I knew I couldn’t move, because if I moved the frog by my foot would move and she would grab him in a heartbeat. So, both of us didn’t move an inch.
My focus went totally to her as she came from under the fence, slowly over and under the rocks, slithered gracefully into the water and found a perch to wait for lunch. She wrapped herself around some of the underwater plants with only her head sticking out of the top.
She was on a mission to catch something and everything out there knew it!
After I relaxed a bit knowing she was in the water, not near me, and that her babies were still playing around the pond, also not near me, I started looking around for the frogs. They had vanished.
There was not a frog to be seen, other than the one by my foot. They all knew that there was danger and had found hiding places. Even the fish were all in the deep end hiding at the bottom of the pond. Momma snake was in the shallow end of the pond.
Even though I think the koi were way too big for momma snake to eat, they weren’t taking any chances.
It was amazing how fast everything knew there was danger, even though there had not been a sound. When it was just the babies, there were still frogs out on the floating plants and the fish were still swimming around. Once Momma came in, they all hid!
Not only did they feel the change, but so did I. Instantly.
Even the birds stopped what they were doing, and I couldn’t hear them anymore. Then when I noticed the quiet, I realized the crickets had also stopped chirping. The pond went from happy and playful, to silent and eerie in less than a heartbeat.
The silence was the notification of danger.
After a short while, momma realized that lunch was not to be found there today and she swam back out to the edge over the floating plants and slowly out of the pond and out of the yard under the fence.
Granted, it was a long 20 minutes or so to sit there frozen, watching as things unfolded with momma snake on the prowl.
Interestingly, her babies quickly followed her exact trail when she left. They went over the same floating plants and under the fence just as she had and followed her out of the yard. Within minutes there was sound and movement back in the pond.
It was fascinating for me to watch that whole interaction and be a part of it. I knew it was all back to normal when the little frog next to my foot jumped back into the water. But for me, being an accepted part of the natural world in my backyard was beautiful.
The frogs, fish, birds, and snakes had treated me as a natural part of their world and allowed me to see how nature works from their eyes. Predator vs. prey.
When I was a child, I remember that every time I went outside to be with the animals all the birds, squirrels, and any other wild animals out there would run. They would always scatter from humans and I would be sad because it was as if they had their world and humans had theirs and the two didn’t mix.
Now, it’s different for me. That’s why I felt so honored and grateful that I was “allowed” to be a part of that whole interaction.
And you might be thinking, “how does this relate to horses?”
Well, when I was young, I would go out to my horse, jump on his back (with or without tack), and go for a ride. And sometimes I would go out and just play with them. There was no real thought, it was all a feeling. All heart and instinct.
Then when I got older, I did a lot of research, clinics, etc… and tried to do what was expected and what I was “told” I should do. There was too much thought and not enough heart.
But it wasn’t until I added my philosophical and spiritual facets of my personality that it “all came together”.
That’s when I finally saw my horses accepting me into their world and into their herd. That’s when everything fit together like a big puzzle and it just fell into place. It was now easy, natural, and organic.
It just worked! Have you ever had that feeling?
Being able to integrate all the facets of my personality was what made my dreams with horses come true. I researched, watched, thought about it, asked questions, used my heart and my head, and imagined how it could be and dreamed big.
And because of this, not only do my horses allow me to see into their world and from their perspective, but so do other wild animals in nature. Everything really is connected.
So, even though the spiritual side may be something you never thought had anything to do with horses – don’t leave it out of your horsemanship toolbox. Bring it into your training along with all the other facets of your personality. It makes a difference.
Allow your horse to see everything, be transparent and he will allow you to see more of his world. Trust is a two-way street and so is love.
Be ALL of who you are, allow your horse to know the real you, and your horse will show you more of who he or she is.
My private, Personal Coaching Program incorporates all of these facets and brings out the real you with your horse in order to bring your dreams to life. I truly want to help you and your horse.
Here is a video about Madeleine’s Journey. She is just about to graduate from my Personal Coaching Program.
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