Discover your ideal relationship with your horse

CEGA creates an atmosphere of openness and trust in which to explore your own special horse-human bond. We want to help you remove blocks, deepen your awareness of the power within, and help you achieve your goals.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yesterday I had a great experience. I was riding a horse to see if I wanted to lease it for the summer. During my lesson this horse began to show me all of the places and all of times where he had learned how to be blocked by various riders in his life. As he began to show me how to keep him free and mobile through each movement we did. Each turn became easier and more correct and the horse began to be more and more fluid. This horse was teaching me CEGAwork. It was really great to see how the horses are beginning to learn how to teach in yet another amazing way. I am once again truly grateful for the wonderfully generous beings we know as horses.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thoughts on an earthquake.

So there I was on Wednesday, in the middle of a fabulous lesson with my horse Simon and Kate. Simon was working really well, light and responsive, and I was loose and relaxed—which doesn’t happen often for me, so I try to celebrate it when it does! Suddenly, Simon took a sort of a stumbling misstep, as though all the air had been let out of his balloon at once. Kate’s response was, “Wow. Okay, let’s give him a break for a couple of minutes.” I glanced at the clock, checking in to see how long we had been working. It had been about 20 minutes, and the clock read about 1:40.

A few minutes later, we went back to work, and resumed a very good and otherwise uneventful lesson. When I dismounted, Simon was looking at both Kate and I with eyes wide open, staring out the door, and acting highly alert. It was CLEAR to both Kate and I that he was trying to tell us something, but we weren’t getting it.

It wasn’t until later that day, when I heard about the earthquake, that I put the pieces together. Simon felt the earthquake, even if we didn’t. He literally became ungrounded by the upheaval of energy beneath his feet, and was trying to check in with us to see if we felt it too. Kate was perceptive enough to realize that Simon’s sudden “quit” was very different from his somewhat lazy, looking for an excuse to not work so hard attitude.

This tells me a couple of things. One, it reminds me just how sensitive these large animals are, in ways that many folks are just learning to appreciate. Two, it makes me appreciate Kate as an instructor even more. Her ability and willingness to trust herself and her spiritual connection to the horses, to see what others don’t, assures me that she and CEGA are where I want to be—understanding my horses, and all horses, in ways that I never dreamed possible just a few years ago.

And lastly, it was a powerful reminder of the abilities that we ALL carry—horses and humans alike—to be able to let each other know how we’re doing, what’s important to us, to really communicate and connect with each other. It doesn’t matter that Kate and I didn’t feel the earthquake. What matters is that Kate could see that something unusual had happened, and she respected what Simon was trying to convey. If we empty our heads of extraneous distractions, and listen, REALLY listen to our horses, and practice this skill, the world will continue to open to us in the best ways possible.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The joy of fly sheets.

Fly sheets! Possibly the number-one thing you can do to protect your horse from the nasty biting flies--deer flies, horse flies, and big ol' green-headed flies. And you don't have to spend a ton of money on them! Last year, I bought 3 new, soft and silky fly sheets for my guys, and spent less than $100--TOTAL! Now, you do have to watch for the deals, and try to buy in the off-season when possible, but good deals come up from the major suppliers all the time. (Think Dover Saddlery, State Line Tack, and TackoftheDay.com.)
You want soft fabric, not the stuff that feels like lawn chair fabric, so that it doesn't chafe your sensitive pony. A belly wrap style is great, and that way, you won't have to fly-spray your horse's belly. Neck covers are great too--as long as your horse has some shade to get into, as even the lightest fabric can cause your pony to be uncomfortably warm on those hot, steamy summer days.
For my money, NOTHING beats looking out at my horses on a hot summer day, and knowing that they are totally unconcerned with the flies buzzing around.
Next week: Night turn-out.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lessons through bodywork

It is so interesting to me how the universe gives us what we need, and reinforces lessons. I frequently find that I will work on a series of horses that have very similar issues, and that those issues are manifested in ways that are downright eerie.

For example, two of the last three horses I've worked on have had front end problems, specifically hoof/lameness troubles. Although the causes and diagnoses were different, both horses had strongly over-developed trapezius/rhomboid musculature, and no discernible groove between the larger muscles of the neck (the multifidus cervicus/splenius and brachiocephalicus). These muscles are being overused and stressed by the horses, in an attempt to take weight off their sore front feet.

This is part of why I find my work to be so gratifying. I LOVE seeing these horses relax as I work on them, and to know when I am done that they are more comfortable, and have greater flexibility and range of movement. I love finding those sore or tight spots and working on them while the horse sighs with relief.

And as the horse's owner or caretaker, you can extend the benefits your horse gets from bodywork by being conscientious in doing stretches with your horse and making sure he/she is warmed up and cooled down properly for every ride. Not sure how to do stretches with your horse? Watch for my next blog posting for details!