"In partnership with a horse, one is seldom lacking for thought, emotion, and inspiration." Charles de Kunffy
There's no doubt about it, a life with horses is forever stimulating. Whether on the ground, or in the saddle, time spent with a horse is an exercise in self-awareness and being "in the moment." This was something that it took me an awful long time to learn. My first leap to self-awareness was as an intern at CornerStone Farms 13 years ago while I was working toward my Coaching Level 1. While it was one of the most poignant moments of my life and an incredible experience, I have often referred to that time as when I "went in a marshmallow and came out toasted!" It occurred after a death in the family had left me feeling there must be more to life than a corporate job. With that in mind, I abandoned the corporate track in favour of following a dream of working with horses, not realizing til I stepped into that dream just how little I knew about them ... or myself. Those were, perhaps the toughest, most exhilerating, most life expanding two years or my life til that point (I was in my early 30s.) -- all because horses, in general, were providing an opportunity for me to think (you can do alot of that while you shovel horse hooey); to emote (yes, there was quite a bit of that for various reasons); and to be inspired (that goes without saying.)
Since then and as my life has gradually come into focus, numerous horses, a couple of good coaches and other patient and wise horse people, have provoked thought and emotion, and inspired me to be a better person as I stumbled down the path to self-awareness.
Among them Chris Irwin whose horse training methods emerged at a crucial time when I was regrouping after being restructured from my copywriting job, and when I was venturing into horse ownership for the first time. Chris helped me to grow to another level of consciousness, giving me some more of the horse-friendly tools I needed to not only work and play more effectively with horses, but to start having a better appreciation and understanding of myself and the way I impacted the world, and horses. This in turn gave me the power to start to change the things I didn't like about myself, and continue to cultivate, more mindfully, the postive qualities as well.
So, yes, in partnership with horses, there is no lack of opportunity for thought, emotion or inspiration and, at least in my life, they have proven, along with the quality horse people who have crossed my path over the years, to be among the greatest teachers of all.