I have begun to read Dancing With Horses. In my post-Spilker world, this is the first thing I've read which has something like a program to follow.
Of course, KFH is the coolest, but I can see already that I can't just go out with the horses and completely follow his program. I want to have a completely open mind and learn what I can. However, as soon as I start the most basic exercise, I feel already as if I am assuming a somewhat false position. I want to be able to do all the cool things with my horses that he does with his, but I guess I'm willing to potentially forego these gorgeous results in order to pursue my own weird path.
KFH is very into the twin pillars of dominance and trust. As past readers of this blog may recall, I have mixed feelings about dominance. I feel it is important and that I should get a grasp of it, but there it is - that ambivalence.
In the Garden of Eden, survival was not an issue, but a given. I should say rather is, not was, as the conditions of Paradise prevail as the echt-blueprint of all life. Survival becomes an issue in the distorted situation of the post-lapsarian world. And dominance is all about securing survival, for the individual and for the group, in a dangerous, hungry world.
I think what I, and other bloggers in this vein, are seeking is the innocence of Paradise. We have to be "as wily as serpents as well as innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:16) and can't blind ourselves to the dangers and pitfalls which lurk around every corner, including the fact that our horses are large, potentially destructive, animals. However, I want to be aware of that just out of the corner of one eye.
The obedience of Paradise was the obedience only of trust. Eve's disobedience was not an infraction or the breaking of a rule, but a decision to break trust. Expulsion from Paradise consists partly in the replacement of trust with domination and the imposition of rules in place of harmonious agreement. If I say, as KFH does, that the horse's nose may not pass my leading hand (p.76), I have built an artificial wall. Sometimes I may not want the horse's nose to pass my hand - sometimes I might not care - it may depend on how I'm feeling, or how the horse is feeling. Of course I don't want us to descend into confusion, chaos and mixed signals, but I don't believe that's the alternative. However, as I'm a beginner on this path, I really don't know yet where we're going!
Today the horses were all emphatically standing by the gate, looking at the other field across the drive and saying: "It is time - we want to move." As it happens, today was the day I had picked to move them. So I did.
Here they are enjoying (I think) the long-awaited rain which arrived today: