by Laura Shakeshaft – Equine Amnanda trainer
Developing a partnership with a horse can be challenging as well as profoundly rewarding. For many of us it reflects or touches our deepest feelings – our sense of self-worth, how we connect with others, express our needs, and obtain goals. It can also require us to walk our own path and trust our own instincts over others advice.
Horses are often described as teachers, reflecting our patterns back to us as mirrors. Receiving that information with equanimity can be very difficult especially when our hopes for happiness, success and freedom are so wrapped up in that relationship. We can find ourselves becoming defensive, in a battle for control or overwhelmed with the advice of different methods with opposing stances on authority and leadership. Our focus often turns towards conditioning our own behaviour or the horse’s adopting a “fake it until you make it” approach but often in the process we lose the joy in working with our horses
I love to watch different horse trainers and the people that I find the most inspiring all have a similar quality of self-carriage and ease. It is if they have all the time in the world and they appear emotionally grounded whatever emotions may be running through the horse they are working with. Their particular approach to training may be skilled but you get the feeling that the horse is connecting to the trainer’s “being” and the feelings that connection creates in the horse rather than solely the technique.
The Amnanda process changes our interpretation of experiences at the subconscious level which helps us break our reactive patterns.
My experience is that the Amnanda process has a profound impact on these relationships. Amnanda helps develop an ease within us that animals are drawn to and feel safety from. The process changes our interpretation of experiences at the subconscious level which helps us break our reactive patterns. When we feel less defensive there is the potential for openness and softness both physically and emotionally. We can bring this to our horsemanship and find a deeper communication both on the ground and the saddle. As we lose our brace so can the horse and we are open enough to feel that response.
When we feel like we are making decisions from a place of choice rather than in response to our trauma, we create a sense of self determination and self-worth. We become our own leaders, making decisions with greater clarity and confidence. Horses feel the integrity of this confidence as it resonates from our being not from learned techniques. It creates a feeling of trust and safety and a curiosity to connect and we in turn notice an increased feeling of harmony with our animals.