Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Deconstructing Ponies

Every day has a subtext. The challenge is to deconstruct its meaning, find the messages, and understand how it will help me live more meaningfully, elegantly, effortlessly, and intentionally.

Today's horoscope focused on finding inner peace through connection. As I contemplate the nature of friendship and family, a conversation about the wild ponies of Chincoteague and Assateague comes alive. And two videos appear, almost simultaneously.

Jean-François Pignon and his horses in Avignon

Honza Bláha and his horses in Srbice

Establishing an intimate connection to other animals is unique and universal to our species, and it is highly possible that this animal connection has played a crucial role in human evolution. While it initially may have focused on developing relationships that domesticated certain animals as constructive tools to be used for hunting and later for food, the relationship between humans and animals has evolved as we have. (The Journal of Science offers a very interesting overview of this:

The Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) is an internationally recognized centre for research and training. Devoted to the education, clinical training and scholarly development of social work students, IHAC’s programmes focus on the ways animals and people intersect across lifespan and context; the ways animal-supported experiences can promote human and animal well-being, and reduce human physical and mental health problems; and to encouraging and empowering people to gain understanding of the interrelationships among themselves, their families, and their communities, including the natural environment and its non-human inhabitants.

Studies show it, and people know it. The human-animal bond is integral to a person’s well-being. If it is positive, it is nurturing, healing, forgiving and compassionate. Relationships with animals are unconditional. They are constantly forged and re-forged in the present. Both Jean-Francois Pignon and Honza Blaha kn ow this, and they have devoted their lives to marrying natural horsemanship with equestrianism to promote a clearer understanding of the horse, and to share the incredible connection and spirit of cooperation absolute trust in another being can achieve. 

I am remembering a recent thought about the importance of being "seen". The nature of these videos, the cooperation, is the result of the absolute respect these horses and these men have for each other, reflects my thoughts on how we become whole when we are seen and accepted as the incredibly wonderful, fallible people we are.

Today, then, willl focus around this lovely thought, "You are beautiful - not for the shape of the vessel, but for the volume of the soul that it carries."And of course, horses :)


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