To Be Defined

To walk with horses is to glimpse at what it truly means to be free. Freedom from all the things in life that hinder and limit you; the labels and titles that are given by doctors, counsellors and therapists, the anxieties and struggles that our minds can routinely feed and dwell upon. In a horse’s world there are no labels only present thoughts and living in the moment.

There is a very important and influential personality at spirit and soul and his name is Trevor. Some may say that as he is in his early 20s he is a bit of an old boy; all who know him disagree. He is an ex race horse with a mechanical lameness which at times, to the unknowing and sympathetic eye, can look as though his leg is about to fall off. (it isn't, please don’t worry)

He has a knack for making sure you walk at his pace if he senses your mind wondering away from the present moment. He may limp along with a sad look in his eye fully aware that the unsuspecting human will zone back in and take pity on him, allowing him to take the lead. Funnily enough, you can guarantee that he will soon be happily playing in the field, running around and showing everyone who is in charge. It is this quality in Trevor that is to be greatly admired and there is definitely something to be said for his way of life.

Trevor welcomes everyday by living in the moment, he is not restricted by the labels that are given to him by others. To him “mechanical lameness” has no meaning, just more words that humans seem to use all the time in their attempt to make sense of the world around them. We have declared that he has this label to explain something we see as wrong with him, to explain why he sometimes looks different when he is walking.

It is an unusual concept for a horse, the need to have an explanation for everything in the world around them. Horses tend to accept life as it is, without judgement and expectation. These notions don’t exist to them. They have no impact on their moments.

Trevor continues to live life irrespective of how people categorise him and he certainly will not be defined by labels placed upon him. He has charmed the new ladies who have joined the herd and he keeps the younger boys in line. He continues to learn and grow every day, showing the people he encounters how to be present and how important it is to have healthy boundaries. He routinely practices the skill of listening. Standing quietly as people let go of what they carry, releasing their imprisoned emotions, laughing and crying at his shoulder. He demonstrates the art of patience. People put rugs on him upside down and decorate his back unburdening their minds on a journey to find new hope and faith in themselves.

Out in the herd he is still the boss, regardless of “being lame” and the fact that we have branded him as such. Sometimes he takes it slowly over the rough ground, treading carefully as he goes, thinking about his next step. Sometimes he needs a little encouragement and that’s ok, the next step always comes. He never dwells upon it, he simply carries on along his path. Taking life in his stride. His label never restricts him because it means nothing to a horse.

A horse lives in the moment allowing the changes to happen, not battling with nature and the things they cannot influence. A horse never worries about tomorrow, he doesn’t concern himself with the labels and opinions bestowed upon him. He lives presently, in every moment, at peace with himself and always ready to take the next step and to fully experience what life brings.

The ramblings of Sarah Biggin

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Derbyshire| Equine Assisted Therapy |Nottinghamshire

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