Every human is the unity of mind, body and soul.

The spirit is the domain of thought, a peculiar human faculty, feature of the civilised man. It is through thinking that we can dominate other species, because our abilities in this area are superior to those of other species. Civilised man tends to abuse this faculty and to dominate nature, ignoring the fact that he himself is part of nature and that any violent action in this area will have repercussions on himself, like a snake biting its own tail. The things of nature cannot be grasped by relying purely on the resources of the mind, by elevating understanding as a faculty above everything else. Man with too loud an ego forgets this and as a consequence not only fails to respect, but slowly loses touch with nature and its laws, its inner harmony and its peculiar order. He no longer reads its signals.

Animals – and horses among them -, teach us to use our other two energy centres, the emotions and the gut feelings, in a more balanced way. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” says Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince. When we are around horses, we find that without opening up the heart and the guts, we are unable to communicate effectively with these creatures, because they read our signals – not our words. They also often highlight when there is a lack of coherence in our messages from different energy centres, meaning that we are communicating something different, for example we “say” something with body language that is different from our true emotional state.

One of my favorite exercises is the invisible halter, which consists of teaching the horse to follow us willingly without the use of any physical means of coercion (stick, whip, lead rein). It is a very complex task and requires a lot of practice. The success of the exercise lies in our ability to align our desires (motivation), will (intention) and body language. The exercise is interesting because if you can achieve this with your horse, you can do the same in your own life and get things in order.