This is a letter from the work horse, the lesson horse, the horses who are asked to bottle themselves up, be contained and always do as they are told without objection. From all those horses trained to accept whatever we throw at them. Who tolerate things no prey animal in their right mind would tolerate! It’s a letter from all those horses who’ve been asked to ignore their instincts and be obedient for their entire lives.
A letter to all the kind-hearted people who have rescued one of these horses and want to give them something different. Love, kindness and the kind of care they have never known.
They want you to know that it isn’t easy to receive your love. Their body, mind and nervous system has long adapted to this life of obedience. They don’t know anything else. They’ve done what they needed to do to survive and that includes shutting themselves down so they don’t have to feel so much. It takes time for the numbness to wear off, to feel safe sharing how they feel.
Be patient. When you’ve been punished for expressing your opinion it doesn’t feel safe to communicate. Be consistent and kind. They will come out of their shells and when they do they are brilliant, subtle and very talkative. You’ll have to listen closely, they are quiet, considerate and don’t want to upset anyone. They have learned to go slow and be careful of humans, to contain themselves so humans feel safe. If you get upset with them or impatient they often feel the best course of action is to go slower so you feel safer.
These quiet work horses are not dull. They are not lazy or stupid. They just lost heart. It’s scary to be asked to feel again. Scary to open their heart. Scary to allow their body to move with joyful self expression. To give you their back and really carry you with forward enthusiasm they have to open their carefully guarded hearts. Hold those hearts tenderly and they will blossom.