"A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves — strong, powerful, beautiful — and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.
~ Pam Brown
The horse is a Spirit both wild, free and yet of service to a greater good. To ride a horse is a balance between allowing and guiding. A horse will inevitably go where it wants to go (allowing) as it knows it’s footing best, but is willing to go the course set out by the rider (guiding) as long as the rider has proven to be of right intention.
Lands were discovered and battles were waged on the horse. Explorers though out history sought to discover new lands with the use of horses. In the Americas, the Native People worked with horses to find food, travel from village to village and to migrate from climate to climate. The same is said for Europe and Asia.
The horse has evolved over the last 50 million years and was thought to be domesticated about 4000 BC. Known as “an animal of prey,” they have great speed and flexibility to escape predators with an intuition to sense danger that is beyond logic. Their eyes are located on the side of their head giving them a wide range of vision and can see equally well in the day or night. With rotating ears, their hearing is quite good and is very noise sensitive. (There was a study done that indicated horses were calmest in their stable while listening to country or classical music while jazz or rock music gave them the most stress!) As part of the Hooves Family (like the camel, cow, goat, deer etc) they have great balance and know where their feet are at all times in addition to being sensitive to touch. Which is why an expert rider knows to guide a horse, only a gentle movement is necessary to communicate its wishes.
There are 3 basic types of horses: 1) “hot bloods” for speed and endurance like the Arabian, Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred 2) “cold bloods” that are large and built for work like the Belgian and the Clydesdale 3) “warm bloods” that are a mixture of the two like the Morgan or Tennessee Walker.
The horse loves a regiment and will often bond with its rider once a trusting relationship is developed. From this trust is loyalty blooms and the relationship goes beyond the normal human/animal connection. My horses I would hand feed with “sweet oats” and hay and their special treat was watermelon - rind and all!
For Shamans, the horse takes the practitioner on a Vision Quest and delivers them to the place they need to be without being told. Sometimes to the Upper World to meet Great Spirit and sometimes the Lower World to meet other Animal Guides or Lost Souls. The Horse knows and only needs your gentle guidance. You work well by working in cooperation with each other with respect of the others needs and gifts. The Horse will protect the rider and will use its intuition to find the fastest, safest route to get to its destination. To properly work with horse is to find balance within yourself and trust the process knowing where you are going is where you need to be.