Monday, March 30, 2015

Black Beauty

Dreams are not usually part of my awareness, so when I have the same one two days in a row, I took notice. A black horse standing with his head down on the ground, exhausted, eyes closed, sides heaving, minimal life force, despair, and subject to the human's work plan to a point of survivable exhaustion. Tears spring to my eyes from the depth of my heart as I sit with the sense of these dreams. The first night I talked to the horse from the inner world and consoled him from inside. The second night, he was worse, I was sobbing, holding his head, and sitting with the depth of the human insanity plan for the innocent and defenseless. Troubling, but what was the symbolism?  When I sensed Black Beauty and his story, recognition flooded through me. When I had been discussing the soul of the horse with Señor Valenca, he reminded me of the story of Black Beauty. As I have looked at sale horses for the past two weeks, I have come to terms with the unpleasant current fashion of how horses are trained for sport.

As I have traveled, talked with the riders/professionals from this trip, and exchanged ideas on the current state of affairs for horses, it stirs something deep within them and they recognize the value of training humanely. It isn't always easy to try to follow the path of truth and right action, but I see now how humans do respond. The interviews have given me a deeper sense of the human's essence, so I feel safer in their contact now. If I didn't have the inner sense learned from my time in India, I wouldn't have had the fortitude to open to the humans who are walking a disdainful path in training. Of course, it helps me to have the presence of the horse reminding me to keep my heart open and not to give up on the art of riding. Little by little--there is an effect without grandstanding or trying to convince others. Just walk the talk, offer help if requested, and let the inner sense of the human open while I keep working on my own homework list.

What an amazing lesson plan for this two-legged. Once again, the horses are my place holders for learning about self, humanity, and the spiritual path. Now to grow and continue with the work as Gurudev directed. How was a question and what, but the way is opening and the platform--at least for now . Incredible and to think I will be in the ashram in three days! A month ago, I was almost blacking out and vomiting from watching the horses subject to training for sport, so it is a relief to have a way to be, move, and stay in alignment with what I have been learning the past 5 years while in service to the others (four and two-legged). The two bucket system converging into one is still working.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Country To City, Gdansk

City start...
Modern sculpture

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Poland Walking

Getting to examine my nightmare for horse riding. Now I understand. The circle is closing. Human insanity plan 101. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Nature's Expansiveness

Morning walk
Magical to walk in the expansiveness of the outdoors with only sounds of nature and no safety concerns. 
Interview #4 finished. Notes ready to send. Looked at horses on the way to the airport. Poland next.

Hmmm...found a horse that I like--maybe for myself. Interesting to look at many horses, but to have a chemistry with certain ones. Took me by surprise. Let's see what happens...

Teaching gives one permission to observe.

"Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential."

– Winston Churchill

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Nothing Fancy, Nothing New...

Winter forest
Looking at sale horses
Andrea's old apartment building in Budapest
Teaching and riding this week. Fun to enter a world anonymously and just do what I love doing. Interesting to sit on a young sale horse to see if the balance could be different and have the director of the farm come alive with enthusiasm that I was riding in a way that was lost in today's riding world. He invited me to come ride the horses anytime. The path has been very narrow for searching for this approach, so lovely to have two veterans in two different countries confirm the approach. The students have been enthusiastic too. Nothing fancy, nothing new, just old principles applied with pure intentions. The design of the bit is to work on the horses jaw and poll from a particular angle, so the modern way of riding is inhumane for the horses. Horses caught in the human insanity plan. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Morning Walk In The Countryside Of Hungary

Summer houses waiting for their owners
Walking--only the sound of my feet, wind, and birds.
Fertile farm land

Signs of Spring--bees and flowers
Walking such a remarkable time for reflection, digestion, inspiration, and more.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Way

Decontraction, Stillness (digestion of decontraction), Mobilization: the way for training horses. Now I see this is the way for humans, self, and moving through life.

4 year old cremello Lusitano--grandson of Sultao

1984, Paris exhibition, Bi and Sultao, historic moment for the Center

Guided to someone who might be this generations Nuno Oliveira. He walks the talk. It is the first person I have met who understands and executes the truth of the system. The horses and my inner voice led me to the same point. Inspiring to have a colleague on the path. Watching him ride was like going to church for horse souls. Señor Valenca listened to what I have been searching for on the horse training path and introduced me to him. Crown jewel in the week of gems. 

Interview notes completed and headed to Hungary.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Unexpected Check Mark

VFX, Portugal
Bullfight arena by night
Señor Valenca as a child--the beginning
(1950) First horse trained completely at age 14, Bamboo
(1987) Bi, second oldest daughter, riding Achado
(2015) Filipe, oldest daughter, giving a lesson today.
Master Don Jose, early teacher of Señor Valenca in the early sixties
Now I have a check mark by my examination of riding for art vs. riding for sport. What an unexpected bonus to speak with Señor Valenca about this division in riding. I have turned over this stone for 25 years and have interestingly come to a similar point of observation. Now I have a spark again to dive into the training world--until the road leads to a new point. The spark comes from the chance to play in the sandbox with what I understand and to enjoy the horses for being horses--forgiving creatures that inhabit the planet. Little did I know how important my time was here 25 years ago and now to find myself here again after the experience of life.

The richness and depth of Señor Valenca's life and teaching/training abilities are almost incomprehensible relative to most professionals. His nature is humble, but the complexity of his mind is marvelous--not to mention switching fluently between four languages throughout the day. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

25 Years Later...

Walking in the hills.

Señor Valenca and the horse is the grandson of Sultao.
After twenty-five years to still see the passion, timing, and humility in the one riding master who inspired me the most is incredible. I had always looked for these qualities in the riding/teaching and gave up, went to India to try and find out why, and so many other questions. He is a true Master in his field and embodies the qualities of a heartfelt, sincere human as well. I look forward to the time learning about how he has come to this point with such grace.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Vila Franca Do Xira, Portugal

Landing in Portugal

Señor Luis Valenca and Sultao 

The changes in 25 years--building behind and motorway outside the gate were obvious.
Young Lusitano

Walked in the door of the person's home I am staying for the week and had to accompany her in the ambulance to the hospital for a nose bleed that would not stop. All was sorted out at the hospital and amazing to have a day of wandering around the horse training facility reflecting. Monday afternoon the interview will begin.