Over the years, I have worked with quite a few horses. While some horses are just needing further training, some of them are damaged on a spiritual level.
Those horses were either hurt by a past trainer, or misbehaving because of behavior issues. So often, I have no idea why the previous trainer did what they did, but when it is behavior issues, I can usually figure out what the owner is doing to create those behaviors, and what the owner is needing to heal in their own lives. These issues can range from emotional scars, past pains that were never dealt with or personality traits that are buried just below the surface, and coming out through their relationships with their horses.
Think of it like shadow work for the equestrians soul.
This shadow work is addressing personality traits, habits, emotions, actions or thoughts that we have suppressed because at some point in our life- where we were humiliated or shamed for something we did or said.
Striving to become accepted, we suppress this trait. This then brings forward something that presents it's self through our horses.
They are able to tune into these traits, because they present themselves to our horses. They reside in our subconscious, which is present in our day to day lives. These ticks we have, where we do something like this, because we were hurt during our childhood by bullies, an unaccepting family member or a young relationship that hurt us in some way and cause us to react and act in ways that can be toxic and unhealthy.
When we work with horses, we tend to create bad habits based on our own shadows. We create horses who are spoiled, because at some point in our lives we felt deprived or abused- so you spoil them, refuse to discipline them (or even see they need discipline). The same can be said for any shadow we could experience.
An owner who had parents that were overly strict, control freaks and possessive, could instill traits into their children that are similar if not the same. So the owner's personality influences how the horse behaves and interacts with his owner. With the owner's tendency to nit pick and demand perfection; the horse can stress out about any interaction with the owner, cause stress, ulcers and other physical ailments.
To be honest- it can cause a wide array of psychical issues such as back issues, stiffness issues, nervousness, cribbing, weaving, aggression and being just overall high strung.
These issues with the horse can all be addressed - but until the owner changes these issues will just keep coming back until the horse is sold.
This gives an experienced horseman, a true glimpse into the owners soul. Because the horse exposes these shadows and shines a bright light onto them. Because in order for you to fix your horse, you must now fix yourself.
"The horse is a mirror into your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will." Buck Brannaman.
If you don't like what you see, why? What makes you uncomfortable with what you see, and what makes you feel at peace?
Understanding our shadows and how we can overcome them, is the next step in everyone's spiritual journey.
Not every horse is going to magnify our negative traits, but every horse is going to show us the parts of our souls we need to heal and deal with.