Books at this level become a little more personal and what I found useful might not be right for you. Here are some I liked:
- The Road Less Travelled - M. Scott Peck
- The Celestine Prophesy - James Redfield
- The Invitation - Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Think about your behaviour and reactions to certain situations. Again, these are just some sample exercises but considering your own behaviour and its implications should gradually become a way of life.
- Think of something your horse would rather not do - clipping, schooling, jumping, washing, something else - what would it cost you to no longer bother doing it? Why not try it?
- Think of what "putting the horse first" means to you. List some occasions when you don't put the horse first. Could you change these situations so that you do?
- Next time you get into an "argument" with (a) a horse and (b) a human, think about what you did to fuel that argument, regardless of who you think started it. What wuld it take for you to avoid that confrontation another time? What would it cost you? Why not try it?
- Think of a situation in which you do not trust your horse. What would it take so that you could trust him (Clue: shaping)? How do you behave in such a situation? How could you behave differently so that your horse could react differently (Clue: shaping)?
- Think about what love means to you.
- Increase your awareness of your behaviour through something like Alexander Technique, Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, climbing or dance. Be aware of your body language around horses. Does anything you do make you horse startle, however mildy? Do you notice any other patterns of cause and effect?
- Have a go at something new. Make mistakes and get things wrong. Does it matter? How do you react? Try to sit with each mistake, rather than getting defensive, cross or disheartened. What have you learnt from making these mistakes? What will you do differently in future?
- Learn from other professionals: timing and perception from good comedians, balance and timing from a dancer, inspiration and infectious desire to learn from an engaging lecturer.
Please feel free to contact me if there is anything you are not sure about. Maybe you disagree with me and want to debate it! I am here to help as well as to challenge!
Copyright Catherine Bell 2006