“Horse, Sense and Soul” at Findhorn Foundation
In July 2017 I visited northern Scotland for a course entitled Horse, Sense and Soul at Findhorn Foundation led by Pam Billinge and Lindsay Fovargue. As always with Findhorn, the course was of the highest quality and the group committed and interesting people from all over the world. This was about 8 months ago, and in the mysterious way associated with experience, learning and Findhorn in particular, only now am I beginning to consciously assimilate the message of the week.
This message was about the value of just being – emotionally open and prepared to tune into our inner being. For that is where we communicate with horses, heart to heart and without intention or expectation. Their herd world, essential to survival, depends on acute awareness of subtle movements and energies that is usually lost on us humans. We depend greatly on oral language to communicate and forget to acknowledge that we are animals with the same faculties as other creatures.
We also tend to dominate animals, especially domestic species. However much we love and respect them, we are responsible for them, and also benefit from them, either as companions or workers. That puts us in a more powerful position. Horses have been pivotal to our development as a species, and there is a huge and rich associated culture of history, skill and habit. Only in the twentieth century did we become independent of the horse as a means of transport, as is beautifully described by Ulrich Raulff in his book, “Farewell to the Horse”.
This history, combined with the deep emotions such as fear, love and passion aroused by the power and beauty of the horse make it difficult to step outside the traditional wisdom and leave our controlling egos behind. Instead we need to learn to respect the horse for its qualities as a unique spiritual being which has much to teach us.
This was a difficult lesson for me last summer at the “Horse, Sense and Soul” workshop in Findhorn. I have become aware that horses are a strong emotional trigger for me and that there is also a lot of fear in my relationship with them. These emotions are expressed in my equestrian art but I would like to explore a new kind of art which celebrates and respects the informal nature of the horse, particularly in its relation within the herd, and which reflects a new harmony in myself.
For another and more critical viewpoint on this topic, click here