Tully the pony sees past any lies or dishonesty. He only knows the truth. He knows that some of the little people who come to visit him need additional support. He will change his behavior when he is with them. He does not do this for all riders. He knows that the students I bring to him have something unique that makes it hard for them to operate in the “normal” construct of society.
Tully is a therapy horse and a truth teller. He will stand completely still when my four-year old student grooms him. He does not react when equipment drops to the ground. He will not nip or search for treats with these students. He observes and teaches these students. I stay out of the way as the so-called instructor.
During a recent lesson, I asked my student to clip the lead rope to Tully’s halter. I give multiple tasks that involve hand-eye movement during lessons. All these small tasks build connection with the horse and self-confidence for the student. This is a safe space for growth and exploration. So often, children with uniqueness are judged or told that they are wrong for acting differently.
With a culture of shame, some by-products include isolation, addiction, pain, suffering and self critism. Tully and other horses recognize this and offer something that most of us miss. You can say horses have a special vision. Most people don’t know about it, except these young students who visit Tully. Their mothers, who are amazing humans, share the results with me. Their children are not judged or given a new diagnosis at the barn. In these brief encounters, the horses and humans share the truth which exists beyond time. It lives beyond the body. It extends beyond the barn.
I recently learned two of my childhood friends checked out of their bodies and moved on. They were alone, at least they thought, and locked in prisons constructed by their minds. Did they hear the truth shared with them by others? I don’t know. They believed their own lies. Would time with a horse have extended their lives? Again, I don’t know.
My point: truth is all around. It does not need words. If you are struggling, go be with a horse. They will tell you. Whisper in their ear, “tell me the truth.” Wait patiently for the answer. Truth always reveals itself.
Thanks for sharing the truth with me, Rob and Charles