Thursday, June 2, 2011

Brent Graef on Energy, Intent, and FEEL

Glad to see there is so much interest in a discussion of "energy, intent, and feel".  It's nice to know there are so many folks who are wanting to take their horsemanship to a deeper place.

Figuring out how to use your energy in a productive manner takes a lot of work.  It's a very deep subject, and one that is hard to teach, because you can't see it.  But you can feel it... and so can the horses.Learning how to channel your energy is difficult... but such an integral part of fine horsemanship.

Most people would say that I'm very good at using my energy.... with horses or people.  (It's much easier for me with horses.)In my mind, I am merely beginning to scratch the surface.

To me, it's not about where I place my body when working on the ground, or which direction my toes are pointing.  It's not about cues or release.  It's not about claiming space that the horse occupies.  When riding, it's not about where I look or what game I'm playing in my head.

It goes much deeper than that!  Tom Dorrance talked about "horsemanship can be so deep that it's almost spiritual".  I'm beginning to get a glimpse of what I think he meant by that.

I'm not "making" the horse do whatever I'm wanting him to do.  I'm not really even "asking" the horse to do it.

"We" are doing it. I figure that as soon as I take the lead rope, we are one animal.  As soon as I step into the stirrup, we are one animal.  "We" are doing this together,

Just because a horse knows what you want him to do, doesn't mean he'll do it immediately.  I like Bill Dorrance's words "I like to try to make the right thing OBVIOUS."I try to see if I'm blocking the horse, then get out of his way... open the door so he can find his way through more easily.

This is very difficult to put into words... especially in writing!Much easier to show in person.  Sometimes at our Young Horse Class, we'll spend extra time trying to help folks understand working with energy after class at our home.  You can't see it, but you can sure feel it... down the lead rope or the reins, or in the air.  It takes a lot of effort, a lot of sensitivity.

"Intent"  -- is much more than just "I'm going to get my horse to do this thing".  Whether by thinking it in words or pictures, or by playing little games in your head.  YES we need to be VERY clear in our mind what it is we are going to be doing with our horse... but it goes MUCH deeper than that!

"Feel"  --  is much more than just the touch on the lead, reins, etc.  It goes WAY deeper.

This horsemanship journey we are on is a very personal journey... it can go as deep as you want to take it.  Or it can be as shallow as you want it to be.  It's your journey.

I've had some glimpses of what can be, and am working toward getting there consistently. I try to open some of those doors to help folks see the possibilities.  It takes a lot of work... a lot of inner peace... before you can really start.
Hopefully some of ya'll that are interested in going deeper will be at a clinic with me this summer.  We can do some hands-on, and go to some much deeper conversations after class.

I'll be looking forward to it!

For the horse,

Brent Graef

BUCK Award winning movie at Sun Dance Festival

Click on this link:

to find out how to request your local theater's showing of the movie BUCK !

Fabulous movie for the whole family. It touches on more than horse training, but becoming a better person, a better parent and friend.