When we are approaching a horse, particularly a mustang from the wilderness, it has arrived in my thoughts this morning around the idea of the possibility to include the nature of asking permission.  This includes approaching or an asking of any kind in the relationship. I will begin by saying, I am not a horse trainer, I am only sharing ideas of such possibilities and of things to ponder.

Many times, in whatever I am witnessing or participating in life, I ask myself "How can I relate this to a relationship with a horse?" So when I woke up this morning, strangely enough I thought of the movie The Fifth Element where the character Korbin Dallas takes a kiss from Leeloo and she emphatically states in her language "never again without my permission." 

This is very similar to what I've witnessed with our horse Cassie, who is a mustang from the wild, and her relationship with Montana, who is a domesticated sorrel paint. He would consistently ask to be close to her and she would repeatedly decline his request. 

In the undomesticated world (everything around us) is the heart, which is the actual nature of things: naturally good, human nature, the nature of things, it was in his nature, mother nature, etc. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson writes "Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience."  Lao Tzu writes "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." 

In the nature of things, the courting of Montana with Cassie to where she willingly received his affections granting him permission to come close, did not happen in a few days nor even a few months. This happened in their own time, that was personal to them and actually took well over a year. 

In our domesticated world, we tend to go primarily with the head: headfirst into things, being head strong, headed in that direction, head out, head home...you get the idea.  Why, we even came into this world head first! 

​So the idea is to not only include the head with our decisions and actions, but to also include the heart.  This is where we ask permission. May we enter your space? May we brush you today? Are you ready today, at this moment, to learn how to wear a halter? If not, how can we get you to where you may be interested? Where are you today? Are you feeling frazzled, are you feeling at peace, are you in learning mode, what would you like to receive today? How is your heart? Do you feel like going for a ride today? 

All of these questions can be answered by tuning into everything about them: their posture, their engagement with you, the movement of their ears and really reading their body language. But it is also about tuning into your own intuition. We all have it. It just takes practice and to acknowledge it.  This too is the nature of things in our relationships with our children, our spouse, our family, friends, co-workers, etc. Therefore, could it be as a practice to do this with all beings in nature?

In the nature of asking permission, it precedes the relationship with an offering of love and gratitude. It is an extension of peace and courtesy setting the tone for the relationship to transpire while being full in your heart with however it may unfold.

When you are traveling abroad, it is polite to ask the locals permission if you may take their photo which feels very different than if you were to simply just take it.  In many indigenous cultures, before stepping out onto unchartered territory, it is ceremoniously prevalent to ask permission first before embarking as noted in the image subtitle shared in The Lifepath Dialogues.  Even in the seemingly simple act of approaching anything in nature, it is polite to ask first. Martín Prechtel speaks poetically about approaching the ocean in his book "The Smell of Rain on Dust." 

In our overly-domesticated world, we sometimes forget the nature of the heart.  We are so focused on the task at hand and to get it done as we are crunching time and numbers.  It has been in the news more frequently the ramifications of such practices worldwide where we are out of balance as humans and our over-domestication has led over-use of each other, animals and the earth.  However, things are beginning to shift as a collective.  From an alternative perspective, perhaps this very well could be why the wild horses are seemingly collectively immersing themselves into our culture offering more balance and alignment of the undomesticated nature of things.

In the nature of learning from undomesticated beings and getting to the core essence or root of who we are as human beings, there was found to be in Gregory Bateson's historical training sessions with dolphins, an immense difference in performance by the dolphins between "trick training" vs. "relationship request".  The latter, of course, received evidence of positive quantifiable results with greater creativity and engagement because of the relationship involved.  The dolphins wanted to participate; it wasn't just the enslavement of circus tricks.  One could say the circus is of the mind; the relationship is of the heart. 

The article further goes on to say how the dolphins had a message for humanity in the story of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. But the issue was that the humans didn't even recognize what they were telling them but instead misinterpreted their signals and movements for circus tricks.  Could this also be true of horses? Could they have a message for humanity at this time? What are they really saying and are we ready to listen?

What are we able to glean from horses when the foundation of the relationship is from asking permission? 








May All Beings Have a Practice

of Permission and Gratitude

with Balanced Reciprocity In Relationships

Permission and Gratitude are the Right Hand and Left Hand of the Same Being

With Left Hand Extended, I Ask, "May I?" 

With Right Hand Over My Heart, I Bow, "Thank You."

For The Well Being of All Beings

Ranch Ramblings​

Kate Cornelius posts about her passion and experiences of well-being
weaving ancient indigenous traditions with her herd of horses. 

The Practice of Permission


Soulful eyes RANCH

Equine Sanctuary & Community Gathering Place for Wholeness & Well-Being