Post by Category : Walking with your Horse

Where’s Your Birdie?

Where’s your Birdie?

 

This is the question I am going into the New Year with!

 

No, I haven’t suddenly landed in an episode of Wacky Races with Dastardly and Muttley trying to ‘catch the pigeon’ nor have I lost my cockatiel, (long since dead much loved rescue bird, Custard). The birdie is metaphor for attention, spirit, direction, focus …

‘Forward and Up’, Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

 

Years ago I attended a lecture and then read about a wonderful horsemanship theory called Birdie Theory, by Dr Deb Bennet. The concept is that the birdie is the horses attention, and that it is an extremely good idea to know where the horses birdie is at all times. For example a horse that is unwilling to go forward may have left his birdie back in the stable and you may have to go and retrieve it, or equally a horses birdie can fly miles away, his attention caught by something in the distance. Where the horses birdie is, is where his body will want to go. Does this sound Alexander Technique familiar?

 

The birdie is attached by a ‘golden thread’, and you do not want to snap the thread. That is then cruelty.  Your job is to be aware and understand how to connect with the inside of the horse, moment by moment and get his birdie with you. A job in the ongoing present. Patience is required.

 

‘Good Boy’ Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

 

I started thinking about Birdie Theory in relationship to a friend with a family member with mental health problems the other day, wondering if this concept might be of help.

 

But then it struck me that it would also be useful for me to reconnect with my birdie as the year comes to an end and consider where my birdie is.  Have I caged it in any way? Am I clipping my birdie’s wings? Am I losing my birdie at times? Or abandoning it? Where does my birdie want to fly into the new year? How high does my birdie want to fly? How far? Does my birdie need a bit of attention? …

 

‘Believe in Yourself!’ Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

 

Thinking of a birdie leading the way forwards and upwards into he flow of life feels like a really helpful concept for me to see my New Year’s Intentions as not so much a ‘to do’ or ‘to achieve’ list but more as New Year Attentions – a reconnection and renewal of where my spirit is going to be in 2019.

 

And now searching for an image for this blog I realise a bird had been appearing in lots of drawings over the past few years and that I feel inspired to develop this birdie character in my artwork too into the new year. My birdie is happy finding a birdie! Where’s your birdie?

 

Hope this is helpful and wishing you a very happy new year

 

With love

Kirsten

 

LINKS

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – artwork, prints, cards

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique and Horsemanship  – Walking with Your Horse Lessons in Alexander Technique 

 

Air Bourne by Kirsten Harris

Oil on Canvas

100 x 150 cms

 

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Horse

Horses are light on their feet … light beings  … graceful creatures.

Here are two beautiful anonymous quotes about horses –

 

‘To Ride a Horse is to Ride the Sky’

 

and an American Indian Proverb

 

‘The horses are mystery beings’

 

Anyone who has ever ridden or owned a horse will know that horses are amazing teachers. They reveal to us our habits, fears and imbalances and show us how they can read our minds and feel our thinking.  They are trusting, forgiving and understanding and teach us to experience the world lightly and feel deeply.

 

This drawing is a visual reminder to riders to take the time to think as lightly as a dandelion clock when you are with your horse, letting your thoughts float forward and up on the breeze so your body can follow. In turn your horses will follow and he will give you his lightness. He will show you how to float. He will give you his back and his mind.

 

It will take you practise and awareness to keep letting your thoughts float in the breeze and is a totally worthwhile ongoing lesson in thinking that will develop you connection with your horse. Of course it is not the whole picture but it is a major key to the whole picture.

 

How do I know this?

Not because I am the worlds greatest rider, but because I understand Alexander’s discoveries and have applied and taught the work to my riding and teaching others on their horses for a long time.

 

So why the title the unbearable lightness of being a horse?

I can’t help but feel it must be somewhat unbearable for sensitive horses who can feel a fly on their flanks to have us ride them when our energy is heavy, our thinking mundane and our bodies pulled down. It is testament to how wonderful they are that they put up with it!

 

When you understand how your anatomy and thinking work together on and with your horse, change occurs, instantly and easily. It is not rocket science! Or maybe it is?! Your horse is showing you every day what you are doing, and how you are. Being interested in how you are getting in the way of your horses lightness,  is perhaps being the rocket scientist or an alchemist, certainly an experimenter … entering the world of the mystery being.

 

‘The wind of Heaven is that which blows between the horses ears.

Arabian Proverb

 

Learning about the Alexander Technique discoveries is not so much about getting it right, but more getting interested and aware in how we are doing altogether. This opens our minds, changes our thinking and lets something else happens … something mysterious and light. We can’t change and stay the same, we have to enter the mysterious and the unknown to experience something different, which includes developing our connection with our horses.

 

Alexander Technique is a great thing to learn to illuminate the way. Riders are great people to learn Alexander’s discoveries as they are so linked to horsemanship and riders are, on the whole, motivated in wanting to make life as good as possible for their horses, as custodians of these mystery beings!

 

If you want to know more Alexander Technique why not check out the media download on my website here   – Walking with your Horse, Lessons in the Alexander Technique

 

For more horsy cartoons (commissions undertaken for birthday pressies etc) here is a link to my website www.kirstenharrisart.com.

 

Lessons and workshops by arrangement. I am based in central Scotland.

 

 

 

 

And if you like my Alexander Technique inspired drawings check out my colouring book.

The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods Here

I had a lot of fun making it.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mystical Creatures

JAN DOC012(5)

 

The Unicorn

by Kirsten Harris

 

In Ancient Myth lived a beautiful Unicorn

A fabulous horse with a pointing uni-horn

What is the symbol of this mysterious feature?

Forward and Up points the mystical creature!

 

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My thoughts about the illustration..

 

The unicorn balances on a ball…

Planet earth…

A planet in balance…

The unicorn invites us to look for and find our own balance…..

‘Forward and up’ is the key he gives us….

Hares fly around the planet…we are spinning…

Man moving so fast he forgets to think, to listen, to respond…

The hare in flight…

Fright and flight or forward and up?

The unicorn maintains his direction, serenity, awareness, feet on the ground, spine lengthening, an inner smile….

Forward and up into cosmic space…

A mystical direction….

An invitation into the mysterious….

‘Giddy Up!’ says the little mouse, enjoy the ride…

 

Illustration for January from my gallop around Alexander Technique in verse and cartoon.

The Daily Ease 2017 Calendar available to buy here. £10

Click this link

 

Very limited stock.

I hope you like it

: )

Kirsten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Crooked Woman and Her Crooked Horse

“There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,

He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;

He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,

And they all lived together in a little crooked house”

 

There was a crooked woman who had a crooked horse

She found an AT teacher and decided to take a course

The crooked horse and woman, started to align

And work together in harmony, both had a better time

 

Walking with our Horse – click here 

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