Post by Category : Horses

The Happiness of Grass


I have been thinking a lot about grass! As you do! Under a powerful microscope grass looks like it is smiling. Grass is amazing stuff. Grass is happy and it sure has tenacity. No matter how trampled and muddy, parched and burnt or just plain sad and worn out it looks grass finds a way to go up to the light and just keeps on growing. It recovers and rejuvenates when sometimes you think it is just not possible. Grass is definitely optimistic! 

And of course ponies love grass and that’s another lesson. Too much grass and its richness will make a horse sick, too little and the horse will die. 

Grass is a great symbol and reminder to be balanced in what we take from the planet. Grass will happily give and give and give, but don’t take too much or the earth will be sick and so will we. We need to be balanced. We need to pay attention. In my mind grass holds the earth together. 

And is the grass always greener on the other side? 

Grass doesn’t seem to worry about where it grows, it just grows happily everywhere and anywhere, it really isn’t judgemental and is very forgiving. A little bit of nourishment from Mother Earth, light and water and up it goes. Just like us…

So my drawing is in hope of the continued happiness of grass and to the joys of lying on the grass on a sunny summer day in constructive rest! 

*********************

Download lessons and meditations for constructive rest here

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk
Prints and Original artwork

Illustration, detail from The Daily Ease colouring story book – link here

Share Button

In Our Hands

(I shared this originally as a facebook post on my art page Kirsten Harris Art. I wanted to write something to go with the drawing and to write from my heart about horses. I thought I should post as a blog here. I hope you enjoy it. )


‘In Our Hands’ by Kirsten Harris

5 Thoughts – 
1. Our hands have immense sensitivity. Can you let your hands be neutral? Do your hands know how to listen to follow your horse or do they control and bully? Do you use your hands to pull at your horse’s sensitive mouth and head? Or do you allow the energy of your heart-brain and the elasticity of your body to move through your hands into a flow of union and connection? 

2. Can you sit in balance on a chair, easily for a prolonged period of time without discomfort? If not, learn to do so before you sit on a horse. You are only bringing your inbalances to your riding and teaching your horse tension otherwise. You will create imbalances. Find your own poise first and then you will find the poise of your horse. It’s magical when it happens and totally worth the work on your self.

3. Horses are teachers for our heart and soul. We have much to learn from them. If you feel anger, frustration or ego around your horse walk away. Take wise counsel, breathe, let go. A horse is not a sponge for your unprocessed stuff. Negative thoughts and emotions do not belong around your horse

4. Be patient and learn to be at ease with yourself. Meditate. Listen. Let go. Horses will teach you about timelessness, unity, flow, courage, the divine, non verbal communication, boundaries, energy… Horses will teach you how to think into the vastness of the universe and the great mysteries. Be patient with yourself and your horse. Learn to get out of your own way to allow the door of knowledge to open. There is plenty of time. It is all you have. Enjoy the process. 

5. It is OK to feel fear. You and your horse are both flight animals. It is not OK to take your fear out on your horse. Let your heart be open and soft. Love your horse with all your heart. Let your ego dissolve so you are pure around your horse. Be a child of wonder and awe in his presence. Be fully present. Enjoy what you are learning and experiencing right now. Don’t compare your journey with your horse with that of other peoples. The journey of ‘should’ and ‘ought’ will only get in your way. You and your horse are both unique and marvellous. Your horse is an honest loving mirror into your essence, your soul in space right now if you dare to peek. Do you love what you see? 

Written and drawn with love
Kx

copyright Kirsten Harris 
www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Artwork and prints
www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique

Share Button

A Flicker of Light – Playing Horse and Rider

The Magic Stop, Drawing by Kirsten Harris

 

We were a group of horse women here in Scotland, just starting to play a teaching ‘game’ I call ‘Horse and Rider,’ when one of the participants said, ‘Yes, I can feel a flicker of light.’ I love the expression and I think it is the basis of why I am so passionate when I teach Alexander Technique to horse riders. 

 

When we ride we are communicating our light to our horses – that light is our thinking, transformed into ‘feel’ and a direct line of clear communication that allows our horses to be light, free, forward, balanced under us and with us. We can learn to be thinking riders when we know how. I believe Alexander Technique brings clarity to the how. The flicker of light turns into a clear beam of communication and direction over time. 

 

Experiencing our hands-on communication with the Alexander Technique we can get very much clearer understanding as to what we are actually communicating to our horses. The results are surprising, illuminating and engaging. Riders start to realise the need for clear direction. Wooly vague thought, ego, frustration, trying too hard or asking too much at the wrong time in the wrong way is confusing to the horse who really is listening to what you are thinking right now. You may think you are asking clearly, but are you? 

 

When I teach in this way one person is the horse and the other the rider. The horse now has human words to communicate what is being experienced to the rider.

 

One woman said ‘I am loving being the horse. I am thinking – oh really, you want me to do that? OK, it’s not going to work, but here you are… ‘ She found the lack of clarity from the rider full of humour. Does this sound familiar? Have you ever felt your horse is making fun of you? Maybe you can stay good humoured as a rider, but maybe you get frustrated or worse. Our lack of awareness can be disastrous for the horse and you too!

 

Our horses communicate with us all the time but are we really listening to what they are saying?  Maybe your horse isn’t being stubborn or stupid or can’t do it. Maybe he is more than willing and capable but really unsure as to what you are saying. 

 

Honest open feedback is a requirement from players of this ‘game’. It is fun, informative and very surprising when you start to realise the brilliance of your own thinking moment to moment and how loud and clear your thoughts are beaming to your wonderful sensitive intelligent horse. 

 

Interested? 

Courses available by arrangement

 

www.kirstenharris.co.uk 

 

Media downloads here 

Walking with Your Horse

Breathe

Body Magic 

www.kirstenharris.co.uk 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Horse Prints

 

 

The Magic Stop by Kirsten Harris

 

Feel by Kirsten Harris

The Journey by Kirsten Harris

Trust by Kirsten Harris

In Nature We Find Ourselves by Kirsten Harris

The Guardians by Kirsten Harris

If Wishes Were Horses by Kirsten Harris

 

Black and White hand signed prints available at www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

Share Button

To Earth We Return

To Earth We Return by Kirsten Harris

 

It takes a long time for a tree to grow, but only a short time to chop one down!

A friend from India told me that in her culture when a tree is chopped down 6 more are planted. How very wise.

 

  • A good thought is like a seed planted… ‘I let my neck be free’
  • Trust is the earth in which it grows… ‘So my head can release in a forwards & upwards direction’
  • Time works it’s magic … ‘In such a way as my back lengthens and widens’
  • We are the guardians … ‘Allowing widening across my upper arms, knees forwards and away…’

 

Feet on the ground, head in the air, heart open

 

A local farmer said to me the other day –

‘To farm well we must treat the land as though it is ours forever, even though I will only be custodian to it for a short time, I must act now for the future and look after this land.’

 

Last summer I painted huge canvases about dream seeding, painting outside in my garden, watching planes fly overhead wondering ‘Where are you going, why are you going? How could leave such beauty in search for something else?’

 

We seem to be a culture obsessed with time, time is money, hurry up, rush rush, no time right now, time for a holiday, bucket list, gotta go, what’s the time? I’m late!

 

I worry about the future of our planet when everyone is in such a hurry, consuming at high speed. How much plastic gets used on just one flight, let alone fuel? Our ancestors did not leave a horrible messy footprint on the planet, this is our recent legacy.

 

I resolved last summer to keep upping my game to the best of my ability to plant trees. Habitats for creatures, lungs for all, to earth we return …

 

So I continue to make art to plant woodlands, turning pieces of paper back into trees. That is a kind of alchemy, a desire to create magic, one artists attempt to give back to the earth.

 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Prints available

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique

Body Magic – download

Breathe – download

Walking With Your Horse – download

 

Link to Messages from Trees blog here

 

The Guardians by Kirsten Harris

 

Share Button

Messages from Trees

In Nature We find Ourselves, drawing by Kirsten Harris

 

Messages from Trees

  • Breathe deeply of me I am the lungs of the world, my health and yours are one
  • Let your spine flow upwards and your limbs flow freely outwards in the sky
  • Life will shape you and sculpt you as you grow, it’s 100 percent OK to be you
  • Allow yourself to be ‘rooted’ in the earth
  • Feel your connection to all things, all life is one
  • Observe in all directions
  • The more you observe the more you will see
  • The light and seasons are always changing and you with it, you too are seasons of light
  • Though you were once but a seed you are a mighty presence and still growing
  • Be shelter and safety, warmth and home for others
  • You too are a guardian of the planet
  • Be kind, and let your kindness spread like a canopy
  • Sometimes the winds of life will be strong, you can endure
  • Transformation is inevitable
  • Find truth in being present to where you are
  • Lie on your back under my canopy and let your imagination fly
  • Trees are Life

 

I am on a tree planting mission!

 

*******************

Hand signed and titled black and white prints are available of my artwork for trees.

I am offering free postage worldwide if you purchase more than one print. There are many more on my website. All the prints are black and white despite my dodgy photography! : )

 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Art

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique

FB – Kirsten Harris Art

FB – The Daily Ease Alexander Technique

 

The Whisper of Trees by Kirsten Harris

Horse Landscape by Kirsten Harris

The Old Horse Chestnut Tree by Kirsten Harris

Horses and the Tree of Life by Kirsten Harris

My Alexander Technique inspired colouring book  with words

A Walk in the Wood LINK HERE

 

LINK HERE

Each page is accompanied by hopefully inspiring Alexander Technique text

 

Share Button

Horse Ease – Geeks, Gals and Gee Gee’s

I am in heaven …

 

I am teaching Horse Ease – Lessons in the Alexander Technique to a group of gals who are passionate about horses and self knowledge.

 

Last night in our class I confessed to being a co-ordination geek!

By understanding how the anatomy of ‘me’ coordinates we become better riders. I am passionate about sharing this anatomical geekiness as our gee-gees love it when we are balanced and co-ordinated on their backs. We expect them to be balanced, are we?

 

I found myself in geek heaven as these amazing woman it turns out are also geeks. Willing to look deep inside at their own every day lives, habits and thinking patterns and see how these might effect their horses for better or for worse.

 

Last night we analysed two words – forward and stopping.

These are both horsy and Alexander Technique words.

What do these words mean to you?

 

Forward – Is it a conscious flowing easy dynamic direction for you or are you tipping forward, rushing forward?

Forward is a ‘power’ word in Alexander Technique.  Think in terms of finding your own horse power, your own dynamic poise and you are on the right tracks.

if you are interested in being a more skilful rider it is essential that you understand this word in depth. (I highly recommend you find an AT teacher!)

Is your horse balanced or on the forehand?

Is your horse barging forward or not going forward enough?

Are you scared to move forward on your horse? In life?

Are you rushing forward thinking about the future all the time, stuck and frustrated in your own habits or do you have a reliable co-ordination plan for working on yourself?

Do you rush forward in life paying little or no attention to how you get there or do you pay attention to your everyday movement knowing that it will effect your horse when you get on?

 

As we deeply analysed and experimented with the word forward the level of honesty and connection that the gals were making started to profoundly change their balance right there in front of my eyes. Aha moments and insight into how their way of going in life was mirrored in their riding.

 

Stopping – Is stopping (the halt)  a non thing to you, boring or just what you do when you are tired or is it active dynamic balance?
Is a stop constructive balance or just a chance to give the horse a break until you do something again?

Do you know how to find active dynamic balance in the stop?

Are you aware that movement is always present even when we are seemingly still?

Your body dangling freely under your head in active balance is an invitation for your horse to balance under you … Is stopping interesting to you? When we go deeply into the dynamic stop we find so much information and feedback. It becomes a conversation that your horse is willing to participate in.

 

A few thoughts for you to mull over …I hope it is helpful.

 

Forward and Up!

Kirsten

 

LINKS –

More on finding forward flow on your horse –  ‘Walking with you Horse’ media download on Alexander Technique and horsemanship click

 

More on Stopping – To find out more about Alexander Technique constructive dynamic rest click the link for ‘Body Magic’ here

 

 

 

 

 

Share Button