Probably the greatest example of the power of intention is found in the world of Quantum Physics.
In this world we learn that literally everything in the universe (water, rocks, wood, ice cream, people, electricity, horses, etc.) is made up of stuff called sub-atomic particles. These particles have names like electrons, neutrons and are so tiny, they are smaller than the size of an atom (i.e. Sub-atomic).
What is absolutely amazing about sub-atomic particles is the fact that they are only visible to humans (scientists looking through microscopes) when they are looking for them. If a person does not specifically intend to look for a sub-atomic particle, the particle is not visible.
This is the ultimate example of the power of intention.
When I ask my horse to go forward I need to look forward. I need to communicate my intention to my horse mentally as well as physically. If I am looking at my horses’ head, he may or may not go forward. If he does go forward, it will not be with the same certainty or confidence he would have had he known I was looking forward.
The reason he can tell that I’ve moved my eyes and head to look forward is due to something called a Proprioceptive Change. A proprioceptive change is the smallest noticeable physical change that occurs in our bodies right before a larger change occurs.
When I have the conscious intention of asking my horse to go forward, this thought causes an imperceptible shift in my body as I move my head and eyes to look out and straight ahead. My intention to go forward creates my mental thought (“I want to go forward”), which causes an almost invisible change in my body that can be felt by my horse.
This is only possible if I’m focused, in the moment and completely present to being with my horse.
An example of a proprioceptive change that most of us have experienced is when we hug someone. If the other person stops hugging before we do, just before they stop, we feel an almost imperceptible reduction in the intensity of their hug.
An equine example we might relate to is the feeling we feel from a horses’ body just before he bucks. In the same way my horse can feel my intentions when I am focused and aware, I can feel my horse’s intentions.
Because a horse’s survival depends on his ability to instantaneously sense any type of danger, they are hardwired with super human senses, which makes them experts in detecting proprioceptive changes in their environment. Another way to say it is horses are masters of “knowing what happens before what happens happens” (say this to yourself two times very slowly).
In either case, the power of intention is palpable and exists in both humans and horses.
Natural Horsemanship teaches us that in order to become better with horses, we need to become more like them. When my horse responds to my slightest intention, then I am riding a fabulously light horse. If I can respond to my horses’ slightest intention, I become a better rider. I become more confident and thus safer.
The better we both listen to each other, the better we get along and the better we ride.
Lighter, confident, safer; isn’t that what we all want when we ride? Tom Dorrance called it True Unity. Ray Hunt called it Thinking Harmony. I like to call it Being One With My Horse.
It’s like a couple that loves and knows each other so well, they can finish each other’s sentences.
Humans, horses, we are in many ways the same…just different combinations of sub-atomic particles. The power of intention exists in all of nature. It’s why using the power of our intention is a natural way to communicate with our horse i.e… Natural Horsemanship.
About the Author
Tim Hayes is the author of RIDING HOME – The Power of Horses to Heal. It is this amazing power of horses to heal and teach us about ourselves that is accessible to everyone and found in the pages this book. To learn more about the book please visit ridinghome.com. Every book ordered will benefit children of families in need, veterans with PTSD and children with autism. For Natural Horsemanship Clinics, private sessions and for more articles and blogs by Tim Hayes go to hayesisforhorses.com.