As an animal lover, I was immediately drawn to the three splendid, strong, graceful beasts. The experience of extended silent time to simply touch and stroke the horses began the establishment of trust and acceptance that was necessary for the work (play, to them) at hand. As a musician, I am well-acquainted with performance anxiety, and the finesse of looking and sounding as cool as a cucumber while my kneecaps are shaking and my heart is pounding. “You look so relaxed and comfortable!” I am often told, while thinking to myself, “Guess I fooled them again.” There is no fooling the survival instincts of the constantly vigilant prey animal that needs to identify and follow a trusted leader. These highly-trained retired thoroughbreds are highly attuned to energy, moods and cues. The learning in this workshop provides some basic communication tools to relate to and lead the horse appropriately. In order to succeed in gaining their trust to follow, one must find and feel a calm centering. The experience of finding this point is both exhilarating and humbling, but most of all grounding. This is a unique feeling that I hope I am able to somatically recall and know better over time.
– Karen Klevanosky