In another life I would have been a scientist. “Zoologist” was my choice, in fact. I love the research and putting together original ideas to formulate new theories or prove existing ones. Back in the 1970s though, when I was in high school, there was little thought given to directing girls towards fields of science. I fell behind in math after a change in school systems and nobody seemed to notice or care much, and I was too shy to ask for help. Meanwhile, I found myself with a four-year-old appaloosa filly and a yearling appaloosa colt that turned my analytical mind to that of wonder at how I, a slight teenage girl, could develop such a close relationship with horses as to be able to manage these two young training projects and not get hurt in the process.
I studied the works of great classical master trainers and was always excited to try out their techniques on my horses, then go back and study more. The colt wasn’t even rideable until he was two so I “played” with him for a year and a half while he grew into a full stallion. By the time I had started him under saddle we could practically read each other’s minds, and he seemed to clearly understand what I was saying to him in the way that a small child would act and respond to body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and actual words. Sometimes his responses were startling and very unexpected. I believe we developed what the researchers in the story at the subject of this blog post from TheHorse.Com have termed “co-being”.
This young horse, in my opinion, actually evolved in his intelligence above and beyond what he would have had he been left in the wild or simply turned out with other horses and not interacting so much with a human in his formative years. I believe I also developed what I refer to as a “sixth sense” of reaction-time and horse-like responses to visual and auditory stimuli as a result of handling not only such a young horse, but one with the developing hormones and behaviours respective of a typical stud colt.
I am grateful that researchers are now identifying the drivers behind such evolutionary development, and am extremely thankful that a veterinarian such as Dr. Allen Schoen emerged as an early pioneer in the field of integrative, holistic veterinary medicine, and has never stopped exploring the ways animals can be healed and communicated with beyond conventional approaches.
His theories regarding the energetic fields that develop between a horse and rider support the possible reasons that my young horses and I were able to merge together and feel as though we could respond to each other’s thoughts and emotions with split-second timing and clear understanding.
* * * *
Please enjoy Dr. Schoen’s commentary on the article: Some Horses, Riders Have “Co-Being” Relationship:
I am pleased to see these universities undertaking these studies on what they term “co-being theory”.
In my book “Kindred Spirits, How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live” that I wrote in 2001, I proposed what I call “co-species healing”, how we both can heal each other. I also began to describe what I feel more and more confident actually exists, is actually, a new level of conscious evolution in all animals when they are in the presence and continued interaction with humans. Recently, I have termed and copyrighted the terms “Trans-species Field Theory”© and the “Compassionate Field Theory” © proposing that new energetic fields actually develop between humans and animals when we are interacting regularly together. My theories are based on a combination of the research documented by HeartMath between humans, the latest in neuroscience and the latest in research in mind body medicine and compassion. I extrapolate all this research to interactions between humans and animals when they interact with each other.
In my blog, Kindred Spirits Project, I have collated videos and articles that document the interactions between different species that transcend our current beliefs and knowledge about how they “should” interact with each other.
I believe we are co-creating an entirely new field based on an expanded level of awareness of human animal interactions. I believe that animals that interact regularly with humans are developing areas in their brains that create new firing of neural nets and then new wiring of their neural nets to encompass a new level of awareness and consciousness in regards to interacting with humans. They are evolving beyond just “horsing around” or being in a herd and acting out of herd behavior, even beyond mirroring or mimicking humans. I believe they are developing new levels of communication with humans, based on their observations of human behavior and new levels of trans-species communication at many levels. We then co-create a “trans-species” field, transcending the individual field. Rupert Sheldrake has coined the term “morphic fields” between animals, like fish swimming together or birds flying together Sheldrake; Morphic Resonance Introduction. I feel that there are actually these “trans-species” fields of interactions that develop. When we take responsibility for our part in creating those fields, and then focus our intention on compassion for all beings and have that intention as part of our energetic field, then we can create the “compassionate field” that I observe clinically in my practice and call the “Compassionate Field Theory”©.
I am excited to see that there are variations on this theme evolving elsewhere, especially at universities. I used to be a Clinical Assistant Professor at both Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine as well as at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, but now focus more on how these theories may be demonstrated and manifesting in clinical practice in horse barns as well as anywhere where humans and animals interact.
I’m not a scientist or a psychologist, but I can relate to your experiences. It is a unique and wonderful bond.
As a science-fiction writer as well as a horseman, I think that the relationship with horses is the closest we can find to having a relationship with an alien intelligence. They think differently, communicate differently and are interested in communicating different things. For instance, I wanted to get my horse’s attention and I patted the metal frame around his stall window (he’s in tonight because of storm Pax) – he ignored it. Then I realized that he was a prey animal, not a predator. A predator attends to any slight noise because it can be prey. Prey animals learn a threshold for worry, and don’t pay as much attention to random sounds like that. Evolution shaped his lack of response and it made me smile to realize why he didn’t look up.