Horses and Chi: “It’s All Connected, Brother”

“We understand nothing of the works of God unless we take it as a principle that He wishes to blind some and to enlighten others.”
–Blaise Pascal

 Could five thousand years of Chinese medicine be wrong? I can call it what I will: pressure, drive, vital energy, or chi but my horse feels some kind of force that resonates between us. Life can only be described in its most basic form as amorphous energy that takes on shape and meaning. That what appears to be random chaos takes on biological coherence. My horse then becomes an incredible teacher in this regard because he demonstrates to me that the energetic states I assemble in my emotions can be transmitted and deciphered. Perhaps not by me, but by him. When I wonder: am I connected to the world at large, am I woven into the fabric of life? Then he sends me back the answer: an unequivocal and resounding “yes.”

The bond between my horse and myself becomes physically palpable in the round pen. When I increase my emotional energy, my horse accelerates. When I quiet myself down internally, my horse slows down. When I breathe deeply and let all my tensions go, he walks up to stand with me. Somehow across the expanse of the round pen that separates me, standing at the center, and my horse, on the rail, there’s a vital connection between how I breathe and how my horse responds. I know of no more powerful proof that our own vital energy can reach out and connect with the life forms around us than the one my horse reiterates every day. Every time I doubt there might be any relationship between my own mortal life form and the endless universe at large, my horse always reminds me: “It is all connected, brother.”

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