Jean West Watanabe

Self Improvement, Self Growth, Master Key Principles, Manifestation

Feel and How it Affects Everything

Can you feel a horse?

Some of my readers already know that I was an equine massage therapist for several years. And one of the things I mastered during this time was” feel” based on the methods of legendary horseman Bill Dorrance, who died at the age of 93 in 1999. Bill believed in getting in the feel of a horse, so the horse could also get in the feel of you. This meant no dominance, but partnership and an understanding of things seen through the horse’s perspective and presenting things in a way the horse could understand, to achieve true harmony. He believed in setting a horse up to succeed and build confidence, rather than setting him up to fail, so a person could correct that horse and then feel good about their correction, which often came from an over inflated ego for many trainers. Feel could often times be the most subtle forms of movement or simply with an energetic vibe that is being put out by the handler. This type of feel is an art form that can be used in pretty much anything we do in life and does not stop with horsemanship.

The definition of feel is basically this: Awareness and sensation through touch or emotional experience that you can get from either a living thing or an object.

Mastering feel comes from observation and a “positive want” to become in tune with the very thing you are trying to get a feel of. When we put forth this type of positive ambition to understand something or someone else, your outcome can be nothing but positive. A horse can feels this type of intention as it is built right into their DNA instinctively. People, when not thinking defensively on their end, can also feel this type of intention when someone is genuinely trying to help, or understand them. However, if we place a shield of defensiveness in our thoughts or actions whenever we are approached by someone else, the communication will simply shut down and will go no further. With animals it is a little different. One thing my husband Kio taught me during my time as a therapist, is that animals cannot lie. Their feelings and reaction to someone or something comes from a very truthful place. They simply “act” instinctively to what is being presented, whether it is coming to them energetically or simply from an intended thought or action. This type of honesty coming from the horse is what built my confidence as a horse person and an equine massage therapist. I simply listened to the horse’s opinion regardless of what the owner may have thought. And when I say that the horse knows your intention before you even make a move towards him, I am not kidding.

When I first got my mustang Paiute, he came with some emotional baggage. I did not get the full story of what he had experienced as a colt. The person I bought him from treated him well, but something somewhere along the line had gone very wrong and most likely due to when he was captured by the Bureau of Land Management, while running free in Wyoming. Paiute came from the area of Green River Wyoming as a colt. It was the typical practice of rounding up wild mustangs by helicopter and four wheelers and bringing them into an enclosed pen, something a mustang has never experienced before, much less being around human beings. I can only imagine how terrifying that must have been. From there he was transferred up to Canon City Colorado, where he was kept in the BLM facilities until he was adopted by someone. He was given a good home by a woman here in Colorado, and eventually I bought him from her several years later at the age of 6.

It didn’t take me long to see the emotional issues that came with my purchase. He was terrified of equine professionals and really hated farriers in particular. I went through 6 of them before taking over the unruly task myself, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone, as trimming hooves is very hard work! These farriers were patient and really made an effort to try and get along with my horse as best they could, but Paiute couldn’t let his guard down. Since I had been trying only men farriers, I decided to give this woman a chance at the task to see if it would make any difference. I could not have been more wrong.

I had a woman from Boulder county come over to trim my horse and when I made the appointment with her, I told her of the situation so she would not be surprised by anything when she arrived. She asked me if she could use pharmaceutical drugs to try and calm him down and make him groggy which could lessen any anxiety issues that he may have, I agreed. The morning she arrived, I was standing inside of the small barn holding Paiute in the alley way between the stalls, while making small talk with the barn owner.  Suddenly around the corner came the new woman farrier, she was a decent height, and very skinny and there was really nothing about her that was strange, threatening or alarming in any way. In fact, she came around the corner rather quietly as we had not heard the truck pull in when she arrived. As she came around the corner, she stopped dead in her tracks at the opening of the barn, took one look at Paiute and said in a baby voice “There he iiisss… how ya doing buddy?”  Paiute responded with a very threatening snort and a stamp of his front foot, his ears were forward, his alarm sound went off and he was having none of it. He KNEW he did not like her from the moment she arrived. Whatever it was… that horse could smell it a mile away and he was done with her before she even got started. I decided to give it a try anyway, which was my first mistake.

We managed to give him the tranquilizing drug to see if it was going to make a difference. It did not. When he should have been sleeping and groggy he was alert as ever and keeping a very wide eye on her. She decided to give him a little more, nope… didn’t do a thing, he was prepared to stay wide awake and did not want her touching him. This went on for awhile before she quietly asked me if she could take the lead rope and try something new with him. I trusted her, so I said yes and gave her the rope, but I should have been trusting my horse’s instinct instead. Suddenly she got rough, yanking and pulling as hard as she could on the lead rope, trying to work him hard to wear him down only made the problem worse. With my head in my hands I sat on the side fence wondering what I had done to contribute to this mess. She managed to get two feet trim, hallelujah and was going to have to come back the next day to finish the back feet. I almost decided against it, but I had to get his feet done.

The following day it was the same rodeo all over again, she did manage to get the back feet done, but Paiute had taken a huge step back due to this awful experience.  He wasn’t harmed physically at all, I would not have allowed it, but the mental damage was there. If you think he was afraid of farriers before, now he was really afraid. It would take me weeks, if not months to undo this bad experience. I asked her to leave and she never trimmed my mustang again. That is when I made the decision to take over the hoof trimming myself and listen to my horse’s instincts going forward.  That was my 2nd mistake, not listening to my horse to begin with.

So what did Paiute see that day that I didn’t? When this woman entered the barn, her demeanor may have seemed harmless, but her intention was not and he knew it. He could smell it. Whatever it was she was thinking that day, or the day I made the apt or even on the drive over to trim him was anything but understanding or willing to “get in feel of him”. Her agenda about how things were going to go, had been made prior to coming to the apt. and without considering him or his opinion. He knew it and he was not ok with her agenda.

Feel is very evident when it is applied correctly, that is why keeping your thoughts in check is important. For those of us who use feel on a daily basis or are sensitive to feel, we can sense someone’s sincerity in an issue, despite their words and physical actions. Regardless of how much in pain be it emotional or physical that a horse is in, my mind was in the right place before I entered a stall. I wanted to hear and see the horse’s point of view, so that I could understand their pain and do what was necessary to alleviate it. Sometimes even with my quiet presence, simply standing and watching a horse was enough to calm them down, because in my head and with my energetic vibe, I was there to help and to understand.

 If you apply this type of feel to everything you do in life, it will make your intentions easier for other people to understand. Feel is what protects us, it also enlightens us. When we feel an object for the first time, sometimes we discover that it is softer or harder than we expected it to be, but with feel we gained a clearer and more truthful understanding. Feel is what protects us from hurting ourselves, think of putting your hand on something hot, you feel the heat so you stay away from it until it cools down.  When we feel emotionally with our thoughts, we are tune with what is unfolding before us, and that prepares us for any given situation and on any given day.

Author: Jean

I was born and raised mostly in Minnesota, the youngest of 5 girls. I never went onto college as my sisters did, because the only two things I had ever wanted to do was work with horses or pursue music and I figured I would not need a conventional education for either of those. I chose to pursue a career in horse training three days after graduating from high school and did this for many years. Horribly misguided by others I met along the way, I eventually became disillusioned with the horse industry and it's lack of respect for the horses, so I moved on from that and I never looked back. I then went into music, which was my second love and was an aspiring singer/songwriter part time for another 10 years while I worked administrative jobs on the side. This also went to the wayside when it did not take me where I wanted to go. These days I am married and currently live in Colorado with my husband, two dogs and a horse. In looking back on my life I could never understand why I would get so close to reaching my dreams and goals, but then watch them slip away as easily as they had come. As a young horse trainer starting out, I had two very good opportunities to work for a woman who was former world champion rodeo star and also for a close relative of another rodeo star, who had been a world champion many times over. I rejected both of these opportunities early on, but with great regret later, because my head was not in the right place to accept them. Even though I had manifested both opportunities during that time and without realizing what I was doing, was unable to keep them. The same thing happened in the music industry. I had the experience of recording demos in both Austin Texas and Nashville at separate times, and I was given the opportunity to be represented by a few producers in Nashville as well, both eventually going nowhere. These hit and miss opportunities that never really got off the ground, soon became an up and down journey that I went through for several years, until I started studying Universal laws of manifestation. Early on, the first book my cousin had handed me about negative and positive attraction was indeed inspiring, but telling someone to simply think positively is not going to leave a lasting impression, so I fell back into my old ways of finding opportunity and losing opportunity. Years later, I eventually moved onto another book and things went a little deeper, but I was still not quite “getting it” because I had so many questions and felt things were missing in the authors explanation of how this all works. I eventually found The Master Key System written by Charles Haanel and that's when things really came together for me. His explanation of why Universal and Natural Laws of Attraction work by bringing science and spirituality together, instead of separating them as we have been taught, really made a lot of sense to me. All of my questions were answered and the holes were filled in. It was the connection of science and spirituality that made this book a little different than the others. Nothing I had read, had gone quite that deep before. I started to use The Master Key System and saw that opportunities were coming to me a lot more easily than in the past and I was able to keep them. In using these principles, I launched my first successful small business when I was well into my 40’s, as an equine massage therapist and at a time when I thought that I was going to be stuck working mindless admin jobs for the rest of my life. It was amazing how it brought me full circle into working with horses again. I have continued to use The Master Key Principles for every part of my life, both physically and mentally. I am a lifetime, work in progress student and a true believer of these wonderful methods.

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