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Feeling vs Thinking

"We are feeling beings that think, not thinking beings that feel"

I've recently heard this quote twice. I love math and science. This is why I became a nurse. Not quite the heart felt story you usually hear when you ask someone why they became a nurse. Many will say it was a calling or they wanted to help people. I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to train horses. My non horsey parents said, "No way! You're going to college." So off I went with no idea of what I wanted to do. The school I attended offered nursing or teaching. I knew I didn't want to be a teacher. I liked math and science so I became a nurse.

What I love about nursing is the thinking behind it. What does that lab mean? Is that lab number associated with the increased heart rate? Is the increased heart rate linked to the nausea? Does the CT findings link this all together?

I love thinking and I love learning!

In my bodywork with horses, I do a lot of thinking. I have to know equine anatomy and how the body works. I had to think while I was learning it. I love trying to figure out what is causing soreness in a horse. Putting the pieces together and trying to figure out what came first. The question I often ask is - How can I best help this horse?

Nursing and bodywork both take a lot of thinking just, but you also have to feel. I have been on this "feeling" journey for awhile now. At times when I am working on a horse, I will stop talking to the owner to focus on the horse. In these moments, it often doesn't look like I am doing a lot. I usually have my hand placed on a tight area and I am taking in info about the horse by just feeling. This may sound a little strange but it's not. Horses tend to know when we are trying to understand them. A lick and a chew, a big breath, or a yawn is usually what follows my stop and feel moments.

How often are you with your horse that you overthink? This is going to depend on the type of person you are. As I stated above I love thinking and I love learning. That often takes over in my horsemanship and often not in a positive way. When I'm with my horses, I'm thinking about their muscle movements, their posture, and their mood.

When I am with my horses now, I try to just feel. How many times does someone walk into a room and you say "what's wrong?" You can feel that something isn't right. We need to do more of that with our horses.

What about riding? I know I'm guilty of trying to get a movement down and I think through it. The problem with this is we get braced and we stop feeling the horse. In our horsemanship journey, there are often times we have to think through a movement when we are learning it. Think through it for the biomechanics of it and than try to feel it. Every horse is different. Some may want your leg a touch back or a touch forward. Feel what they are telling you.

If it's a horse you know well, you may be inclined to think, "you always do this." Maybe he got kicked last night, maybe he slipped, maybe he is over tired cause the coyotes were yelping, maybe he had a touch of a belly ache. If you woke up not feeling 100%, you may not perform the way you did the day before.

The next time you are with your horse focus on just feeling what they are telling you. If you are doing groundwork, try not to think through it but feel through it instead. In the saddle, do the same thing. Being a thinker, I have to focus on freeing my mind and just being there with the horse. That is where the feeling comes through.

Carrie is located in Oconto, WI. She is certified in Equine Massage Therapy, Myofascial Release, and Magnawave. Carrie and her husband, Steve operate Breezy Acres Equine Services, LLC where they offer training, boarding, lessons, and workshops.

For more info about any services, contact us at 920-604-3045 or email:

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