Let's Learn From the Horse - Faithful Friends - Article Series
From The Caring Heart with Dr. Joyce from Spokane Washington

“He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

A  good friend is someone who reaches for your hand
And touches your heart.
Bread may feed my body but my horse feeds my soul.

As was discussed in the former article, “Horses: Our Ultimate Friends,” horses have many incredible abilities which allow them to sense deeply what is going on in people’s mental, emotional, and behavioral functioning, and to “join up” in loyal, honest friendship with compatible humans. Among their many virtues, horses are kind, patient, forgiving, nonjudgmental, loving, and loyal. It seems to me that horses demonstrate many qualities that would describe the Heavenly Kingdom-living character. Horses’ herd relationships reveal advanced social skills, where horses care about and help one another. They have to get along for better protection from predators. Each horse has it’s place in the herd. Their togetherness and cooperation protect the lives of all. It has been said that Kingdom of Heaven relationships promote LIFE in the participants, and in those exposed to those participants, Quality friendships promote good health and life.

For me, one quality which stands out in such great relationships is that of COOPERATION. The dictionary definition of cooperation is to work or act together or jointly; to unite in promoting an effect. All cultural evolution throughout history has been based on cooperation – beings working and creating together. It has been maintained that people learned from dogs how to cooperate with people they are not related to. So, our human faithful friends network relationships should have cooperation as a core operating value. What needs to happen is that two people who are starting to build a friendship need to join up with one another, agreeing to “get together again,” or “keep in touch.” There is a silent sense of partnership, based on mutual love, trust, respect, and dignity. Then, as time and occasions go on, the pair needs to do as the horses do – deeply sense, as much as possible, where each person is “coming from,” so that sensitive, kind, and compassionate relating can occur, time after time. Each person meets the other’s needs and wants gladly and enthusiastically, as situations warrant. When REAL CONNECTION, intellectually AND emotionally, happen (which is, I’m convinced, THE PINNACLE OF SUCCESSFUL RELATING), what is created is a shared reality, highly beneficial to both. In fact, there is evidence that such in-depth, cooperative connecting and sharing decreases harmful stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin, boosts the immune system, and generates better moods and life satisfactions overall.

Just as the horse needs to know for sure that his or her human leader has his or her best interests at heart, and will protect the horse from any kind of harm, as much as possible, so human faithful friends need to trust one another to have their best interests at heart and mutually protect. Open, authentic sharing is paramount, The vulnerability of each should not be violated. No hidden and/or manipulative agendas are appropriate, which would spoil the peace, harmony, and trust in the friendship.

Actually, what horses can teach us about good interpersonal relating can apply to so many species. Human babies, piggy babies, kitty babies, puppy babies, and horsey babies all need mamas who are gently and protectively responsive to their every need. The list of species needing nurturance as infants seems endless, as does the list of species needing lifetime nurturance. This sensitive nurturing has been called INTERACTIVE SYNCHRONY, which means interacting in harmony together, or cooperating, or flowing together.

If we could have relationships of interactive synchrony going on, all over the place, we would sure have a lot of FAITHFUL FRIENDS NETWORKS. We would have a lot more happiness, too, and so much less personal and societal problems.

Here’s a number of descriptive attitudes and behaviors which promote mutually beneficial relationships, between human pairs, human-horse pairs, human-dog pairs, or whatever other species.

  • Compassion is the singlemost important ingredient.
  • A joint sense of purpose creates the quality of the relationship.
  • Put the others’ needs and wants ahead of your own – be considerate.
  • Be careful to “key into” the other person, whether human or animal.
  • Openness and spontaneity, not guardedness and reservedness.
  • Nurturance and kindness (refer to the horse’s qualities)
  • Be reliable to establish trust.
  • Be humble, not puffed up, arrogant, prideful, or self-centered.
  • Continue to grow to feel genuine compassion for all creatures.
  • No indifference to anyone’s suffering.
  • When circumstances allow, make your commitment lifelong, unending.

“A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.” - Lois Wyse

COPYRIGHT – 2016 - Dr. Joyce The Caring Heart

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