Updated: Dec 19, 2020
I love horses, and America!
by Justin Dunn
Mindful, or Mind full, and Perception
Today is a wonderful day to live in America! There is no other place I'd rather be, than right her, right now. If you are wondering why, especially with all that is going on in the world, I'll tell you.
Every morning, I wake up and think about what I choose to think about. I'll tell my wife good morning, and we head into our library for coffee and conversation. We watch the horses through our glass doors, and discuss the plan for the day. We practice mindfulness, being in the moment, and enjoying each other's company.
Being mindful, allows us to be in control of our thoughts, emotions, attitude, and ultimately actions. As we prepare for the day by being aware of what is going on in the world, we have an advantage of being in control of ourselves in the world. The perceptions of what some may describe as horrible, may be just that for them. But that is a perception, and must be understood as just that.
In therapy, a person with a full mind, or a mind full of what they perceive is going on in the world, comes into the round pen with a mustang horse and things have to change. The person has to be present, mindful of what they are presenting to the horse. Mustang horses will demand that the person be in the moment, and clear their mind of any other thoughts that distract them from the moment.
If a person is watching what they perceive to be happening in the world, and not experiencing what is actually happening in their world, mustangs will show them. The beautiful thing about horses is that they allow us to see the difference. Horses allow us to practice sensory perception in real time. We have sensory perception, to sustain life, or survive, and mustangs are masters of sensory perception for survival.
As we practice sensory perception with our horses, we get stronger in the ability to have control over our thoughts, emotions, attitude, and actions. We can look at the world around us with a whole new perspective. The most liberating feeling is that we get a choice, and are in control of ourselves, rather than under control of what we perceive going on around us.
The reason I think it's wonderful to live in America today, is we have a choice. We can look at things in real time, and choose how we allow them to affect us. I'm aware of what is going on in the world around me, just as my horses are aware of what goes on around them. It's truly a blessing to have the horses assist us in achieving harmony and balance. Being mindful and in the moment, takes practice, the best way I've found is to practice with horses. Being "mind full" is exhausting, overwhelming and can lead to disease in the body. The best way to get rid of a full mind, or at least cause a gap in the continuous thought clutter, is to play with horses. The more you play with horses, and the more often you do it, the bigger the gap will get in the thoughts that clutter the mind.
So I say again, it's a great day to be alive and free in America!
We are consistently working on American Mustang School, and things are going great. I'll share more news as it unfolds.
Thanks so much for being in my circle of horsey friends, I really appreciate your support.
Photo Leila Strickland
Last Month's Roundup
We had some more wonderful therapy sessions at AMS this month. In addition to working with veterans, Justin has been holding therapy sessions for some amazing kids!
We made some new contacts for some much needed funding. Let's hope for the best.
Photo Leila Strickland
AMS Adventures - Here's What's Coming Up
We will continue with our Member Group videos and veteran therapy sessions this month. As COVID restrictions ease we will offer other programs.
Words to Ride By
"Have a servant leadership mindset when developing the relationship with your horse. Care more about your horse than you care about yourself and your agenda."
Horse Fun Facts
During his Wednesday Q&A two weeks ago, Justin asked us to guess the name of Napoleon's horse. It was Marengo. What is the meaning of this horse's name? Answer below...
American Mustang School Horse Spotlight
Name - Piper (American Paint Horse)
Favorite activity - He loves children!! He loves packing and being on the trail.
Best adventure with Justin - Not sure it was the best adventure, but he helped pack equipment into the back country of Colorado. He got away from one of the guides I had hired to help, and was lost for two nights. Upon finding him, he ran over to us and actually hugged the guide that lost him. Needless to say, Piper doesn't need a lead rope when packing. He stays right on my horse the entire time!
Piper is special because - He came to us as a horse that would buck each time a rider tried to ride him. After 14 days of intensive care and training, he was asked to help me with the program for children with cancer. He loves children so much, he rose to be one of my number one choices. He carried children for 5 years without even one problem. Now, he carries adults, and children, enjoying every minute!
All dressed up and ready to ride! Photo Leila Strickland
Answer for Horse Fun Fact
Well there are two meanings for the word Marengo...
a village in Piedmont, in NW Italy: Napoleon defeated the Austrians 1800.
a former gold coin of Italy, issued by Napoleon after the battle of Marengo.
We're betting the correct definition is the first one!
Group members have access to discount and offers from my sponsors. Right now members get 10% off of all Big Dee's purchases and 20% of Synergy by Weaver products.
Not a member of our private Facebook group - Adventures of the Enlightened Horseman yet?
Please consider joining because every dollar goes toward providing Veterans and First Responders (and their families) Equine Assisted Therapy - at no charge to them.
In return, Justin shares his knowledge of Bitless, Spurless, No pain, No fear Horsemanship with you.
A win-win that could save someone's life and enrich your horsemanship!