Our Horses, Ourselves. Discovering the Common Body Paula Josa-Jones

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Between 60 and 80 percent of human communication is nonverbal, spoken in the physical language of movement and touch. But while we are in effect "talking" all the time, we often lack a clear vocabulary and syntax of the body. And it is here that our relationship with horses (and humans) can become complicated, even to the point of breaking down. Communication between human and horse relies almost entirely on the nonverbal - if we don't know what we are saying or how we are saying it, we cannot possibly expect to form the kind of trusting and consistent partnership that is integral to recreation and competitive equestrian pursuits.

For years, horse trainers and equine excperts have sought new ways to tap into that which for many remains elusive: the ability to use the human body, and our often neglected power of intent, to explain to the horse what we want, as well as receive in and understand his answer. From the Feldenkraid Method, Alexander Technique, and yoga, to Tai Chi Aikido, and other martial arts, we have used various areas of study seemingly unrelated to horses and riding to gain new insight as to how to achieve a soft, fluid connection with our equine partners.

Now in this fascinating book, dancer and choreographer Paula Josa-Jones examines this age-old conundrum from a whole angle, combining her two greatest passions: movement and horses. By helping us develop greater somatic awareness- consciousness of breath, integrated and coherent movement, and the understanding of movements and touch as potent channels of communication - she opens unexplored doors to the true partnership with horses we seek.

Through stories, strategies, and over 65 meditations and gentle exercises, Josa-Jones shows us both how to develop this awareness away from the horse, as well as how being with the horse can help this consciousness continue to evolve. What we find in these pages not only brings us a closer, more intuitive connection with our horses, it helps us become more trustworthy, more comfortable in our own skin, and better prepared to act with balance, sensitivity, and kindness in all our relationships.