Self presence is something that I have been trying to describe to people for a while now but have just really gotten a hang of it myself. So what does this mean?
To me, self presence is made up of five major sections.
1) The amount of your "self" you show
2) How you live in the moment- and whether or not you truly do
3) Your character
4) Your current mental and emotional state
5) Whether or not you open your self to the world
In number one, when I say "self" in quotations, I am not speaking of your physical body but of what you are born with. Your self is often beautiful. It cannot be changed, it does not have major flaws, and does not carry emotions or habits such as anger. Your self is what you are composed of- what makes you. You can hide your self from you or from others, but horses see right through the masks and they see right behind the walls they put up in front of pieces of your self. They do see it- but they become aggravated with anyone who is not able to be honest about themselves. People who do not show them selves, by horses, are not considered honest. There are two things that equal how you speak to horses: your self presence and your body language. Your inside and your out.
When I say "living in the moment", many people do not completely live in the moment. They are so worried about what they could be doing or how it would be just a bit more perfect or dwelling in their emotions or thoughts or thinking about either tomorrow or yesterday... and they forget to be truly here, in the now. When you begin to live completely in the moment you find that each moment is beautiful, and all of the good moments in life make up for the few bad ones that everyone must go through sometimes.
Your character is not exactly your self, but simply a deeper set part of your personality. Your character is based on your actions, your thoughts, your emotional and mental, and how you naturally respond to things. Your personality is what your character has developed into over time- with habits, your way of life, the way you move throughout the day, and how you have learned to respond to things.
Your current mental and emotional state is fairly obvious- if you go out to your horse very mentally scattered or emotionally negative, they will not want to be with you quite as much as they would have if you were mentally at peace and emotionally positive. You are not as happy if you are mentally and emotionally scattered- quite a simple thought.
Whether or not you open yourself to the world is also something a little harder to describe. It is basically whether you keep all of these components "locked away" inside of you, or whether you free them and yourself. The feeling of freedom is one of the most pleasurable of all... And the horse knows this. They relish in your joy when you are free and at peace.
I have decided to add a sixth section-
So- self presence, a fairly complex idea, when broken down does not seem so complicated. So what does it have to do with horses? Absolutely everything. Whether my self presence is just right for each horse or not (and it does have to be slightly different for each) depends upon how well the partnership continues and how good I am at using the lightest touch, softest leadership, strongest love, most forgiving and understanding attitude... etc. Self presence dictates whether or not the horse thinks of the lesson as positive or negative and their expression the next time I go to play with them. For me, self presence is a part of every day life. It is something that I pay conscious attention to all of the time now. All of us pay attention to self presence- we just do not pay much attention to it consciously.
I hope that made some sense.
(the fifteen year old girl)
~There is no such thing as impossible.