Driving From The Center

Driving Class at Blue Star Equiculture
Driving Class at Blue Star Equiculture

On Friday’s Pamela and Paul teach  a four hour Driving Class to students from Amherst College.  They’re agricultural students, who want to learn about using horses to farm with.  After a lesson in harnessing the horses, everyone made their way into the field.

One of the important ways that Driving is different from Riding, is that the only contact you have with the horse when driving is through voice commands and the reins.  And it’s not like in the movies where the driver snaps the reins and yells Yee Ha!  to get the horse moving. Here, the commands to stop and go are spoken softly but firmly, to get a horse moving you have to be clear.  And it’s only the tiniest pressure on the reins that gives direction.

Then, like with riding, there’s the thing you do with your mind and body, which your horse is as sensitive to as if you were sitting on it’s back.  Your intentions have to be clear, you have to stay in the moment, having a fixed point you’re heading towards.  Your elbows are at your waist, your leadership emanating from your center, from your belly.

On the way back to the farm, I walked behind the class,my  elbows at my waist,  my hands holding invisible reins.  And felt the energy and power coming from my center.  It could feel the warmth glowing yellow.  I thought of how I’ve always been self conscious about my stomach.  My whole life thinking it was too big, ugly.  It’s something I learned to feel growing up, something our society  reinforces.  And yet, this is where our will, our power lies in our bodies.  The third chakra, the color yellow.   It’s as if I was taught to hate my own power.

For the past few years, whenever I thought about my stomach in a negative way, I would lay my hands on it and say to myself “I love my belly”.  And when doing yoga, I often focus on the center strengthening positions.  But yesterday I  embodied the idea, the connection between the two.  I cried a bit as I walked back to the barn, feeling my power surge and settle in my body,  known again.



7 thoughts on “Driving From The Center

  1. Hi Maria, l also have work to do on my third chakra and reading your sentence -The third chakra, the color yellow – l had to smile because yellow is flooding the screen right now while l am writing this message to you 🙂
    I remember sending you a very enthusiastic email in response to your posting of the blue horse quilt for Pamela. You did not sound very confident and yet all l could think was ‘WOW’!!!! Perhaps the image of the compass rose turned out to be a really meaningful sign for you?

    1. Sabina, are you referring to the blue star in the quilt? It is a compass rose isn’t it? I need to think about it more. I’m seeing yellow too.

  2. Hi Maria,
    yes yes, l thought right away that it was a compass rose and how magical it fit into the overall design and l began to wonder what made you choose to portray the star in that way – how did you come to think of it in relation to horses? So perhaps it was meant as star, but it made me think right away of ‘direction’ and everything to do with it – where to go next, how to get there, who is going there with me, what will it mean changing directions, etc…
    When you changed your website design to this bright lovely brilliant colour yellow a lot of other things changed with it, it’s all rather fabulous how we live inside this web that supports us so well and of which we often only get to see a small part – possibly because the whole of it would be too overwhelming to take in. Love the big happy smile on your face in Jon’s picture – can’t wait to find out what your next artistic project will be 🙂

    1. It was meant as a star Sabina. Blue Star which is the prophecy of new beginnings that the Rescue farm is named for. Pamela asked that the piece have three things in it. Blue Star, a horse and a human. But it is a compass rose too. Representing The four directions and the new direction which Blue Star Equiculture is taking.
      And it’s so true Sabina, we’re all a part of this web and have such a hard time comprehending it as a whole.

  3. YES!!! Love “Your intentions have to be clear, you have to stay in the moment, having a fixed point you’re heading towards. Your elbows are at your waist, your leadership emanating from your center, from your belly.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Full Moon Fiber Art