It is very rare that I share text of other people here.

The text below cracked me open in endless awe of its poetic beauty, truth, and power. It is one of the most energetically charged texts I have come across.

It speaks to the relationship with horses, but, really, about the entire individual and social dynamics in our society, and how to transform them.

I invite you to read this without added context from me this week.

​Text by Nahshon Cook

And this is the thing, you’re riding too much in your mind. You’re playing this video in your head about how it is supposed to look and you are not in your body. Every time you think you are supposed to be doing something your horse offers resistance. This is what I want you to really understand. Don’t be afraid to be at the beginning. If you are afraid to be at the beginning you are not going to make it to the end. It’s okay not to know what you don’t know. What’s not okay is feeling like you have to present half understood ideas to your horse because then you create problems. Work in the space where you are. Master the simple stuff. There is a lot of profundity in being okay with where you are.

If you listen to me, I can turn you into a good rider. But what I’m going to ask you to do is to choose consciously your responses to what I’m saying. If you’re always preparing for a rebuttal and I can’t finish a thought, you are not going to get it. The art of riding well, lay in listening well. If you can’t hear me, if you can’t listen to me, then there is no way you can listen to your horse. And I don’t want to come to lessons where having to prepare myself for a war of ideas with you. I’ll not do that. Here is not where we learn to be seen, it’s where we learn to see.

I want you to trust what you feel and let your thoughts go. When you’re thinking too much about what you’re doing, and you’re thinking about doing this and you’re thinking about doing that, your horse can’t understand you. I just want you to feel what the walk feels like, and I want you to feel what your body feels like on the horse. I want you to be okay with that. The only thing I want you to do right now is learn how to be honestly.


As you’re going around, more and more of the shield is falling off you like shed skin. I can see it because your horse is calming down. You don’t need a crystal ball if you can read body language. And so, whatever you feel like you have to protect yourself from, leave it out of the saddle. Because then, your horse feels like she has to protect herself from you. Don’t bring the rest of the world to this work, it’s not allowed. Wherever else in life that you’re brilliant, and you are, it doesn’t matter right now. Just. Ride. Your. Horse. Don’t think about riding your horse, ride your horse. Listen to the sound of her hooves touching the ground. Train your mind to quiet down. Is the footfall even? That’s what I want you to listen for. Is your body moving in synch with the sound of her steps? I don’t want you to force it. I want you to feel it. I want you to observe it. Give yourself to her. This is what I meant when I said, ‘You don’t train horses to change for people. You teach people how to change.’ I don’t want her to be anything other than herself. But, what I do want is for you to be completely hers.

Worst thing you can have is a horse that feels like it has to protect itself from you. Fight is what horses do when they’re feeling overpowered. Schematic training methods built out of broken horses devolved into savages of slaves who strengthens have been concurred is an idea that outlived its usefulness for me. There are no colonizes in my ban. If you are going to be a trainer of horses in the tradition of love and respect, and co-creation in life and art, you must learn to listen to what your horse is telling you about what you’re asking her and how it’s making her feel. If it feels forced, it is not correct. If she shield it, it’s not right. And until she stops feeling like that we are not moving on. Her being willing to work for you is all there. It’s not about obedience, it’s about understanding and peace. Horses only give you what you offered them. And so, what is the goal of this work? The goal is for the horse to have a subtle spine and a subtle mind and an open body for as long as possible, no matter their job. This is the holy grail of horsemanship.

Please learn more about Nashon’s work at Nahshon Cook Horsemanship