#20 How Do You Feel?

Nov 11, 2021

Feel… It’s one of those little words that is packed with meaning. It’s also a word whose definition grows richer with experience. As Bill Dorrance said, “You can’t teach feel, you have to experience it.”

How would you define feel? Is your understanding of it today different than it was a few years ago?

Lately, I’ve been immersed in putting together an online massage course with Erin Sauer and have been trying out a bunch of the exercises with my horses. I’m LOVING what I’m learning because it’s causing me to listen closer to what each horse is “saying”, observing the slightest responses to give me cues on how to proceed. In a nutshell it’s improving my feel.

But what does that really mean? To me, at this point in my journey, feel is a level of awareness. It’s being a great conversationalist. A willing and curious listener. Truly wanting to hear and understand what my horse is trying to communicate back.

Like any great conversationalist, what is said next is based on what was heard and the conversation morphs and grows from there. 

There can be varying qualities of feel. When I'm distracted, I'm not a good listener and the feel I offer suffers. 

The opportunities to practice our feel and timing are everywhere!!

  • Walking down the aisle in the grocery store and paying attention to the folks around you to see if you can figure out which way they're going to go and adjust accordingly.  
  • Reaching out to shake someone's hand, feeling for the hand shake they'd prefer or conveying a feeling in the one you're offering.
  • Driving with feel and timing. Being aware of the drivers around you. Speeding up or slowing down to adjust when a car is merging into your lane. 

It's about awareness, listening, trying something, adjusting to fit. Horses are such a gift. They invite us to improve, to keep trying and to keep listening... 

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