The rhythm of grazing

How do we get in sync? How do we achieve an energetic connection?

While I was out in the pasture with Patches one day, it occurred to me that a really good way for people to get a better sense of their energetic connection with a horse is to feel the rhythm of the horse grazing. The horse nibbles a few bites of grass and moves along, sometimes never lifting his nose from the grass very much. He moves along in a loose-limbed way, almost like he’s going to roll. You can feel the relaxation in his whole being.

I include this video which I took while walking with him that shows some of what I’m talking about. Sometimes I just mirror the horse’s pace in order to get into the groove with him, get an energetic connection as though I’m a horse. I want to “be” a horse at times like this, so that I can really connect up. I can move into different Waterhole Rituals with him because I think at the heart of the rituals is this easy companionable movement from blade to blade, another horse leading from behind or companion walking, sometimes taking territory. It feels as if once I drop into their rhythm, I can transition to another ritual very easily. Grazing is just being, expecting nothing, and sometimes the horse checks in with me to say hello, then goes off to graze some more. I can check out which grass they like to eat, or whether they are particular about the grasses at all. There is so much space in this activity, and yet I think it’s very important to the horse.

Sometimes it seems once I let him out on the grass, he ignores me, I am invisible. I don’t worry about that. I may watch his eye to see when he might want to engage. I may also walk away and investigate another patch of grass. Once we have an established relationship, I know he will come back.

At one point in my learning horse language, I felt as though I was getting more like a horse. This excited me because this showed me that I was getting there, listening, being in the moment, the way a horse is. I was less in my intellect, and more in my heart and gut. He can relate to that better than me standing there in my humanness, staring at him, or being impatient with the progress of our “program.” This is how it feels when mirroring the horse’s grazing rhythm. Sometimes, after the horse moves away from me and comes back, or we start another ritual, I may bring him some grass to eat. Then he may look to me to find the good places to eat.

I can also combine bodywork with this activity on days when I know the horse needs some space, but also needs a session. I can place my hand on his back while walking alongisde him to feel how the spine is in relationship to the rest of the body – shoulder, hip, ribs, etc. I am then very much in rhythm with him as he goes.

So while the rhythm of grazing concept is not new to me, it is a new way of viewing the same thing –  energetic connection to the horse. The stronger it becomes in me, the greater it becomes in relationship to my horses and extends to other horses – the universal herd.

Private sessions, tutorials and gift certificates are available for bodywork and liberty work, by calling 505.501.2478 or emailing

Click on this flyer to find out about my upcoming Spring Liberty Clinic to be held March 30th in Santa Fe. There are still spaces available. A Horses at Liberty 2-Day Foundation Clinic will also be held in Santa Fe May 11-12. I will put a flyer out on this event soon.

Flyer 2012 Nov Clinic


16 thoughts on “The rhythm of grazing

  1. Thanks Susan, this is a lovely description of ‘tuning in’ through grazing together. It is such a meditative thing to do with them. I notice that my breathing changes & I just ‘feel’ different in my own body. That beautiful ‘hush’ of our incessant human internal dialogue.
    Look forward to reading more here & perhaps contributing too.
    Whinneys, Moyna & Da WonderBoyz

  2. Susan, your horse has a lot of similarity to my horse. I hope to have the same kind of connection with mine, too ! This is great !

    1. Hi, Haruko, If your horse is like Patches, then it is only a matter of time before your connection deepens, and then one day, it is there to count on. It’s so wonderful to know that horses around the world get to experience the Waterhole Rituals. 🙂

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