Horses and donkeys continue to teach us the value of being in the present. As prey animals, they can’t risk getting caught up in expectations, like we humans often do. This sort of behavior would pull them out of the present moment, where they need to be in order to remain safe. Even though they don’t become as entwined in them, horses do still have some expectations. For example, they expect that they will be hunted and they use this information to color their actions. But rather than dwell on the multiple possibilities for their demise or create unnecessary suffering over their very existence as prey, they stay true to the present moment and what is actually happening around them. Because equines are so connected to and aware of the present, relating and interacting with them can help us become more present and clear in the moment. Having experiences with horses encourages us to fully own our expectations and their impact on ourselves and others. How realistic are our expectations? Is what we are asking reasonable given who they are and what our skill level is? Are we clearly communicating our requests?
We can also learn a lot from how they interact with each others. Members of a herd of horses don’t hold onto expectations about each other that exceed their role or capabilities and they’re not based on a personal desire for anyone to be a certain way. This type of fantasizing would be dangerous! And, they don’t try to be something they aren’t based on perceived expectations they think others in the herd may have about them -that would be a waste of valuable time and energy. There’s so much we can learn about having balance in expectation from our 4-legged friends. Observing them and applying those observations to our own life and experiences is one way to benefit from their instinctual wisdom.