Tag Archives: Jane Savoie

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Two brains. That’s right, I have two brains. So do you. The difference is, you have a bundle of nerves called the corpus callosum between the two halves of your brain that lets the sides chat. My brain doesn’t have that. It’s true that my brain, or brains, have a very difficult time talking to each other.

For a horse, this means I have to be trained to do things from both sides. What might be easy for me to understand through my left eye, may be difficult to understand through my right eye. It’s a pain, but it’s the price I pay for having eyes on the sides of my head like a prey animal.

Humans can have binocular vision, so you can see things with both sides of your brain. That means your left-brain hemisphere, the logical, linear, thinking side, can analyze things and explain them to the right, more artistic, big picture, emotional side. That corpus callosum is very handy, as long as it’s working.

When humans are under extreme stress, the corpus callosum shuts down. Communication stops. That means you could get stuck in responding to the situation from only one side of your brain. If it’s the logical side, you’ll probably analyze the situation and handle it without emotion. If it’s the emotional side that takes over, you may find yourself hysterical or locked up and frozen. Speech is located in the left, logical side, and if the emotional side takes over, that’s why you get tongue-tied if you get upset. Have you noticed that when you’re stressed and can’t think of what to say, but then calm down and the corpus callosum starts working again, suddenly the perfect words for that snappy comeback show up in your mind? Frustrating, isn’t it!

If you have a plan to handle a situation, you’ll strongly trend toward the logical side of your brain, where plans and analyzing resides. That’s why it is so helpful to have a PLAN before you get in that stressful position.

Do you have a plan? What situations might show up in your life where a plan would be of value? I suggest you make that plan NOW, while you’re relaxed and both sides of your brain are functioning together!

I have a plan to move to higher ground behind the barn the next time we have a flood. I’m not worried because I know how to get there. I’ve looked at the route with both eyes, so both halves of my brain know the way.

How about you? Do you know the way?

Love, Your Friend, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Photo by Liz Ritz Photography.

A terrible thing happened today, and I’m really struggling to get over it. There was a loud hissing sound that hit my nervous system with a scream that said “RATTLE SNAKE!” I was so startled, I jumped sideways really hard and fast, and unseated Jane! Her off balance body clinging to my side triggered “MOUNTAIN LION!” in my brain. So, I bucked. Not just a little – I bucked from one end of the arena to the other until I shook off the “Killer Lion!”

But that lion was actually my best friend, Jane. I dumped her! In the dirt! I bucked her off! I’m so upset! Jane and I have been best friends for ten years! I’ve never bucked her or anyone else off. NEVER! Not even once.

Fortunately, Jane was not seriously hurt. She’s a bit banged up, but no broken bones. Of course, she was wearing her helmet. She ALWAYS wears her helmet. Thank goodness! I would never have intentionally hurt her, but I could have anyway just reacting like a normal horse!

No one has ever come off me before, and it freaked me out. I was wide-eyed for twenty minutes. But I’m not going to let this ruin my time with Jane. I’m going to look at this with clear thought, do some EFT meridian tapping to release the energy pathway that my neurons created during this fear episode, and move on.

Jane understands that I was acting out of instinct, not maliciousness. Still we both feel really bad about it. We have to just have to make sure that we FEEL our feelings, do the techniques we know to release the energy of the past, and move on.

Have you ever been bucked off? No fun, is it? I hope you always wear your helmet! Even your quietest, most trusted friend is still a big powerful horse. And he could do a normal horse thing and accidentally hurt you. Even if you only get bucked off once every ten years, like Jane just did, you never know if today’s ride is going to be the one. Put on your helmet! EVERY ride!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Jane says I’m too serious, and need to play more. She told me I should relax and enjoy life. I used to think she was crazy. I have lots of work to do, and I didn’t think I should waste time playing around. Dressage is serious business ya’ know, and I have to be PERFECT. But Jane taught me that dressage should be FUN first, and serious second.

I’ve heard Jane tell visitors that I’m very wise, like a Socrates with four legs. There is an old record that says Socrates learned to dance when he was seventy because he felt that an essential part of himself had been neglected. So, I thought, perhaps I should learn to dance, too! Jane loved that idea. She cranked up the music and off we went!

To really dance well, you have to let go of the habit of looking at yourself through other people’s eyes. You have to stop that feedback loop. You have to risk looking silly. To dance you have to take a bit of the athlete in you and mix it with the artist in you. Unrestricted movement, without too much thinking, is the key. Shake, rattle, and roll, and you have a dance!

Do you like to dance? When was the last time you really let go and let your body move to the rhythm of the music? I suggest you try that today. Find a quiet room, close the door if you’re shy, and turn up the tunes. Release your mind as you release your body to move with the beat. Let go. Feel the freedom of movement. Close your eyes and really feel it.

There is nothing better for relieving stress than a good, powerful, free flowing dance. Give it a try! You can do it! Even if you’ve convinced yourself that you’re not a good dancer, you can still dance! Everyone can. You just have to be willing. You might surprise yourself how good you really are!

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I see blue sky, green grass, and yellow flowers. I can’t see red apples as my eyes perceive the color red as deep gray. I’ve been told that it’s because horses have a different eye structure from humans and can only see things in blues, yellows, and greens. My eyes don’t have the cones to produce the colors red, purple, or orange.

When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? I guarantee that you don’t see the same thing I do. You also don’t see the same thing your mother, your partner/spouse, or your dog sees.

Perception is a tricky thing. We can only relate to our own perception, so we naturally assume everyone sees things the way we do. But as we mature and become wiser, we recognize that this is so far from the truth! Everyone’s perceptions are colored by their previous experiences, their culture, their brain function, and their unique senses. We all see things differently.

The next time you’re in a conflict with a person, or even your horse, remember… how they view the situation is very different from how you see it. Just recognizing that will help you take a step back from the emotions at hand and give you a chance to respond in a different way.

Someone once said: we don’t see things as they are; we see them as WE are.

How could seeing something through someone else’s eyes help your situation? Give it a try! You might be surprised at how powerful recognizing this fact can be.

Then stop what you’re doing and take a carrot to your horse. He’s hoping you will! He may see it as yellowish gray, but it still tastes yummy.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Black and white. Yes and no. Up and down. Sickness and health. Positive and negative….

We live in a world of contrast. It’s the duality of Nature that makes up our physical world. Without that contrast, we wouldn’t be able to perceive. It’s in knowing dark that we can recognize light. It’s in being able to experience silence that we can hear noise. The comparisons go on and on.

As infants, people are trained to show a preference for one thing over another. Most well-adjusted (note that you have to be “adjusted”) children develop a preference for positive feedback over negative. For “yes” over “no”. For health over sickness. For “happy” over “sad.” Humans are trained from birth to compare and prefer.

What if nothing you experienced was actually “wrong” or “right,” but just an experience? How different would your world be if you didn’t judge what happened in your life, but rather just observed your physical and emotional perceptions of whatever showed up?

In many Spiritual philosophies, it’s the pain from living with the judgement of what occurs that is recognized as the most difficult part of being human. Release that judgement, and enlightenment is possible.

As a horse, I’m already enlightened. I don’t carry judgement about what happens. Oh, I may have an unhappy memory of the fellow who poked me in the hip to get me on that airplane in Amsterdam, but I don’t JUDGE it. It is what it is. It was what it was. That was then, this is now.

How would your life be different if you accepted “what is…”? Could you try that on, just for a day? Give it a try! Or not. The choice is yours. And that is the one constant… your choice of what you think about is always YOURS.

Your horse is hoping you choose to bring him a carrot when you go to the barn today. He says that is the “right” choice!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Words have power. They have energy. They create a state of being in our minds. Horses don’t use words, but we understand the energy behind what you say.

You’ve probably heard the saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I say, the wounds from a stick or stone will probably heal, but the damage caused by the negative words we hear may sting for life.

Never underestimate how your words affect those around you, as well as how they reflect back and affect YOU. If your self-talk is negative, your experience is going to be negative. If you speak positively, your experience will reflect the same. If you bark and growl at your horse without careful thought to the attitude you’re projecting, your horse is going to feel insecure and you’re going to maintain a negative vibration. If you’re snapping at the people around you, the energy you’re projecting can be just as damaging as a pointed stick jabbing into someone’s heart.

Have you ever asked yourself, is it better to be right, or is it better to be kind? It’s a very pertinent question. Sometimes you have to stand your ground and be firm in what you consider “right.” Sometimes being right is just not that important. Choosing which applies in each situation is one of the things you have to decide on your own. Observing the results of your choices, right or wrong, is where wisdom is born.

Your horse’s interaction with you is a terrific reflection of your choices. Horses are congruent, honest, and in the moment. They’re a terrific mirror of your state of being. If you take the time to observe, and you’re open to the message, you can learn a lot from your equine friend.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Winning. What does that feel like to you? For me, I’ve “won” when I feel that flow through my body and everything comes together. I find it easy to feel flow when I’m cantering. I have a “winning” canter. It’s my favorite gait. When Jane was first teaching me tempi changes, I lost that sense of flow until I had the muscle memory of changing leads whenever she asked. Once I got that muscle memory, the changes became easy and flow returned. I felt like I’d “won.”

Winning doesn’t have to be about blue ribbons. If you’ve been away from riding for a while, you may feel like you’ve won if you simply get out to the barn and get on your horse for ten minutes. Walking around may be as far as you want to go today. If you’re a serious competitor, you may have that sense of a win by perfecting that challenging movement. If you’re a teacher, you may feel like you’ve “won” when your student ends the lesson with a smile.

There are many ways to find that sense of a Win. The key is simply to look for it. And when you do, remind yourself to pay attention to how it feels. Then you can consciously create it again and again. It’s being in that positive space that creates even more success.

What could you do today that would make you feel like a success? I’m going to perform perfect pirouettes today, both directions. That gives me a terrific successful feeling!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I was watching my favorite barn cat try to catch a miller moth today. She was so determined to catch that flitty creature! I couldn’t help but chuckle inside when she’d leap from a hay bale and try to grab the thing midair. She never did catch it.

Watching her try so hard made me think about all the things we want to do with our lives that we never actually achieve. I always wanted to swim in the ocean, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Some of my barn-friends’ people have or had a dream of riding in the Olympics. Some wanted to become famous writers. Some wish they’d struck it rich so they could have a whole herd of beautiful horses.

Sometimes our dreams don’t come true. It’s a fact. But if there is something you want to do that is really important to you, there is a good chance you can and will do it. It has to be important enough for you to let other things go. Life is just too short to do it all. And yes, sometimes life gets in the way and we don’t reach our goals. There is a point when we have to be satisfied with what we can do and not be upset by what could have been.

If there is something you wish you’d done with your life but the opportunities have passed you by, perhaps you can help someone else achieve a goal. Sponsor an Olympic hopeful. Be a mentor to a budding writer. Teach someone how you made it rich. By sharing the successful parts of yourself with others, you get to be part of something much bigger than yourself. It’s a type of immortality. You can have a positive effect on the world while you live a piece of your dream by helping others reach theirs.

I’m teaching the young colt at our barn how to piaffe. He’s already quite good at it! He has a real shot at being a dressage champion someday… maybe even going to the Olympics! It would make my heart so proud to see him wearing a medal.

What could you do today to help someone else achieve his or her dream?

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Setting boundaries is a hot topic among horse people. I’ve heard the trainers at the barn tell their students that they need to establish firm, fair, consistent boundaries with their horses. It’s absolutely necessary when you’re dealing with an animal who’s five to ten times your size.

We horses like having boundaries. It’s true. One of the first things we herd animals learn from our mothers and herd mates is where we stand in the group. We feel safest knowing where we fit in.

People aren’t so lucky. I’ve noticed that people push on other people a great deal. While watching people at horse shows, I’ve seen husbands berate their wives for spending too much time/money/attention on their horses. I’ve seen trainers growl and snap at their students. I’ve seen parents berate their kids for doing normal kid kinds of things. It makes me sad.

Is there someone in your life who pushes your boundaries? Does it make you sad or mad? Are unreasonable demands being put on you by a spouse/parent/boss? Is someone trying to control you through fear, shame, guilt, or intimidation?

It’s easy for me to tell you to establish boundaries and don’t let anyone cross them. I’m a horse and my fellow horses accept and respect this concept, so it IS easy for us. But the reality is, it’s not so easy for humans to do this with each other. Humans are much more devious in the ways they establish control. Humans are terribly manipulative, often without even realizing it.

I’ve observed that the people who are most effective in maintaining boundaries are the ones who DON’T have the need to be right, or make others agree. The people who don’t try to change what others think, but rather stand firm in their own truth, are the ones who are most effective in all their human relationships. They teach others how to treat them by how they treat themselves. They don’t try to control the people around them, they simply control their own minds. If someone pushes on them, they politely either state their truth or intention with gentle firmness, or they disengage all together.

Arguing doesn’t work very well with people. Your minds are rarely changed by an attack. You can’t kick each other into submission like a horse can, so the most effective humans are the ones who can listen well, consider what they hear with a clear mind, respond if necessary from a place of strength, and still calmly remain in their own truth.

Do you have the ability to agree to disagree with someone close to you? How do you maintain your inner balance when being challenged? If you’re not sure, I suggest that you pay attention to how you establish your boundaries with your horse. Are you able to apply that ability to people too?

When you go to the barn today, notice how you’ve established your place in the “herd.” Your horse may hold the secret to helping you with this issue.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

You may have noticed that everyone has an opinion.

You may also have noticed that others’ opinions may not be the same as yours.

I overheard Jane talking to a friend whose feelings were hurt by a conflict of opinions. Jane shared something a business associate had told her.

Understand that about 10% of the people in your life will love you no matter what you say or do. Another 10% are going to hate you, or at least not like you, no matter what you do. The other 80% are not going to care about you very much one way or another, and are going to be too focused on their own lives to worry about what you’re up to.

Do you worry about what people think of you? Maybe it’s time to realize that it’s just not that important what other people think. If you like yourself and follow your own heart, that’s really all that matters. Trying to please everyone is not only impossible, it will make you crazy. Let it go!

I’ve decided to quit worrying about whether that new mare at the barn likes me or not. She will or she won’t. I can only be my authentic self and give her the opportunity to decide.

Are you your authentic self when you are around other people? I’ll bet you are. Remember, your horse can tell if you’re being “real” or not… and he or she cares about you no matter what. He’s in the “loves you” 10%.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com