What's better than chocolate?

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When a bite of chocolate hits my taste buds, it brings me immediately into the present moment. I'm especially alive in that instant, focused on the taste as it unfolds layer after layer. It doesn't matter how many times I've eaten chocolate before, it still feels good to have it again.

In a similar way, horses help enliven me and bring me into the present moment. They do this through their own presence and awareness. Not unlike our taste buds, horses are fine tuned to experience and respond to what is happening right now. And the way I see it, being present and fully experiencing (seeing, hearing, feeling) another is a form of love. That love can transform an ordinary moment into a special one.

I watch as this kind of magic happens every day between horses and people--a horse moves in closer as a man opens his heart. Another horse drops his head and begins to sway from side to side as a woman lets her anxiety fade. In that moment she is more available for connection. A pony kicks up his heels while at liberty, trotting and leaping behind a girl as she runs joyfully through the pasture. Horses often match and reflect back what we are feeling inside, and that sense of connection and congruency brings us deeply into the here and now--just like a delicious bite of chocolate.

The whole herd at Big Horse Therapy and Learning Center wish you "big love" on this Valentines' Day. Whether it is through the taste of chocolate, the gaze of a horse, or the touch of a loved one, I hope that you pause just long enough to unwrap the present moment.

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