Trisha chats with Glenys Cox, Host of Horse Chats, a Podcast show dedicated to bringing its listeners the top experts in their field to educate and inspire horse people in the Equine Industry. In an illuminating interview, Trisha and Glenys discuss the silent language of animals, Trisha’s first experiences with horses and Trisha’s top tips for how to get the ‘Avatar’ Connection with your horse. Read on for the full interview:
Glenys: Our guest today is Trisha Mc Cagh. Trisha is an animal communicator, we are going to talk to her today specifically about communicating with horses. She’s been an animal communicator for over fifteen years, she has been featured nationally and internationally on countless radio shows, magazines and newspaper. Her work has been featured on TV broadcasts across 40 countries including Australia’s Sunrise, A Current Affair and Studio 10. She’s also been a guest speaker at the Australian Veterinary Conference and many other conferences.
Glenys: Trisha, the inspirational quote you have got. It has been quoted a couple of times and I know it is yours. Could we go straight into that? I think it is a really good one.
Trisha: Animals are the bridge between us and the beauty of all that is natural. They show us what is missing in our lives, and how to love ourselves more completely and unconditionally. They connect us back to who we are, and to the purpose of why we are here. I really love that quote because it’s so true.
Glenys: How did that quote formulate? Was it because you kept on explaining it to people so many times? Sayings don’t usually come up, there is thought behind it. Did this quote come up out of nowhere?
Trisha: Animals have been put on the Earth for such a large purpose; we come down here spending our lifetime trying to find our purpose. Animals have a sense of what their purpose is right from the beginning – they come here to assist us in finding ours. And that is why they are that bridge, between all that is natural which is really where we come from, and our situation just like now, as we are digitally. They mirror things that are happening within ourselves and show us what it looks like. Often an animal that is with us will often go through something similar or the same because maybe we don’t see it objectively within us, but we see it in them. In assisting that animal, we often assist ourselves.
Animals come to us when we are in hardship, or things are happening in our lives, and they remind us that love is unconditional, and that there are creatures on the planet that do love us deeply; they show us what that love looks like so we don’t lose faith. And it does connect us back to who we are, as we are in the wild. Particularly horses, they have never really agreed to be domestic; they to me are the bridge between domestic and wild. Whereas dogs and cats are more domestic and have agreed to that, horses still have that amazing inner wild, and I just know that when people are riding or sharing time with their horses, they get a glimpse of that inner wild, I believe that is why they love being around them, because it takes them back to their own inner wild and that sense of freedom. Because that is really what horses symbolise – freedom.
Glenys: I do think horse people are different to cat people and dog people. People do love their dogs and cats, but people are just absolutely passionate about their horses.
Trisha: They get to have a different interaction with their horses than any other animal. It’s a different size! It’s different in every way. Horses don’t live in the house with you, so the horses very much stay true to themselves. So they are very different to interact with. I do agree with you, horse people are in a different class of affection and interaction than other people. And horses are in a different class to other animals too. Horses are very talkative too; very unique compared to other animals.
Glenys: I would like to ask you about your first experiences with horses, but I also want to ask you about when you first realised about your gift of communicating with horses?
Trisha: It goes back to when I was very young I didn’t own a horse or have a horse when I was younger, but I was horse mad. I couldn’t get enough of horses. When I was young, my dad took me out to a riding school, and you didn’t have lessons, they would put you on a horse, with no helmets or equipment, you didn’t have that back then! They would put you on a horse, a 16 hands horse and they would send you off with a horse and come back to check on you a few hours later. And these were the magical times for me in my childhood. Before that, even at that age, even as a child I did not play with animals, I would share time and life with an animal. When I was two years of age I would be lying in the dirt with the dog. Then when we had a baby lamb, they found me, on all fours in the backyard eating grass with the lamb! And then with horses, it went one step further – I became a horse! And my mother thought she was going to commit me, because whilst other kids were inside watching TV or playing with their friends, I was out snorting, neighing and running around the backyard. And it was so much so that my cousin and I would become horses running around the paddock. And it went on for years! It was like I could feel myself as a horse. It was the most amazing experience. My mother and father used to buy me all these horse figurines that I kept everywhere; pictures too. I was just a horse fanatic from a very young age.
When I rode that particular horse, the communication I believe started way back then. So I used to talk to this horse. My home life wasn’t all that happy. I would tell this horse all my dreams and all my aspirations for my life. I was only young, between 8 and 10, when I was riding him. And I remember going out there and I would be telling him what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and I would be telling him everything. And he was an amazing trotter; and I just remember him always turning his ears and listening to me, and that his trot rhythm would change depending on what I was talking about. And that to me was an amazing connection that this horse and I were as one, and we were best friends. And I did not see him as different to me, and he did not see me as different to him. It was the most beautiful relationship, it was even more than just a relationship that we had, and I came away feeling relaxed and elated that somebody was interested in my dreams. He was always interested in my dreams, that is what I am talking about in this unconditional love. And he was just amazing.
And it was interesting because the guy that was running the school put me on a few different horses, and he said to my father ‘there is something about this girl because it doesn’t matter what horse I put her on, she can pick up the rhythm of whatever I choose to put her through. It is almost automatic and natural. And now I know, I am sure I have been a horse before, I am convinced of it!
Glenys: It’s a long way from having the horse pictures, horse figurines, playing with horses and pretending you are a horse, but having a career with horses, how did you go from one thing to another? Did you work with horses in another category, what did you do?
Trisha: No it was a strange thing, I was going to become a vet, but when I learnt I would be euthanizing animals and doing other things that were happening in my generation, I had decided no – my heart wouldn’t allow that, I couldn’t do that. So I decided to enter the human field and I went into dentistry, and I was in that field for quite a few years, but I always knew I was supposed to be doing something else. I had a lot of in and out experiences with horses throughout my life, but it did not draw me to working with horses until an animal spoke to me and it wasn’t a horse. It was a cat, and it had reawakened what I had experienced in my youth, in my early years. It had reawakened a dialogue. And it was at that point in time that I realised that animals have a silent language. It was through this process that I began to be involved with horses again.
One experience in particular, I walked into a paddock in Albury, and this horse just saw me and said ‘I know who you are.’ I could hear him! He walked straight up to me and put his muzzle on my mouth, moved my head up and down, and then he blew into my nostrils, like I was another horse. And he said to me ‘We will work together again.’ And we have, we are now doing regular horse clinics together. He is just the most amazing horse. Horses would just recognise me; I would walk into a place, and the horse would walk up to me and start a dialogue with me. And it didn’t matter where I was, or who was there, the horse’s person would be standing there, and that horse would do things out of character with me, and their person would say ‘oh my horse hasn’t done that before’ and ‘oh I’m sorry I don’t know why my horse is doing that to you.’ And then this dialogue would open up, and they were so insightful that I could not resist not talking with them, because they talk about universal things. They filled me with so much information, they got me to look at things in a different way, it was really magical, annd it really was. And I know anybody who is listening to this, will go ‘oh yeah, we know the magic of horses’ they know the magic of the learning. But when they can hear it in this silent language, in this direct process it is just amazing. It is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life, by far.
Glenys: Taking the horse that came up to you all those years ago; that said ‘I know who you are.’, did you feel like that is what he was saying, that it was the general expression of his body language, or it was actually the words themselves?
Trisha: It was the words themselves, it was telepathic. He was speaking to me, and it happened in the exact same way that that first cat had spoken to me. Don’t forget Glenys, I was in a scientific profession, and it sort of threw me for a six because it just wasn’t something I had thought about. I always knew I had a connection with animals, but I didn’t realise they had a dialogue, that they could communicate in this particular way, and when that started happening, if I was walking down the street it would happen with dogs, if I went into paddocks with horses, it would happen with horses. The thing with horses though, there was just a different energy about it, and it was much more expansive, and I just loved it. It drew back into the world of horses. From that young age til now, it just drew me back to that world, and the experiences I have are just incredible. Incredible! They are incredible animals. They are just so different to anything else; they take you to such an amazing place.
But that dialogue, is really what I want to emphasise, because imagine being able to go out and directly communicate with your horse. So something is wrong, you have noticed that something is wrong. You don’t have to try different things or try to guess what is wrong, you can directly ask your horse ‘What is wrong? What has happened?’ Why are you acting this way?’ And they will tell you, and its not always in words, it can be in pictures or videos. And that is how my work grew and changed. Because I knew what they were saying, and what they were trying to express. And sometimes it was completely opposite to what the person thought, and we worked on it, and we made changes. That for me was wonderful, because you’re not only helping the person, but also the horse was able to express themselves.
Can you imagine us as humans, we all love to talk; can you imagine us being gagged for all these years and not being able to talk? People talking about us and we are thinking ‘No that is not true!’ and we can’t say anything? That is why this is so great; they can directly communicate with us.
Glenys: Yes that’s true. So you’re saying that it could come in pictures, videos or images flashing?
Trisha: Yes, telepathy is something that is very scientific; it’s just a mind to mind communication. Many people do it.
Glenys: I was going to say, there have been studies? As far as telepathy goes?
Trisha: Yes! There is a massive amount of scientific evidence, because horses use it with each other as well. It is an interspecies communication. We are just another species. The only reason the animals haven’t lost it, and we have, is because we verbalised and it was encouraged in schools. Now if you think back to when you first verbalised, it was probably at two or three years old and I can’t remember back to two, can you?
Glenys: Not at all!
Trisha: That’s why little kids and animals are often conversing together. If little kids are before that verbal exchange they are usually conversing in that way. And there are studies that show the child has contacted the mother in another room, (via telepathy) and they come to check on the baby. There are studies surrounding this with telepathy as well. Telepathy is something that is interspecies, it has been around for long time. Indigenous tribes have been using it always. We have forgotten it because of modern society, but if we were living out on the land, we would be using it all the time, especially to ask animals where water holes are, and other various things, it is actually quite natural. That is what the horses do; they are telepathic geniuses, as are all animals. This is how they communicate. It is just us that need to get back into that finer detail so that we are good at it again.
For us to converse in this way, we need to be very clear. The problem with us is that we are too busy in the mind, we are always thinking. Animals are always in the now; horses are always in the now. They do not think beyond the grass they are grazing – they are in a totally meditative state. We are constantly thinking, so we are never quiet. And that is where that exchange happens, when we are quiet and still in the mind. That is the key to achieving that exchange with your horse, we have to get quiet in the mind.
Glenys: For someone who wants to work with horses, but not have the gift that you do, what sort of core skills or character traits do you think are important for horses to enjoy being around them?
Trisha: Well I do think that people working with horses need to have calmness around them, rather than hyperactive or scattered energy. Scattered energy does affect horses greatly; as a prey animal horses are alert a lot of the time, they are always almost on the edge, which is why they prefer to be around other horses all of the time. But you need to be calm, and you also need to be very open. Open of energy, and open of mind, to allow what you may think be impossible to be possible. Allow yourself to be open to that intuitiveness or that communication, because those horses will openly show it and sometimes they will show it to you in a physical way.
When you are calm, they will be able to have a lot more scope, faith and trust in you because they like your calming energy and being around that calmness. Scattered energy means danger; they don’t want to be around it and they are not comfortable around it. Maintaining calm energy around your horse opens up all possibilities together. That is one of the major keys.
One of the other major traits that horses really want to be around is the openness and understanding of their intelligence. I know many horse people will understand what I mean, but do we really understand and acknowledge a horse’s intelligence? They are really highly intelligent individuals and a lot of the time they are ahead of us. Always treat them with that respect that they deserve of that level of intelligence and to have the equality of the relationship. Horses have always spoken to me about this equality – where they want to be seen as two beings interacting together. Two beings engaging together. It is all about your perception and intention of why you are working with horses – that intention needs to be pure, a horse can sense a compromised intention from a mile off.
Glenys: What do you think is the best thing about working with horses for you?
Trisha: I don’t think you have a long enough program for that?! Everyday is a new discovery with horses. Every time I do something different with them, I learn something different from them. When horses express themselves, there is purity when they speak; their intention is only pure. And I love interacting with so many different horses because they are all so individual, each and every one is so unique that each have something different to show me on a daily basis. I feel like I have become a better person from being around them, following their lead, their principles and even how they take care of each other.
Glenys: Wow, there is a lot to cover in that area, we will have to get you to come back to talk more about the 10 best tips for horses. But for now, tell me about a person who has influenced you or inspired you in the horse industry?
Trisha: Well I would have to say in the horse industry Frederic Pignon would be very high on the list. He is an amazing trainer, but he isn’t really a trainer to me. He is a man who fully understands horses, and when I see the horses react to his presence within the first few minutes of meeting him, it just inspires me to want to see that magic he portrays and why the horses respond so well to him. I went to watch him work, and I watched him engage with the horses, and it was interesting to ask the horses what was the magic? And they said it was that element of trust that he has to offer.
Glenys: He really takes liberty to a whole new level. You think you have seen people working with liberty, and then you see Frederic, and you just oh wow! It is just a whole new level.
Trisha: It is a whole new level, and it is a way I feel we should all be with our horses. To me there is no other level now. In some cases, I have seen him achieve amazing progress in 20 minutes. I have just seen the spark come out of that horse’s eyes! That is the level we need to be working at for sure.
Glenys: You mentioned the horse from your youth that started your experiences, and you also mentioned the horse in Albury that started the dialogue with you. Have there been any other horses who have influenced you or helped you in your career?
Trisha: Yes there definitely has been other horses, but I do have to say that first horse, Ali Baba, was the greatest horse because I was so young, and I needed to be guided. At that time I didn’t have the parental guidance that I needed, that horse took over that role. Which I believe was remarkable considering he wasn’t my horse. But there have been some amazing horses in my career, as an educator at a major event I have had some remarkable experiences with horses and the public. I was in an arena with a horse named Paddy, and he was quite young and he wasn’t an education horse, he had been chosen at the last minute and I had met him only a few minutes before our event. I really felt for him because he was so nervy, and so I changed my energy and the way he responded to me within those seconds in that arena made everyone’s jaw dropped! This horse circled me in a tight circle and then put his head over my shoulder, and at that point I had an epiphany – firstly I was so grateful that he was now relaxed and that I had helped him, but he showed me how quickly and how important that my energy was in how I related to him.
He took me to a whole new level of what could be achieved, and it all came out of I wanted to help him, and I felt such a love for him that I wanted him to be comfortable. In return, he stood by my side; his energy was so warm and comforting he actually did the same for me! And now when I look back, I wonder, ‘Gee was I nervous or was he? Was I helping him or was he helping me?’ It was like two beings going through something and we both helped each other, taking it to a whole new level. It brought the audience to absolute silence. Nobody could speak after what they just witnessed. That was a big moment for me as well.
Glenys: So do you think that would be your proudest moment?
Trisha: Look I think there are a lot of proud moments; I think that was one of them. Glenys, sometimes magic happens, but do you notice that often people aren’t around? You have to talk to people about it. I think it was a proud moment because I have wanted people to see why what I am talking about is so important to the horses, and it was a proud moment because the horses decided to do it in front of a full crowd. They decided to take it to the next level, and show the people why they want this to be brought out and why the horses want to be treated in this way. What it can achieve in a matter of moments. And we are getting more and more of this, where the horses are coming out on film, and out on big events, and they are absolutely proudly showing the people what can be achieved. And in that arena with that young horse, the entire audience was involved. I had taken them through the full exercise of how to get into the Zone and how to connect. So they were helping me achieve that energy state, and the audience were elated with what they achieved. It took the audience to a whole new level, with that one young horse.
Glenys: Thinking about where you are now in your career, and where you first started. What has been your biggest challenge?
Trisha: Well to be honest, I think the biggest challenge for me is taking people beyond natural horsemanship. The whole horse industry has gone towards natural horsemanship, and we do need to thank everyone who has brought that to the fore. But I think the biggest challenge for me is to now go beyond that, and for people to understand that they can go even beyond natural horsemanship and they can have a dialogue with their horse using this silent language. I think its hard for people in the conventional methods of horsemanship because they have only known one way and I am asking them to go on a completely different tangent. But I do have to say, when we run a horse clinic, the people that do come, they call it the ‘Avatar Connection.’ It is the connection that they now have with their horse. They did not think it was possible, and the challenge now is becoming less and less.
Glenys: So do you think now that just in general, people are now a bit more open to ideas that get them to think? Not just following what someone has taught them, but they are open to more broader ideas?
Trisha: Yes I do think that people are now more open to broader ideas, and I know there are people out there who have known this intuitive connection but have had no one to speak to about it. And by me getting this out there and making it more available for people, wherever I am at major events or clinics, people will come up and tell me all their stories, because they just want to talk about it with someone. But now, it has become almost common knowledge, at the events I’m at, people come back to us every year to update us with their stories and what has happened since they last saw us! We don’t want to brag, but we love going to all these major events because we get such huge crowds! We get much bigger crowds than some of the conventional speakers too.
That is how we know that things are changing, because people want to hear about this communication. Interestingly, people are coming to us because they are still having problems with their horses and conventional methods haven’t worked. Many conventional methods can help people with their horses, but its not a one size fits all. And this is why people are looking for other avenues, and this communication is something they may have heard about or not heard about, but if they can get closer to their horse or create big changes with their horse then they will do whatever it takes. Horse people will go to any length to create that success with their horse.
Glenys: Yes I agree with you. I think it is about the communication, and the partnership. That really is ultimately what you want to achieve with your horse.
Trisha: It is a two-way relationship. If you can’t really know for sure what your horse is wanting to say or what he/she is thinking, you’ve really got half the story. It is the same in any relationship, whether it is human or animal. If you are not communicating well, you will only be getting your side and someone else is either losing out, or you don’t have all of the information. Without all the information, you can’t create a solution. What the communication does is all the information comes to you and with that information you can then work out a plan and a solution, and of course you will get success.
Glenys: Going out to different clinics, and working with people and their horses, what do you think is a common problem or fault that stops or blocks that communication and blocks that partnership? And how would you solve it?
Trisha: For sure! First of all, you have to be open to it. If I said to you, ‘see that chair over there, you can jump over that.’ And you said to me ‘Oh no I can’t jump that!’ and I say to you ‘Have you ever tried?’ And you know what, you may be quite surprised you can jump over that. But if you believe you can’t, you will probably fall. It’s all about belief. If you look at your horse, it is how you see them. I think one of the challenges for people when they first start this communication, is realising the level of conversation you can get. Because they didn’t think for a minute that a horse would perhaps have that level of depth in a conversation. Yes, they know their horse is intelligent and understands things, but we are talking about a whole new level.
Secondly, don’t go in with your own agenda. Every time you interact with your horse, remember there are two of you. So always go in thinking ‘Let’s just see how we are today, let’s feel, let’s sense,’ so when you walk up to your horse, how is your horse feeling today? Is he or she feeling uptight? Try to sense or feel what is going on for your horse, because maybe today is not the day to try something, maybe it’s a day for some play and fun. Even ask yourself the same questions. Don’t go into the paddock with an expectation. Go in there with an open agenda and open intention that you want today to be a success no matter what it is. And it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t involve work, because playing with your horse is just as important for the relationship. I think sometimes we go out to our horses with a plan and expectation and forget that we have another being involved, so maybe that plan may not be good for them today. And you will be surprised once you have opened that intention and you start to feel and sense what is going on between you two, they will work so much harder for you now than what they ever would have done for you before, and that we know is a fact. So if you want a relationship, go in there putting the relationship first and the work second. You must always put the relationship with your horse first.
If you are a fairly relaxed person or you can be scattered at times, what I teach people to do first is to go out into the paddock and Just Be with their horse. Just sit in the paddock, and just be. Don’t interact with your horse, don’t expect anything, just sit and sense what it is like to be your horse. And I can tell you that your horse is doing the same with you. It builds the connection and it is the first step to beginning the communication. It is sharing of space with your horse without expectation. You will be surprised by what you sense and you will go back into that naturalness that is your horse, and it will expand your senses. This will build silence within you, and you may hear your horse’s thoughts. It could be a couple of words, don’t ignore it or censor it, just explore it. This is how the communication begins. There is no way that not one of your listeners has not experienced communication with their horse – they are just unsure if it was them or their horse speaking. So we have to start trusting that it is coming from the horse and we acknowledge it. We must acknowledge even what we think we are receiving from our horse and they will act towards it.
Glenys: Wow, well Trisha could you summarise your philosophies for people to walk away with?
Trisha: Always be relaxed with your horse. Just love your horse from your heart at any moment, exactly from your heart centre. Always work from your heart, don’t go into your mind, always work with your horse from your heart, and his heart will always open and magic will happen.