Charging Horses and Sulky Girls Need Their Boundaries



I picked the Tea Leaf card first and sifted through for a suitable matching card for colour from The Way of the Horse (one of my favourite sets.)

The horse card is about setting boundaries, getting people to back off and respect you. It’s about what happens when you don’t do that, how you can slip into a screaming rage that is less about the specific incident than about deflecting rage that you have built up. There are ways to stand up to others that are appropriate, there are ways of acknowledging your anger without letting it build up into a blind rage.

And who better to highlight this than a younger woman, a teenage girl with seemingly baffling changes in mood and rage run wild? She looks crabby but she is being silent about why.

I liked the thought that there are two emotions involved in this: anger or frustration. They feel similar and both can turn to rage, but frustration is about banging your head against the ineffectiveness of doing something. You are blocked or need some help and new ideas, or even a nap and a fresher mind. Anger is about people not respecting your space, about expecting you to submit, to not speak, it’s about people being aggressive and inconsiderate and expecting you to be silent and take it.

To set a boundary, you don’t hurt someone, just ask and if necessary insist. Wow, there’s a concept when we are taught to be “good” and do as we are told. It is a good idea for me to step back and try to determine if I am frustrated or angry, with solutions related to what actually is behind my escalating feelings.

If only I could remember to do that.



4 thoughts on “Charging Horses and Sulky Girls Need Their Boundaries

    • He must be her father–familial resemblance. 😉

      The illustrations in this deck are by Shawna Alexander; I don’t think I realized that Rae Hepburn hadn’t done the illustrations. I must check my database and make sure I have the illustration credit in there.

  1. That’s an excellent point you made about the difference between frustration and anger; they do feel the same but have different sources. She captured the sullen expression of a teenager perfectly – sure makes me want to run in the other direction! 🙂

    • I can’t take credit for the insight on frustration and anger, it was Linda Kohanov in the Way of the Horse book.

      But it does rather hit you, doesn’t it? Linda is often insightful. I’ve read two of her other books, “The Tao of Equus” and “Riding Between the Worlds” which I enjoyed. She has 3 other books I’d like to read. I feel an inter-library loan coming on!

      I don’t have kids so never had to deal with a teenage girl directly, but I remember being pretty ratty to my mother when young. It’s hard to be a teenager.

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