Over the past couple of years, I’ve been increasingly drawn to explore the horse-human bond, how this can mutually benefit both species and how I can understand the horse better. I was first drawn into the equine therapy field by the work done with horses to help autistic children and since then have been reading increasingly more about horses used in therapy with people. It then got to the point where I finally had the time to get some first-hand experience in this area, and after following you on Facebook and seeing the Discovery day advertised I decided it was time to get out there and see! I didn’t come to the workshop with a specific issue that I felt I needed help with but came along with the intention to be open to whatever arose for me.
What was your experience of working with me and what has happened since?
Well, where do I begin! My experience of working with you was a very good one. However, what arose for me on the day did not feel so jolly! It was interesting, but maybe not so surprising on reflection, that after spending the last year dying to explore this kind of work that now I had the opportunity all I could feel was this huge resistance and negative little voice that wasn’t open to exploring a new way of interacting with horses at all!
The ego was in full swing- ‘What a load of rubbish!’ ‘What does this show anyway’ etc etc. I was totally in the grip of a sub-personality that was really hanging on for dear life!
As I said, on reflection this sub-personality bubbling to the surface might not be so surprising. When I attended the Discovery Day I had just finished university and Libby (the mare I spoke about on the day) had just randomly entered my life. I was in limbo; I knew I didn’t want to be a vet, I knew I was interested in working with horses in a different way but was also wondering what the hell I was going to do with Libby and the rest of my life! This seemed to trigger a huge resurgence of what I’ve started calling the ‘old’ entrenched mindset behind working with horses (‘make him respect you’, ‘he’s just taking the piss’ etc etc) but instead of it being from somewhere external it was coming from ME! I was meeting a huge resistance to my own longing to know the truth about horses and it wasn’t pretty.
It took a few days of digesting what was going on before getting to the point I could recognise it and I think it was last Wednesday that I finally wrote about it (I find writing very helpful!). So, I had acknowledged what was going on and it was here that I made a firm decision NOT to go down the route of self- judgement and rejection of this part of myself (something I have finally learnt is never necessary). Instead I employed a technique I learned from a book by Sanaya Roman called Living With Joy. The exercise is to have a conversation with this sub-personality, understand what it is trying to tell you, what it is trying to protect you from. Then to ask it to come forward with you and align with your higher purpose and self. The long and the short of it is that what it was trying to protect me from was being rejected by others. It thought that if I start interacting with horses in the way I really wanted to that people would turn their noses up at me and think I was crackers! It thought my main priority must be to get a result, as ‘proof’ that what I’m doing works so that others will approve of me. Not an unfamiliar theme. But then quite unexpectedly my sub-personality started to change before my eyes.
I never really know what’s going to happen when I write, it’s just a way of processing for me. I don’t usually share any of my crazy ramblings but my experience since your discovery day have been quite significant and I’m not sure how to describe it to you any other way! Since processing this I feel so peaceful and clear, like there’s the space to hold whatever comes up in my experience without labeling it as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Whilst years of meditation, yoga, books and more books have surely helped cultivate this, my day with you and your horses certainly pushed something out! And as for Libby, well since I’ve started asking myself ‘what is the true story here?’ when I’m with her, all the ‘old’ habitual thoughts of ‘she’s just winding me up’ etc have totally fallen away. I don’t have an answer to what the true story is but I feel like I’m able to hold the space to find out what she has to teach me about herself and her species. I can’t help but feel that her name being ‘Liberty’ is more than a coincidence! I have started to learn some TTouches and techniques from Linda Tellington Jones’ book that I purchased. The level of connection I’ve begun to feel with Libby is quite.. I’m not sure what word to use.. humbling? It’s like there’s this whole other incredible and mysterious world of horses that people (myself included) never notice because they never shut up long enough to listen to their horses! So, thank you for helping open this path up for me (I’m sure Libby is grateful also!)
What would you say to someone else considering attending a workshop with me?
Do it. The benefits are beyond the logical mind so don’t bother engaging it. If you feel drawn to finding your own truth here’s a great place to begin.