My love of horses blossomed as a young girl. My soul yearned to be with them. Horses represented freedom – to run free without restraints! The presence of a horse vibrates with aliveness! They are connected to their world.
Horse As Teacher The extraordinary capacity of a horse to elevate the human spirit.
When I entered the world of horses, this admittance was controlled by humans who adhered to the philosophy of dominating the horse. This belief has been cultivated through thousands of years. Man needed to control these huge creatures to do their bidding: whether going into battle; tilling our fields; transporting us; or racing for our enjoyment.
Being ashamed to say this, I dropped into this way of being with horses as it was the only way of being around them at the time – be on their back and tell them what to do. As a young girl I learned how to ride and jump fences. As an adult I was accepted in the Governor Generals Horse Guards – a military unit where we rode the streets in parades and participated in musical ride performances. Then I moved on to play the noble sport of polo, thundering down the field at a full gallop chasing a small white ball.
My First Horse Teacher Monty
All of these experiences of being on a horse’s back were exciting, allowing me to form many close relationships with these magnificent creatures. Monty, my first horse, tried and tried to get my attention and finally resorted to bad behavior as the only way to make me listen. He wanted me to ‘see’ him as a sentient being – one who was conscious and felt emotions. I finally understood there was a different way of being in relationship with a horse. This meant unlearning everything I had been taught over the years from humans about being around horses. Monty was such an incredible horse; he taught me that I needed to respect him in order for him to respect me in return.
This was the start of Monty becoming my teacher, guide, and partner as we explored the vast extent of the horse/human bond. This led to the formation of the FEEL Approach – a form of equine facilitated learning. A respectful relationship where both horse and human are heard. The horse is given choice wherever possible creating an invitation not a command! This sense of connection between two beings creates a space where both the horse and human can step into a place of higher consciousness. Here there is a sense of oneness, being fully alive in the moment.
FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning)® was officially birthed in 2006. FEEL is a heart-centred connection with a horse creating new and profound insights as people have an intimate ‘felt’ experience. With this deep cellular learning the person is forever changed.
In that moment of connection, you look deeply into the horse’s eye and you are seen! You release the breath you are holding and relax. You become aware of your body, feeling your feet on the ground. The horse holds space for you to connect with yourself – the authentic person inside. Feeling safe, you let your heart open and let it resonate with the huge heart of the horse. Moments of profound harmony create an intimacy where healing happens simply and naturally
Coming Back Home
Horses help us come back home to ourselves – that part of ourselves that is feeling lost in our high paced, technology-driven world. FEEL horses are willing participants offering unconditional support and love without judgement as they assist humans. Interacting on the ground with a horse is a unique time of discovery and reflection which raises consciousness for both humans and horses.
Why is a Horse a Valued Teacher?
Horses are one of the more powerful and majestic forms of prey animals in the natural world. Their survival is dependent upon their sensitive observational skills and compelling intuitive responses to their environment. Their advanced ability to communicate can take you straight to the heart of the matter, to the things we don’t acknowledge even to ourselves.
Often times a person steps into the engagement and the horse turns, comes over and immediately puts his nose to a very particular part of that person – the exact part that is wounded. Horses pick up everything from a broken heart to an injured knee. Thanks to a strong empathic nature, they are able to immediately sense how you are feeling. Horses read the slightest gestures of your body language and are able to sense both your conscious and subconscious energy states. It is always your inner state the horse will respond to – your authentic self.
By attuning to your energy and paying attention to your emotional state and body language, horses actually listen to you at a much deeper and profound level. This resonance creates a palpable sense of unity between one being to another. Horses have a gentle way of bringing unconscious feelings to the surface and creating a safe place for you to release them.
Horses live from a place of perceptive attunement with their herd mates and all of nature around them. By being with horses we learn to nurture our unique aliveness. Body intelligence is the direct, consciously felt experience of being fully alive in our body, from the flow of blood and physical sensation to the many feelings and thoughts that flood our mind. Learning this body intelligence increases our capabilities for receiving and acting on the messages from our bodies. From this grounded and balanced place we can shift from a fear based living to embodied presence and flow. Horses can increase the level of energy, joy, clarity, and connection we feel.
Horse as Teacher in Equine Therapy
Within the specially designed FEEL activities, horses step into their role of teacher and healer. With a deep sense of equanimity, the horse shows you the essentials of your life and in yourself.
Every time the horse steps into the role of teacher, they become more confident and accomplished. It is my greatest joy to see a horse blossom and touch a deep inner wisdom they are so willing to share, if you come from a place of open-heartedness. When both you and the horse feel safe, hearts open and connection happens. Within this profound and timeless place you can connect to the passion of your dreams.
The greatest gift the horses have given me is to live with my heart wide open – not just with animals but with people! I feel alive! I want to share that joy and vitality with you
Looking deep into a horse’s eye lets you see your soul.
Birth a new career in Horse Therapy! Take the FEEL Certification Training Program