I LOVE this painting. When teaching about the horse’s need for personal space, authenticity and congruency, I will often use my arms to show my clients how large the horses heart is and where it sits in their body. The general reaction is a gasp.
Is it any wonder they can “feel” so much?
This week in equine recovery group, I witnessed the most profound moment, which as always, feels incredibly difficult to put into words. We were playing “tag” with horses off lead in the pasture, as a way of reconnecting the clients to their somatic wisdom. Trauma and addiction have a distinct way of cutting us off from our bodies. Feeling, is not something we are interested in, in traumatic situations and active addiction. For most of us, it is with good reason.
This week I witnessed a high-spirited, highly sensitive Arabian, known for their fiery personalities, turn mid-flight as women locked arm in arm, working together in silence, respectfully approached him. As they moved into his personal boundary bubble, he went on high alert. His head shot up, ears forward, tail high, ready for flight. His instincts said, “Run,” and off he went.
Without any coaching in the moment, the women stopped walking, took a step back, and took a collective breath that he could hear and feel. Five women, exhaled, and slowed their heart rate to allow him to know they were not a threat. In the next moment, he turned, pranced a half-circle with his tail still flying in the wind, and quietly trotted toward them to join their group.
The shift in the horse was astonishing. Instead of seeing them as a predatory, he was now curious about what was happening. When one of the women reached their hand out to let him sniff it, he exhaled, lowered his head, and blew out.
My equine partner and I stood with our jaws wide open! “Did that just happen?” Yes, and it is such a powerful metaphor for our own lives, when the need or desire to take flight arises.
As learned from my mentor Linda Kohanov, these are the steps we take to find our way to congruence. “Feel the feelings in the purest form. Get the message behind the emotion, do something different in response, and go back to grazing.” ~ Linda Kohanov, Eponaquest Founder
I can teach humans what it means to a horse to have the human slow down, rock back and sigh, breathe and exhale, to give the horse time to process and assess our presence, but nothing teaches, like the horse in real time.
This quote from the HeartMath post says it all and is exactly what we witnessed with the clients and Winter. “A coherent heart pattern is indicative of a system that can recover and adapt to stressful situations very efficiently ”
Thank you WindWalkers and Winter, you are a Master teacher.
To learn more about this visit: www.heartmath.org