Focus your attention on the area of the heart… and say yes if you find horses there!
If you have participated in a Horse Guided Empowerment® Session, retreat, or program anywhere in the world, you have most likely experienced at least one of the activities I will be sharing today. All of my certified facilitators love them. I know that because when they take their theory exam I ask them about their favorite session activities! Both activities are genuine to my method and show its true essence.
If you have not yet booked a session, retreat, or program, this is your chance to learn about two fantastic activities you can try TODAY with your own horses! Cool, right?
I do them all the time and quite honestly, my life would be different if I couldn’t rely on the empowering energy of my herd.
I work a lot. Like, everything I do, except schooling my three boys, would be considered as part of my work.
If I don´t work-work, I learn, or I grow. Last month I dedicated over 30 hours (!) to “The Wisdom of Trauma” watching many profound Interviews with leading experts about innovative approaches to trauma.
I also traveled back to my own past. My ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) score is “just” 5. It all bubbled even further up to the surface when our sweet rescue mare Zoe unexpectedly passed two weeks ago. I fell into a big hole while juggling business, counseling clients, kids, and my own emotions.
Trust me, I need a lot of empowering horses in my life!
In my course for Horse Guided Empowerment® facilitators, my students have to experience the methods themselves before they practice with clients. This is why, before the COVID-19 pandemic, I couldn’t wrap my head around teaching online.
In the last few years, more and more awesome horse people from hidden corners of the world wanted me to host a course and therefore, traveling to far away places with my kids became a thing. It actually has been a highlight of our life, but a year has limited time to offer. Think Abu Dhabi, Hawai, and the southern tip of Chile. Can´t be combined into one trip, plus, my own herd also needs my attention.
So I tried to wrap my head around online courses, and I failed. Until Covid knocked on our doors…
If you know me, you are quite aware that I am a serial, obsessive-compulsive idea producer. So I came up with clever ideas to distance-teach my students to do the work with horses and today, you will benefit from that. Hooray!
So what are these two fabulous activities we do in session?
Both activities, such as everything else we do in a session with horses, are based on natural horse behavior and free will of participation. The horses are not tools, and neither are they a simple mirror of our behavior. They can do a lot more for us. Stay with me…
One activity is very calming and introspective, while the other is energizing and highly extroverted. You choose which one you need, and when.
I will guide you through both activities, step-by-step, for you to successfully apply them TO YOURSELF. Please, do not facilitate these with clients unless you have proper training. It’s significantly more simple to apply them with someone you know really well (= yourself) than with a client.
Activity 1: The Energy Hug
Ingredients: one horse, your hands; a halter and a lead rope (not mandatory). Choose a horse that is familiar to you, and has a trustworthy character. A quiet horse will make it easier for you.
Where: a quiet place (in nature) without distractions, where the horse feels safe and calm.
What for: Introspection, decision making, soothing, self-care, re-charging for introverts.
First of all, set an intention for yourself.
The intention can be simple, like “getting to know me better” or “understanding why I snap at my kids”. Do NOT skip this step. Without a clear intention, this will not work.
If you know what Reiki is, think of this exercise as a two-way Reiki practice. If you don’t know what Reiki is, just forget I said it. Too complex to explain here…
What you will do is connect to the horse´s energy through a very specific ritual. The first time might be awkward, but it will get easier for both with every practice.
Put yourself in front of your horse, facing him. Drop the lead rope to the ground and ask him to stay (Not working? Read “One essential exercise” first and teach your horse to Ground Tie today. The Energy Hug© can wait until tomorrow).
Now, step towards the chest of your horse and place one hand on each side of the neck, right where the photo indicates. For best results, it is really important to choose this exact spot. (That’s because of meridians, acupressure points and chakras. More information about that in my course).
Exhale, and let your hands melt with the horse. Think “soft”, or “connection”, or “love”. Breathe steadily, and a little deeper or slowlier than usual. Your palms are soft, your fingers are soft, your hands do not move. Focus on your breath, or on the feeling in your palms. Do not expect anything and let emotions arise.
After a minute, your horse will half-close his eyes, his lower lip will relax, he will drop his head a bit, and you will feel “oneness”.
Horses communicate with telepathic, emotional messages. Whatever you feel, your horse will pick it up. If the emotion is new, it might be a message from your horse. Feelisten (= feeling to get an answer, or listening with the heart).
Do not expect a verbal, logical answer from the horse. He is not an oracle! Most likely you will receive an image, or a feeling. It can be positive such as joy, certainty, calmness, or acceptance. It can also be negative such as fear, boredom, pain, or abandonment. Under any circumstances, it is YOUR message and you alone will understand it.
After a while (2-20 minutes), one or both of you will sigh or take a deep breath and step back. The Energy Hug is completed. You will have a soft face and maybe smile. Your horse will probably lick and chew, then turn around and leave. Take the halter off and let him go.
- My horse does not stand still
Find a quiet spot, prepare with the ground tie, and communicate mentally, that you want stillness. Nothing else is expected. This is weird for most horses in the beginning. You can also go back to the horsemanship exercises first, to better prepare your horse for this. Breath calmly, and try again. It will work.
- My horse steps on my foot.
Ouch! I am sorry! That did most likely not happen by accident, meaning your horse did it on purpose. Maybe you have come closer than you normally do. Maybe you are very pushy and determined. Slow down. Ask nicely, and try again, with sturdy shoes on. If it happens again, book a free consultation with me and I will help you find out what is going on.
- I don´t feel anything
Is your intention clear? Horses read our intention (seriously! There are studies about it). If you are “just curious”, sorry pal, nothing in here for you. Take it seriously! How would you feel if you could read the coffee powder and someone came in to just test you? You don´t have to believe in anything, just give it a honest, respectful try.
- I can´t stop crying
That is normal and not a bad thing. You are releasing tension and your horse is great company for that. I can promise that you will not drown in your sadness, just the opposite. Sadness is normal, tears are normal. Let them flow, pet your horse, play with his mane, smell his delicious horsey scent, feel your feet on the ground and accept that something sad or unjust has happened to you. I am truly sorry about that. This event is not your essence though. The energy of trauma can be turned into the energy of life. If you need to talk, leave a comment or book a free consultation with me.
- I don´t understand the message
Honey, if you got a message but don´t understand it, that´s because you don´t trust it. I hear you! My herd sends me messages all the time and usually, even after so many years in this field, I pause, puzzled, searching for logic. It helps to say it out loud, feel the words, and listen to them in (your) human voice. In a session, the facilitator will ask you “is there truth in that?” You can ask yourself the same, but I do admit it is easier with a facilitator to guide you. Another technique for you is trying to prove it. Use your Energy Hug© Message as a theory, and venture out to prove or disprove it. That will bring you closer to yourself.
All right, that is enough for today. I will give you the second activity next time if that’s OK? Sorry, I didn’t expect that much writing to pour out. And it is, as I just realized, different explaining this to you, dear reader, in a simple blog post compared to building up to it in my course.
Stay tuned! I will be back soon with the second half of this post.
With lots of care, Christina