In February my boyfriend I and I took a quick trip to Phoenix to see my older son play baseball. I was so excited to see him and had some expectations that he would be so excited to see ME, and deeply grateful that we made the trek. Ummmm . . . not so much. I mean, I think ultimately he was happy that we came and said so later, but jeez in the moment? He was the same kid he always is: a little bit entitled and not super grateful. And wow I was bent out of shape about it!
So I took my own advice ("Know Your Resources!"), and signed up for a one-day workshop with Dixie St. John who is a Master Certified Martha Beck Life Coach, and Master Certified Equus Coach (Horse Specialist) who specializes in boundaries.
The workshop was held near Baltimore on May 6th, and the weather the day of the workshop was highly questionable. Rain (which is fine), and Thunder/Lightning storms (which are not) were predicted. Not gonna lie, I had a bit of a moment given that I'd traveled all the way across the country for my horse encounter - and then I decided to just let it go because well . . . I have no control over Mother Nature! In the end, it rained for about ten minutes total, and we had a smaller group as a result of the weird forecast - which meant more time with the horses and a really great day!
Some of my experiences are hard to put into words, but here are a few things I learned (or re-learned in a new way!) that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.
For starters we had a quick lesson on horse-y behavior so we'd know how to better read them.
When horses are comfortable with you and accept you as part of the "herd", they will move their mouth like they are chewing . . . effectively saying "I will eat grass with you". :) They'll also bow their heads down as a welcoming gesture. These signs are good to know because a) horses are big animals, and b) they are animals of prey - so if you're not "in" you're "out" - and that's not great.
And then we got right to work!
1. Horses won't always do what you want. Especially if they are hungry, and you aren't communicating clearly. (Wow there's a parallel to having teenage boys already!)
2. It's OK to ask for help, especially when you are learning something new.
3. There were several times when things didn't go exactly how I wanted them to, and I promptly gave up. But then I decided that I really, really wanted to accomplish a certain goal, and I made it happen. And when the situation changed mid-stream . . . I handled it like a boss. Which led me to really believing that . .
4. When I apply myself I can do whatever I want! I am in charge of my life, and how I choose to show up (in relationships, work, goals, etc.) - just like I did with the horses.
Also . . .
5. I was really proud of myself because I wasn't afraid! (<--- which weirdly I expected myself to be?) Amazing things happen when you move beyond fear. I'll just leave that right there.
Of course there was more, but overall I'd say it was absolutely worth the trip to the East Coast for the weekend and I am so glad I went! Have any of you had profound experiences working with horses? I'd LOVE to hear them! Leave a comment here or send me a note!
p.s. Big thanks to Ellen Weiser for the photos. As the photographer I don't always end up with any photos of ME - so I'm extra grateful for these!
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