Anna spent the last 3 summers here – each year in June, and we all shared some magical times as well as heart wrenching realizations… Last years clinic, for me, was life changing for the best of times, as well as the worst of times – while I was in the midst of end of life challenges for 2 dogs and a horse. (Turns out my horse most probably lost her life due to an antibiotic shot, not the injury… heartbreaking – what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.)
The ‘there’ I’m talking about: Newly certified in March 2017 – structural integration bodywork and I had just landed, what was a dream job, what I was trained to succeed at, what I wanted to do in life. Life made sure that stopping there was not an option… With everything I’d learned, studied, mastered I was given challenges I could do nothing about, except let go… at that time… not acceptable – but I could change the future for other people with their horses and dogs.
I completed my work and set about developing my own program – for people seeking to empower themselves, strengthen their senses- common and intuition – to listen to their horses and especially themselves…
This undertaking is reflective and time intensive. I’ve taken the time, to allow the pieces to come forward and present themselves as the #1 focus. Soon I’ll have a series of online classes on Udemy as well as my own website. I’ll also have in person courses from demonstrations, basics, to deep learning in different areas of study. Very exciting!
Saturday it became clear this vision is reachable, horses want to be a part of this plan. Walking my talk – with joy – before teaching others… First – I took my horses and dogs for a walk through the woods… When we got back, I let the Starry and Rose remain outside grazing, the dogs stayed with the horses, while I took my mare Mikaila in the arena to do some body work on a lower back issue. I set up the camera as it helps later to review her responses, which shows the progress we are making and provides content for classes. If I’d stayed when I thought I met my goal, I would have missed all this.
Saturday: After 15 minutes the two horses walked in through the arena ‘person door’ followed by the two dogs. What a great opportunity to spend time together! I continued to focus deeply on a bodywork session with Mikaila, the other two settled in and supported her, energetically – as the photos show. Mikaila let out some deep releases which told me where the issues are and where to continue to work until all restrictions are alleviated. As we neared the end of the session, my mare Rose and gelding Starry had an interaction that was so special. This was caught on video – not necessarily the best angle, but special none the less.
Through these experiences of videoing for my classes, I’m learning to let go of the perfection of film to simply tell the story that appears before me… The biggest lesson from the 2016 clinic with Anna was the difficulty of choosing the roles of full time videographer, clinic participant with Starry and host. My horse paid the price, because I wasn’t ‘in the moment with him’ and supportive of him in the ways he needed me to be during the arena exercises. His fear of arena work was triggered, the anxiety level of his senses could not be comforted – with what I knew then… But two years later, he was comfortable enough with all of us and the camera doing it’s recording without my control, to choose to join us in close quarters and mutual groom with Rose – my ‘dominant’ (AKA micro manager) Appaloosa mare. She pushes Starry around most of the time, moves him, with a look, a nose toss and sometimes charging him. Today I saw Rose nuzzling Starry with her soft nose, while Starry stood his ground without brace or the need to leave. He bared his teeth, softly, more his style than soft nuzzle.
Mutual grooming with horses is done for various reasons in many ways – generally speaking – horses nuzzle each other on the neck, withers – with their nose and sometimes a nip with the teeth. Rose nuzzled Starry’s right knee with her breath and her soft nose. Lowered head – a submissive, vulnerable approach… Rose hugged him with her neck… and released to show non dominance… Starry was receptive – despite his history of being dominated by her to the point he always leaves quickly… All this took place less than 10 feet from where I was working with Mikaila, yet the arena is 42′ x 96′. Mik continued to focus on her body, kept looking at her back and hip – and continued to process and release, lead mare’s usually focus on the herd. Amazingly enough – the dogs were there as well – interacting, observing, enjoying the space…
What a joy it is to be fully present, trusted and included into their natural way of being. It has been far too long and the stress overwhelming – but that is in my past.
What a joy it is to understand horses and dogs language, their way of clear communicating with each other, as well as having studied and practiced the scientific knowledge, background and understanding regarding how their brains function, their emotional state, their anatomy – structural, energetic, nerve and fluid functions.
Finally – I feel bliss, am fully present these days with rare moments of needing to check out… When we seek knowledge and understanding while learning from everyone we encounter, we find deep meaning that lasts and impacts us for eternity. Finishing a program isn’t enough… Putting the practices to use in ways that answers most of our questions, brings up other points of interest and finally pulls enough together to create a strong foundation – this is certainly a place to move and settle into for a bit. If I’d stayed when I thought I met my goal, I would have missed the joy of today while also looking forward to creating the future.
Starry and Rose walked right in, Starry tossed his tail around and both settled… The rest speak for themselves. If you don’t understand and are curious – join us for classes!