The Power of Horses –
Guiding Us to Greater Growth
There are few natural leaders in our world, and even fewer role models who can teach us how to unlock our potential, show us how to live with intention, and help us embrace life’s fullness. Horses do this every day. They are natural leaders living fully among their herd with a clear intention of survival, safety, and order.
In their natural environment, horses’ survival depends on their ability to sense pending danger before it presents itself. Their heightened awareness tunes them into the positive and negative energy in their environment…and in humans. Their behaviors can help us uncover the actions needed to realign us with our surroundings and ourselves.
EquiCoaching involves working with horses and a coach who is experienced in human dynamics and horse behavior. Working with horses in this method creates significant growth experiences and provides insights often hidden from our awareness. This new knowledge opens the door to conscious choice, confidence and change. It does not involve riding. Instead, it requires quiet interaction with horses – observing them, asking and answering questions, and learning from them in a gentle way.
Horses impact humans in profound ways. During an EquiCoaching session, one participant talked with a gentle herd about the clients who pick at her and eat up her time, leaving little for family or herself. As she spoke of this, two horses nibbled at her pants and sleeves and crowded her. She giggled with excitement at the two and considered them loving and attentive. Another horse stood back, quietly observing. When asked about this horse, the woman walked over to him, gently stroked him, and talked of feeling bad because he was left out of the fun. She spent little time with him and quickly moved back to the two who had been "eating" at her.
She realized that she enjoyed the clients who took all of her time; she liked feeling needed by them. Meanwhile, her family was patiently waiting for her when she had time for them. She experimented with moving away from the nibbling horses and spending time with the patient one, and recognized that it felt good to be with him. Yet she could easily step back to the other two, if she chose to do so.
Her revelation led her to allocate less time for her demanding clients, while still maintaining the relationships, and focus more time on her family and herself, creating a better balance and greater peace in her life.
One entrepreneur spent time approaching horses in their environment. He quickly noticed the fear rising inside him as he walked toward the horses. When he acknowledged this fear to the horses, he was able to walk up, touch them, and be with them. He pondered his approach to potential clients and recognized the same fear when he entered into those situations. With this new awareness, he began identifying his fear, breathing through it, and calming himself before meeting with a potential client. This shift resulted in more new clients and a 53% increase in business.
Another woman lovingly brushed a horse during a session. The handsome gelding turned and put his head against her. She thought it was sweet and that he liked her. As she continued brushing the horse and responding to questions, the horse nudged her. When asked if the behavior bothered her, she said no. The nudging intensified with each question and response, but she continued as if nothing strange were happening and assured the facilitators that she was fine. Finally, the nudges turned into a push that moved her about a foot. She was asked if this behavior bothered her. Again, she said no. With continued probing, she realized that the inappropriate behavior should have bothered her; it never occurred to her that she didn’t have to put up with it.
The woman recognized similar patterns in her personal and professional life and decided to make some changes. This awareness felt like a "new found freedom” to her, one that remains strong and allows her to set boundaries with others.
History shows that horses have changed our lives. They gave us the ability to work the land and move from one place to another. They carried us, lightened our loads, and taught our ancestors how to survive. Horses have given to humans freely for thousands of years, and continue to guide us in living with intention…. we just need to be quiet and listen.