Horse Lessons are Life Lessons Learn to Play From a Horse
I really enjoy the life lessons are horse lessons articles and I hope that you do as well. This article is especially close to my heart as it is from one of my experiential sessions with one very special 16 year old girl.
Jessica came out for one of her experiential sessions, and she always picked Night Light to work with. He was amazing, and heartfelt and so caring and wise. Today, though I felt it was time to work with someone different as all four of her sessions prior had been with Night Light. I asked her to take a moment with each horse and decide who was calling to her for today. She took some time and stood by Dusty’s stall and said he was who she wanted to work with for today.
(Now, Dusty is an amazing horse and teacher, but he also is a very forward teacher most of the time. This works great for boundary setting and stepping into your own power of owning your intention. He is very tuned into that and teaches amazing lessons on standing strong in your own power….so I had a slight hesitation when she stood before him…but I knew he had her lesson that she needed today.)
My initial thought as I led him out into the covered arena, was today will be a powerful lesson in boundaries and setting strong in her power. I had to trust him that she was ready for a very energy forward session. But what he knew she needed today was not what I would have ever expected……
I took off his halter and he stood in the middle of the arena waiting for her to enter. I went over safety, how to set a boundary and body positions of energy before she entered. I opened the arena gate and Jessica walked in to begin her experiential session with Dusty. As she slowly and tentatively began to approach Dusty, he turned slowly and walked off, looking at the ground for any leaves that had blown in, completely ignoring Jessica. She began to pull off and waited for him to stop with his head over the arena railing looking out to see what the other horses were doing. She began to approach again, and he turned to look at her, and then began to ignore her again. When she was about 10 feet from him, he slowly turned and walked away. This happened about three more times and then Jessica stopped and looked at me.
“He is just ignoring me, it is like I am not even here or he doesn’t want to have anything to do with me.” she stated.
“Try getting bigger and more playful with your energy and body and approach and see how that goes.” I gave her the tip.
So she began to get bigger with her energy to get him to notice she was in there and not invisible. He began to tune into her and pay attention. Then she pulled down her energy and he walked off again. (Please know that Jessica was a quiet, very low energy, low key person in general. She suffered from depression so she was low energy for most of her sessions.) She went back in with more energy in her approach. This time he jumped through the air, gave a little snort and trotted a few feet to then stop and face her, very intent on what they were doing together. He arched his neck, threw his head, let out another snort and danced around a couple steps for her.
That is when it started. I gave one more encouragement to her, “Find that 9 year old little girl inside, who loved to play, and have fun, and filled with excitement. Be that you, and play.” She let go, and off they went. She skipped and he pranced, she jumped and he lept, he snorted and tossed his head. They both ran, they both skipped, they both giggled and shrieked with joy. After about twenty minutes of all out playing, running, circling, stopping and skipping, Jessica stopped and came over to the gate of the arena.
“Wow, I forgot what it was like to play and have fun. I haven’t played in years with everything going on in my family. I didn’t want to be happy while they were all struggling with grief. I haven’t just let go and have fun like that in so long. I think I had forgotten how to play and have fun.” Jessica said.
In that moment, I knew Dusty had shown her more than I ever had expected for the day. I have learned to never doubt where and how a horse can take someone right where they need to be in that very moment; it still blows me away when it happens. I felt so honored to have been there, and to be a part of such a life changing moment for this amazing girl.
Sometimes it takes our horse to remind us where we need to re-focus in our lives. They can remind us of the joy, and things in our life we have forgotten. That is why horses can be our greatest teachers!