"Thank you for the eye opening session, it’s my first ever ‘personal development’ session. Being a ‘client’ and allowing myself to accept care from another is not my forte, I attempt to over analyze things ‘while’ participating, but Rock helped keep me in the moment.
You have a sincere and calming manner, enjoyable experience!"
These comments from a new client. Rock helped us with an exercise called "More Than I Can Handle". It's amazing how we sometimes add more and more to our lives without realizing some of our greatest priorities are not receiving the attention they deserve.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Facebook "like & share" contest!
Tammie Ludwig is the lucky winner of "Morning Tears".
Photo by Linda Hopp
A horse lover with a beautiful Arabian gelding of his own, Matthew is a local teenager who participated in an Equine Assisted Personal Development program held in the fall of 2018.
Matthew began his EAL session by going through a unique exercise on the ground with a horse named Jewels by his side. As they moved together in the pen, Matthew began to share about his upbringing, the difficult stages and growth he went through during adolescence, and about some of the people in his life that were important to him. Matthew’s journey was not an easy one.
In sharing about his life, Matthew’s emotions began to emerge. He spoke about memories of being with his family, and how even though he knew he was loved, he didn’t always feel accepted. He had a hard time relating to some of his family members and many of his peers, which created tension, upset and disconnection.
As the session progressed and Matthew appeared to be vulnerable and emotional, natural intuition took over and Jewels moved closer to Matthew, eventually surrounding him with a warm, protective hug.
Although there was no threat to Matthew’s well-being in the moment, Jewels could sense his upset and provided support, allowing Matthew to get present to his inner feelings and see new insights for himself.
For Matthew, being with horses allows him the space to be exactly who he is. He’s found a place to put his heart without any worry of being misunderstood.
While young people have always had their challenges, it seems today more and more teenagers struggle with life. They face issues that no other generation has ever seen. And, while some issues are not new, electronic media has changed or amplified many of the struggles young people face. Teens often struggle with depression and anxiety, with bullying, confusing sexual expectations and peer pressure, and it’s all normalized through social media. In a world of such great pressure, the quiet connection with a horse is truly a blessing.
And so, when asked how Equine Assisted Learning works, I simply turn to the horses and they show us.
** Matthew’s story is shared with permission.
Listen to this interview with radio personality Zack Hewitt on the Global News Radio program from February 18, 2019. Copy and paste the link into your browser and let me know what you think.
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As a twin, Selah was devastated by the death of her brother, Joel. At age 21, Joel was taken suddenly in a workplace accident. In the 17 years that followed, Selah found comfort and healing through her strong Christian faith, her family and friends. She is an accomplished professional woman, close with her family and a leader in her community. So, back in early October, when she started a one-on-one EAL session, she was unprepared for the fresh healing she would experience.
The session started with Selah simply leading a horse around in a pen. She then identified a few people who were impactful in her life. Each one was assigned an item such as a pylon or chair to represent them. She mentioned her former husband, her parents and her brother. When it came time to have a conversation, she walked to the chair representing her brother and sat down. She shared about what it was like growing up together. The ways they would play together as children. How they were close as teens, and how Joel was always there as a protector as she moved into adulthood.
As she shared these emotional times, we saw the horse, a mare named Zoe, standing at ease. Zoe was close, with her head near Selah’s shoulder. She had a hind leg resting in a sign of relaxation and her breathing was slow and steady.
Then, Selah described the day of Joel’s passing. As she told us of the accident and the phone calls she received, Selah began to cry and the sadness and pain was clear on her face. Zoe moved closer and put her muzzle above Selah’s head. Pulsing streams of breath cascaded over Selah, white clouds in the cold morning air. As Selah described the moment of death, Zoe lifted her head and looked to the sky for a moment, then brought her head back down over Selah’s. Selah was sobbing by this point and Zoe’s body was squared up, not resting, yet still peaceful and strong. Her abdomen began to expand with big, heaving pulses as her breath became sobs to match Selah.
Slowly, as Selah’s pain eased, Zoe’s breathing calmed and she took a step back. Her head lowered to Selah’s lap and her body took a relaxed posture again.
As Selah explained after, she had done a great deal of healing work around the death of her brother, but this was a completely new and powerful healing experience, unlike any she had ever been through.
** Selah's story is shared with her permission.
Empowering people lights me up!