Equine-led growth and healing
The equine-led growth and healing work that we do here involves gentle, mutually-respectful interactions with horses from the ground - there is no riding involved, and you do not need any previous horse experience. Through exploring being in relationship with the horse, we build awareness of our patterns of thought, emotion and action, and practice new, more self-loving, conscious, and empowered ways of relating to ourselves and others.
The model I work with combines my training in body-based coaching and learning through the Academy for Coaching with Horses, the principles and practices of Non-Violent Communication - adapted for working with horses - and Sarah Peyton's work on the power of resonant empathy to rewire our brains and nervous systems, restoring self-love and well-being. It's a simple, powerful, trauma-informed approach that can support a wide range of growth and healing processes, including:
healing self-hate, anxiety and depression
learning how to feel safe, grounded, and at home in your body and in life
learning how to have a good relationship with your emotions
building confidence and self-esteem
developing healthier relationship dynamics - for example, learning to trust, set healthy boundaries, acknowledge and ask for what you need, and hear "no" without shutting down
developing communication, conflict resolution and leadership skills; and
grief and major life transitions.
As an integrative approach that connects the body, the emotions, and the mind, this work truly changes us. Simultaneously gentle and profound, it acknowledges and heals layers of wounding and conditioning, and allows your authentic self - or what some would call your soul - to direct your life.
The following principles guide my work:
Honouring, loving and respecting the horse as a sentient being and an equal partner.
Honouring, and striving to learn from, horse culture and to become more horse-like, especially by:
being connected to body and emotion,
setting healthy boundaries, and
Recognising that all growth and healing is relational, and that this should be practised and modelled in all aspects of equine-led/equine-facilitated work.
Seeing the client as capable, whole and resourceful, and not in need of “fixing”.
A commitment to growing as a facilitator and coach, through:
ongoing personal work
professional skill development (horse skills and facilitation skills)
We must not heal one species at the expense of another.
What horses can teach us
We're trying to live a different value system while we're asking for things to change. What's most important is that every connection along the line mirrors the kind of world we're trying to create.
Our bodies are a source of wisdom.
All emotion is information, pointing us to what we need in order to thrive.
Being authentic – showing up as we are, without masks and without judgement of ourself or others – creates safety and relaxation.
No one else is responsible for “making” us feel a certain way.
Healthy boundaries come from awareness of our needs, not from external rules and limits.
We need each other: connection with other herd members is the foundation of wellbeing.
What truly serves the needs of one herd member will serve the needs of all.
“Know the yang, but keep to the yin” (Tao Te Ching), by embracing:
emotion over intellect, intuition over reason, prey over predator, relationship over territory, cooperation over competition, process over goal, compassion over judgment.
- Linda Kohanov, The Tao of Equus
Letting go of our stories about the past, and our anxieties about – and our need to control – the future, frees us to be present in the moment. When we are present, we can see possibilities and respond creatively and powerfully to whatever is happening.