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Why Horses?

sara-lance-kissPeople ask me all the time: Why Horses? Typically I go into all the things I was taught in all my various trainings, with all my various mentors. I decided to share with you ‘why horses’ from my experience of living with them, working with them and loving them. If you would like to know about the more concrete reasons behind working with horses, I invite you to Google “Equine Assisted (learning, therapy, coaching) why horses”. I promise some good information.

Here are the primary reasons I assist humans with the help of horses.

Horses teach me about trust. Trust is a foundational value in a healthy relationship. My experience is that horses are teaching me to have  healthy relationships. They teach me to trust them and myself. They teach me to trust the process and not get too hung up on the goal or wrapped up in expectations. Horses don’t let me ‘fake’ trust. They demand the real thing.

Horses teach me how to be present. If I am not present, I am not safe. Bottom line. Horses teach me that being present is being grounded in the moment, in my body and not in my head. When I am all wrapped up in my head I become unaware of what’s around me. If a horse is unaware of what is around them, their lives are in danger. As a coach, horses assist me in not getting too focused on a goal or agenda I might have for ‘our’ client. Instead horses are constantly reminding me to watch their clues, stay in the moment and stick with the process.

Horses teach me about authenticity and vulnerability. In order to be received by a horse in a non-threatening way, I have to have a strong sense of myself. When I am with a horse I have the opportunity to try on my authenticity. To practice being the ‘real’ me. They are a safe spot for my heart to land. This is not always the case with humans. With enough practice with the horses, I can slowly start to embrace my authenticity and vulnerability. The horses help me see that authenticity and vulnerability are not a liability, rather they are an asset, and ever so slowly, I get to  bring that into my human relationships.

lance-head-downHorses teach me about communication. Over 90% of what we as humans communicate is with our bodies, not our words. We experience the essence of this with horses. With horses I get to see myself in a different way and that I impact my world by my very existence. Some people speak of this as ‘presence’.  When I am unclear about what I am trying to communicate, the horse doesn’t respond to my request. I’ve learned that I am more powerful and received more authentically when I am congruent with my intention, my voice and my body. The horse provides immediate feedback on how clearly  I’m communicating my desires. This allows me to correct my course in real time, on the spot.

Horses teach me about confidence & leadership. They teach me how important it is to have it, and how to develop it. In my world, leadership and confidence go hand in hand. Horses ask for. Horses teach me that I need to have confidence in myself allowing them to be confident in me.

Horses teach me about perception and reality. Because horses  live in the moment, they take things as they come. Me….I project, tell stories, and then live as if my stories are true. Horses offer me the opportunity to try out a different story, to safely play with new awareness’ and in the end, make different choices.

Horses demand my authenticity and require that I show up and be present. No Equivocating. When I walk away from an interaction with a horse, that experience resonates in my body and touches me at my core. Horses honor me when I don’t honor myself. They honor me when I have lost faith in myself and when I don’t believe in myself. Quite simply a horse standing by me often renews my faith in myself. When I have been willing to listen to horses, to truly join them in relationship, they opened doors I didn’t even know existed. Horses have taught me about love. They have taught me that I am capable of love and that I am worthy of receiving it.

Discovery Horse LLC

2748 County Rd 122
Fort Ripley, MN 56449

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Sara interviewed on Horse Nation