It is the year of the horse, I was born in the year of the horse, and for many of us it is galloping forward at full speed. I have been amazed at how synchronistically horses have been showing up in my life in the last few months in different ways. Through good friends I have been introduced to Tina Barnes and Michelle Atterby, two horse lovers I have come to admire greatly.
This last week I had the opportunity to meet one of Michelle's horses, Hero, for an equine therapy session. How funny, that while on my own personal Heroes Journey one of my mentors would be named Hero. I never realised how deep and profound a healing I would experience in the presence of this towering equine healer.
The morning of the healing I had some conversations with my girlfriend about what might happen that day, but we both agreed that we had to let go of any expectation. I secretly hoped for a great breakthrough, but I knew that whatever spirit had in store would be the greatest gift.
When it was my time to go in to the ring with the horse I was not prepared for this. Relax though, I did not get into the ring while he was in this state, as you will read after the video.
Prior to entering the ring with him, Hero had seen another horse escape from a paddock and out into the farm. The reason this upset him, according to Michelle, was that as the leader of the herd he assumed a great deal of responsibility for the others. This alarmed him, and as you can see from the video, it was very unsettling. Straight away it was apparent that he had something to show me.
Michelle and I sat facing one another and centred in to our bodies, outside the ring. I could feel my body holding on to something in the abdomen, a tightness close to the incision point of a scar from an operation that happened long ago. I have done much energy healing and bodywork around this scar but there are many layers to it and it always astounds me when I learn what the next one is. Michelle asked me to look in to Hero's eyes, and as soon I did, tears began to well up in mine.
I was not even in the ring and I was sobbing, for reasons unknown to me. When Hero calmed down and Michelle had given the green light, we stepped into the ring.
Soon Michelle revealed to me what I was releasing and why I had been holding on to it. At the time of my accident I had been unconscious and my parents had both been in my presence and crying, unsure of what lay in store for me. Though I was unconscious my energetic body absorbed it all. At that time in my life I had been quite the emotional caretaker and it seems as though I had wanted to tell my parents that everything would be OK, but in that state I could not. The words and the sadness absorbed had been trapped in my body for a good 20 years now. Perhaps a soul contract, karma, who knows. Mine is not to question why this happened, but simply to acknowledge it and move on.
As the grief poured from me, my body trembled. Michelle had her hand placed upon my back. I thought she was shaking it uncontrollably, turns out that was me. It was a truly cathartic experience and I could feel my body becoming lighter with each sob. In brief moments I would catch myself judging myself; "You should be over this by now." That is part of the problem that keeps people continuing to suffer. When we peel back the layers we find a greater depth of healing takes place.
At no point during this exercise did I feel threatened by the horse, Michelle creates a truly safe space for her clients and if things had got hairy, she would have stepped in. She helped me to interpret what the horses gestures meant and more specifically what they were saying about me. Apparently the horse and I were going through a mutual healing and he yawned quite strongly a few times, intermittently nibbling at my abdomen in places that corresponded with the chakras I was balancing.
Like me, once the healing was done Hero wanted to play. Under Michelle's supervision I was able to direct him to trot around the pen and then, being mindful of my body gestures, back to a slow walk. What I love about Michelle's interaction with the horses is that she is building a cooperative relationship, there is no need to dominate, they join in willingly once they know who you are. Michelle has a deep understanding of the horses and I highly recommend her to anyone who is seeking to experience equine assisted therapy. She offers workshops on leadership and I am confident that you would enjoy seeing the effect it has on any team you are involved with.
Be sure to check out Michelle's information at Spirit Gate Farm.
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