Written by Barb Greenberg, Rediscovering U
I had heard of equine assisted therapy but never experienced it, so when friend told me about a program in Somerset, Wisconsin, I had to check it out.
After driving through lush green farmland, I turned into the driveway of The Yellow Rose Farm and home of Heartwood Holistic Counseling. Laurie and Lindsay, the women who run all the programming, met me as I stepped out of my car, and invited me into their office. They explained that their services included dealing with mental health issues, with self-discovery, and with preparing individuals for transitions, including divorce. They even work with divorcing couples who are struggling with co-parenting.
I was so impressed with these two women that when they asked if I wanted to experience this therapy for myself, I did not hesitate.
As we walked into the pasture where eight horses grazed contentedly, the women reminded me this would NOT involve getting on a horse. Everything was done from the ground. Then they asked if I had an issue I wanted to work on. Oh, how to choose!!!
“I want abundance in every area of my life,” I shared a little timidly, “but I have trouble trusting it will happen.”
They suggested I walk to a spot in the pasture that represented Abundance and stand in that place. Then I was to look for a horse that represented Trust and get the horse to move to the spot of Abundance. Now please know the horses did not have on halters or anything I could use to pull them along with me, which meant whichever horse I chose would have to follow me voluntarily.
After I found my Abundance spot, I shifted into my “go-to” first response. “I can’t do this. What if I mess up? I’ll be so embarrassed. I don’ think it will work. I can’t do this.”
My next thought was to stand in my spot, send out good vibes and then one of the horses would just feel the vibe and join me. “How about coming over here? Come on over. You can do it.”
It didn’t take to long realize that wasn’t going to work! So I looked carefully and chose a big, lovely gray horse, grazing with the rest of the herd at a distance from where I was standing.
I walked down a gentle slope to him, petted him on the neck, and whispered. “I’d like you to walk with me.” He lifted his head from the grass, calmly looked at me, and we walked together, only stopping once on our way to my Abundance spot. I felt he stopped because I was unsure this would really work. But even when he stopped, and waited for me to “regroup,” he did not leave my side. We started again and with his last few steps he veered off to the left just a bit. It seemed Trust had found a spot that was even more Abundant! Ah, Trust!!
As Lindsay and Laurie talked to me about what had happened, Lindsay said, “Look, there has been a shift in the herd,” and I turned to see all the horses had moved from their original place in the pasture to join us. Though the gray horse shifted slightly to rejoin his friends, he was never far away, and I could always see him.
I shifted my focus back to Laurie and Lindsay for more conversation, and in a few minutes Lindsay had another observation. “Oh look where the gray horse is now.” Trust had moved to graze in place that was passed where I thought the end of the pasture was,passed where I thought the fence was, passed the boundary for how far I thought he could go.
So many insights in less than fifteen minutes. I had almost cried three times!
*We all can find our own place of Abundance, whatever that word means for us.
*Trust is always there, waiting to be asked to join us, and may lead us to a place of greater Abundance than we could have imagined.
*Trust will bring with it more more support than we ever thought possible.
*Trust will show us we can go further than we ever believed we could.
*Once we find Trust, we will never lose sight of it. It will always be there, a strong, gentle presence in our lives.
Learn more about Equine Assisted Therapy & The Yellow Rose Farm.