I certified as an Equus Coach in 2021, but I’ve had a love affair with horses since before I could walk, and I come from a very long line of horse people. My grandpa was a master horseman and I’ve been told I have his way with horses. If that’s true, there’s no higher honor for me.
It’s hard to put into words exactly how Equus Coaching works (and many say that what happens in a round pen with a horse can’t be put into words at all—that it’s wordless.) While that’s true, I’ll do my best to give you some of my own inadequate words on the subject.
If you know anything about horses, you’ve likely heard the expression “horses never lie.” This is also true. But what many people don’t understand is that when you’re with a horse, you’re not able to lie either. I mean, you can try. But the horse will proverbially “call your bluff.” Meaning, if your words or intention don’t match your body and your heart, a horse will let you know. They’re constantly providing feedback as to whether or not your words/thoughts, heart, body, and spirit are all in congruence.
One of the most important things to understand about Equus Coaching, and what makes it so powerful, is that how you show up in the round pen is how you show up in every area of your life: relationships, friendships, family dynamics, work…all of it…and horses act as mirrors to you in that regard. Yes, there’s a bit of “magic” to it, in my humble opinion, but to my mind, they’re a group of “highly sensitive beings” (maybe the most high) who are masters at reading body language, heart rate, blood pressure, and a host of other physiological phenomena, not to mention your soul’s deepest truths, and my job as a coach is to help interpret and to act as a guide for you to read their feedback.
While I do Equus Coaching with clients on any life issue they wish to address, some of my favorite Equus Coaching sessions involve the juxtaposition of someone who has created a piece of art which they deeply want to have seen in BIG ways in the world while at the same time they fear being seen themselves as the artist. That’s an example of a perfect incongruence in my work with writers.
Why is that important?
On some deep level, you are your art. At least, it’s a part of you, so if you’re not ready to be seen, chances are your piece of art won’t be either.
For so many of my writing clients, the incongruence around being seen is deep. (Maybe, in part, because so many of us writers are introverts.) In my work as a Book Shaman, my client and I have spent months, sometimes over a year, getting their manuscript written, edited, polished, and ready to be queried, and then I invite them to my ranch to read the final product out loud together. When we’ve finished reading, we head out to the barn where they choose a horse to play with, and then we get to the real work:
Are THEY ready to be seen?
And this is true for anything you’re creating, whether it be construed as art or not. Whether it’s a business, or a relationship, or…or…or… Having all parts of ourselves: body, mind, and soul, along with our thoughts/words in alignment is the key and I’ve yet to experience anything more transformational than a horse for getting you there.
If you’re interested in learning more about booking an Equus session with me, click on the yellow “book a consult” button and we’ll set up a time to chat. I offer both one-hour sessions and half-day sessions at this time.
Meet the Boys…
I’m Rio and I’d much rather be eating my alfalfa than introducing myself. I’m pretty shy and I don’t trust too many people. I’m happy to be here in this barn though. It’s much better than my old place where they went by the old-timer “get a 2×4” mentality. What they didn’t know when they were hurting me was that I wasn’t misbehaving, I just can’t see anything behind either shoulder. Imagine not being able to see anything behind you, every noise is a dragon, or at least that’s how it feels. I’m a lot better than I used to be and I’ll even let Melanie feed me out of the bucket while she’s standing there, and I let her give me butt scritches now, too. Melanie says I’m sensitive and that I read her mind. She’s not wrong. My favorite parts of the day involve grain, cookies, and putting on my blanket when it’s really cold out. I love my friend Julio, too. We’re great pals and I’m happy to have him next to me. Leroy A Stink is okay when he’s not chasing me around trying to herd me like a cow. And I’m the one with eyesight problems?
Leroy ~ Techolena
I’m really not sure what my name is. Some call me “Leroy”, others call me “Big Dinner”, and still others call me “A Stink.” I’ve even heard “Chest NUT” and Leroy PeeRoy, too. It’s all very confusing. My favorite thing to do is eat. My herd mates seem pretty calm about it and munch all day, but not me. I eat every stem of my hay, every pellet of my grain, and every ounce of my cubes right away. I mean, what are they saving it for? I used to be what they call a “cow horse” but when I see cows or sheep, I dig a trench a foot deep in my turnout. Melanie thinks maybe I was one of those “cow horses” that drove the cows up the mountain once in the spring and brought them down once in the fall. I love to run around in the arena, raring, and kicking out, but when she wants to ride, I’m not so interested and I just go at a pace that would make a snail fall asleep. I mean, sure, I’m good. I never rare with her, or buck, or any of that nonsense, but what she doesn’t understand is that I’m conserving my energy. For eating dinner.
Julio ~ Hollywood B Rawhide
I’ve heard it told that I’m beautiful like Julio Iglesias and that’s how I got my name. Melanie calls me her “Man in Black”, and that’s just who I am—her main man because when I was on the verge of being put down due to a severe case of laminitis, Melanie took me in anyway. The vet gave me less than a 50% chance of getting better, but he doesn’t know me, or Melanie. With the right food, supplements, corrective shoes, and hand-walking (starting with just two minutes a day), I’m all but as good as new. One of my favorite things to do is to just chill. If you walk into my stall, I’ll nuzzle right into your belly and you’ll feel nothing but peace. I don’t get worked up about much, but I do like to move when I’m out on a ride. The rest of the time, I’m pretty laid back, except when Rio’s gone. I really like my stall brother. Some call my reaction to Rio being gone “buddy sour”, but I call it “buddy love”. Rio and I could spend hours grooming each other. I think I help to calm him down, that’s my gift to everyone, really.