There are many ways to engage with Horse as one’s teacher, muse, spiritual guide or leadership mentor. Every coach and facilitator needs to find a style and approach that best works for them—AND their horse. It is a complex and mysterious unfolding bringing unexpected turns and delights as one’s relationship with their co-facilitator deepens.
Remember to ask your horse what he or she wants to do in this type of work. During sessions it is imperative to watch, with our eyes open. Notice closely the subtleties of body movements, eyes, quality of presence and the texture of energy being exuded, so that the unique nuances that each individual horse offers is acknowledged and honored. This process is so vital as the Horse is, truly and foremost, the facilitator.
All of these concepts carry over to our relationship and space holding for the client. One of the primary philosophies I teach, through the Coaching with Horses training programs, is that when we are coaching we must also see each and every client and individual as “whole and resourceful.” This means that ultimately they can find their own answers. The coach’s job is to set up the environment and ask the client open ended coaching questions that are based in curiosity and neutrality, so that the client’s inner wisdom may emerge deep from their heart.
The foundational model I teach is to coach a person, with your equine co-facilitator, with no set agenda. This means no “lesson plan.” Often when a lesson plan is put in place one’s ego begins to form a construct, or a mental picture and expectation of what could, should or might happen in the session. The coach’s questions will be based on trying to achieve an outcome based on the structure of the plan and their conscious or unconscious expectation around it, verses what is bubbling and emerging in the moment.
True coaching comes from the place of holding a space and asking:
“What wants to happen, evolve, or be expressed during these sacred moments my client is experiencing with horse?”
This is a different style than setting up games or tasks for your clients to play with a horse. These types of learning experiences can also be valuable. This creates a setting that is focused on “let me teach you how to do this objective and let’s see what happens when you try to do it.” Again, it can serve a purpose, especially when working with children and families, bringing awareness to behavior patterns and the thought patterns behind those behaviors. It can very quickly reveal one’s leadership strengths and places for growth.
On a deeper more spiritual level, I truly believe that if you trust your horse and invite their wisdom to come forth during the journey without agenda or desired outcomes, your job as a facilitator becomes very easy, and the session powerful beyond measure. The invitation is for the client to become more horse-like, to expand into the present moment and access broader and higher levels of consciousness. The coach/facilitator asks the questions that moves the client into a different field of consciousness, the field that the horse is inviting them to engage with.
However, many people new to this type of work struggle with this concept because they are looking externally for guidance, results, adulations, recognition, verification or success for the session, themselves as a facilitator, or the Equine Learning work itself. The human attachment construct leads us to thoughts such as: “Is it really working? Am I doing it right? Did I do a good job with the session? Did my client get something?”
Once you are looking outside of yourself for answers to any part of your experience—you have lost your power. Ask the leader or the herd; he or she never looks to another herd member for validation or confirmation. They know what they know and they take actions based on that knowing with the well being of the entire herd in mind.
Many people have not completely shifted their consciousness into seeing that Horse is a sentient being—a being that is contributing and communicating constantly. Horse is NOT AN OBJECT. To see Horse as the intelligent sentient being, the coach/facilitator requires a shift of consciousness. That shift of consciousness brings the coach/facilitator into a place where they can see the energy patterns within a session and they are guided by their intuition to ask questions their thinking brain could never have thought of. It is truly an “inside-out job.”
Reflect for one moment . . .
What would be different in your everyday life if you lived from this expanded state of intuitive consciousness, where you were moved toward action by a force beyond your logical consciousness and you trusted and followed that inner voice and feeling that is always there for you to be guided by?
As a coach/facilitator you must join the horse in the “between the worlds state of consciousness” and facilitate from that place, leading from your heart field.
What I most want for Facilitators in training with me is for he or she to:
- Reclaim aspects of self so they may live from their divine inner guidance system
- Trust their knowing –without falter
- Experience the Horse as an intelligent magnificent being that is returning us to our wild inner strength and spiritual self
- Dance in the magic that is possible in every interaction with Horse
When you reach this place you will not search outside of yourself for your answers, you trust what you feel and you lead with your heart, you follow the lead of horse in the ever evolving and intriguing dance with horse consciousness. And because you have done so you live the “way of the horse” beginning a spiritual journey that will change your life forever.
This is the WAY OF THE HORSE. This is the gift they give us…”
Is it your time to Dance in the Energy of Horse Consciousness?
If so, begin your journey in two different ways:
- For your deep, profound, spiritual growth I invite you to attend: Horse As Shaman an all inclusive workshop and retreat in Arizona, February 13-15, 2015. Click here.
- To begin the Journey as an Equine Facilitated Learning Facilitator, apply to speak with Kathy about the entire Certification Program by filling out the Journey with Horse Discovery Session form. Click here.