Recently, I was honored to work with a very intelligent horse by the name of Viejo. For several of my students, the session we witnessed was profound and life altering.
Ironically, the session was not grandiose. The horse did not behave as I have seen many other by lying down, protectively walking around the client, bowing, picking up the carrot stick and handing it to the client or pointing his nose at certain regions of the client’s body (yes, these things happen quite often in sessions). He also didn’t stand still, going into an altered-breathing cycle (that I interpret as a shamanic breath) that can take the client between the worlds and momentarily shift their consciousness, forever giving them a gift of experiencing the “world beyond.”
This particular week of study, I was teaching my students the key elements for coaching people while they are actively engaging with a horse. To start the session, the client is lead through a process to bring congruence into their heart, open their sensory awareness and connect deeply to the heart of the horse before asking them for anything. It is not uncommon that when the human shifts from an intention focused on being present to then creating action with the horse, many things can transpire that indicate a true deep resonance and understanding between the individual beings. Other times, the opposite is true, and the horse will reflect to the human where they may have lost connection, not only with the horse, but their own self and the present moment.
During this session, after spending time guiding the client to become present, body-centered and clear about his desire with the horse, the client asked the horse to begin to circle the round pen while he stood in the center. This student gently lifted the carrot stick as part of his process of asking. Ever so lightly, Viejo moved off in a gentle trot. However, I noticed immediately that the student did not “stop asking” by putting the tip of the stick down toward the sand, therefore acknowledging the connection and Viejo’s willingness to work with him. Instead, he lifted the stick not once, but twice, continuing to ask. I sensed that this was an unconscious action from my client and that that the horse interpreted the gesture of keeping the stick high to communicate, “You are still not doing it.”
Viejo is an older horse in his late teens. He has seen a lot as a working horse on a cattle ranch. His knowledge and wisdom are deep and his ability to read humans profound. Even though he has been highly conditioned to respond to these tools, now in his elder years, he quickly understood his role in teaching with me and immediately began his teaching with the student in the round pen.
Viejo stopped abruptly and stood still. The student digressed into a more assertive behavior by shaking the stick and trying to motivate him along. This is where the depth of the coaching began. Once I offered and reflected back to him what I saw, he quickly understood that he had continued to ask for something from Viejo; even though the horse had offered and given way to his request and instruction. He confessed that he often does the same behavior at home too, often getting the same results with his own horses. Some might call this nagging; however, in this situation, it was not seeing the give.
We spent time working with the Mind Body Method Coaching, helping him to see where the energy of this interaction was held in his body. He could feel how he came out of alignment in his own self during this interaction with Viejo. Then, the coaching went even deeper. The student explored the “felt-sense” of doing in contrast to that of “being.” We also explored what the horse might need, at this moment in the relationship with him, to feel partnership and respect.
He centered back into his heart space and started to articulate out loud what he appreciated about Viejo. He shared with him what he saw and recognized as his spirit and essence (not focusing on what he could do for him). As he did so, I could feel the emotion of gratitude rise within him in my own heart-space. At the same time, Viejo ever so softly lifted one hoof and moved it slightly toward him.
At first, he did not see the gesture from Viejo. I gently pointed it out to him. The client then continued to share his gratitude for Viejo from his heart. As he did so, Viejo’s body and eyes softened even more and he lifted his hoof again to inch a bit closer. My client looked at me with eyes and heart wide open, understanding the profoundness and subtly of the experience. He understood the significance of sharing positive affirming thoughts directly from his heart as part of laying the foundation of communication and connection with Viejo. He realized that he could not just go after something in partnership with another and expect to get it by having the other conform without question or personal requirements.
One more time, he centered in his heart and said out loud what he appreciated about Viejo and the wisdom of all horses. Viejo responded by stepping forward and placing his nose on the man’s heart.
Everyone sitting in the circle also felt this profound heart shifting and heart-shaping moment that Viejo, as teacher and spiritual guide, had offered, not only to the individual man but also to all of us. The sensitivity of his offering and the stoic way in which he taught was nothing short of magnificent. Many of us experienced tears of recognition, of the way things should be, that Viejo guided us to see. Even as I write this, my body memory returns to that moment with him and my client, and my heart swells with gratitude for all horses and their beauty and kindness in teaching humans “The Horse’s Way.”
- Where in your life are you trying to get something done, but falling short and digressing into less than pleasant tactics?
- When do you fail to see the efforts and ways that others are communicating with you?
- How might your interactions shift if you were to move from task to heart and acknowledge your horse (or others) before even ever asking for anything at all?
- What might be different if honor and acknowledgment were your primary goal in every relationship (horse, dog, human, etc.)?
I am in deep gratitude to Viejo for not only teaching my client this important lesson, but everyone present that day including myself. You are a wise teacher Viejo, and I send you a deep heartfelt appreciation through this story.
Please leave your comments below- I love reading them!
If you are called to work with the spirit of horses and the Horses Way, Click Here for all upcoming programs.
Ways to Engage with Kathy . . . .
Onsite Workshop: Soul Emergence: Find Your True Self in the Herd
Are you done playing small and are ready for your True Self to emerge? Are you ready for a horse to help your Soul Emerge?
How do you merge back into life after living for so long with so many limitations and restrictions? Honoring and maintaining what is important to you in the current state of society may be difficult. Or, you may be ready for a completely new part of yourself to emerge into the world. This moment is an opportunity for rebirth, to remove all masks that hide your true self.
There is no better teacher for living authentically and true to one’s self than a horse. Horses invite you to listen to the calling in your heart. Attend my first onsite program in 1.5 years, Soul Emergence: Find Your True Self in the Herd is an invitation from “HORSE” to move from merely functioning to becoming connected to all aspects of self and to all of life.
To register or read more about this program by Clicking Here
Coaching with Horse – Emotional Intelligence and Energy Mastery (EFLC Level One Training Program)
Now Online! Imagine a life where you are living your purpose while partnering with horses and making a significant impact on others’ well-being. Every day you feel warmth and expansion in your heart because you are finally living your calling. You are a conduit for positive change and deep connections.
- Tired of looking at your horses, knowing they are waiting for you to live your potential?
- Wanting to help others through the power of horses, but need more confidence to do so?
- Ready to understand and integrate new levels of energy and emotional intelligence into all of your relationships?
- Currently offering Coaching with Horses sessions, but they lack the transformational, soul-revealing, and life-altering depth you know is possible?
Life coaches, riding instructors, therapists, artists, and counselors who wish to integrate horses as teachers and healers into their life purpose, vision, or business attend the online EFLC Level One training program. This course provides coaching and facilitation skills creating empowerment for all attendees. Learn how to guide others through powerful energy awareness and emotional development sessions with horses.
This program continues to be very popular and successful. Perfect for those who want to work directly with their own herd while learning, and not have the expense of travel. Read more about it and book your Interview/Coaching Call by Clicking Here
One with Horse – with Kathy Pike, from anywhere in the world
The One with Horse online journey is a magical and inspiring six-week transformational process of exploration that will honor the invisible communication, unspoken understanding, and deep channel of exchange possible with horses. The program includes:
- 6 weeks of in-depth videos and tutorials to guide you in explicit detail through each step of the program.
- Meditations to bring you in line with your authentic self and open the connection with your horse.
- Detailed processes and methods to assist you with taking your relationship with your horse to the next level.
- Worksheets to help you document and guide yourself through the experiences and emotions that are brought to the surface.
- A very special releasing and reclaiming ritual.
- Tips on how to progress through active work with your horse.
- A special session on how to receive deep healing from your horse
The One with Horse transformational program is beyond riding, and riders are also welcome! Most exploration takes place on the ground and can also be easily transferred to riding. One with Horse brings activates your subtle energy field to awaken a deeper relationship with your horse.
For more information and to sign up for this One of a Kind Experience with Your Horse:
Get your own signed copy! – Life Lessons from the Heart of Horses: How Horses Teach Us About Relationships and Healing
Inspiring true stories of how horses teach humans and heal their hearts. Horses are sensitive creatures with hearts ten times larger than humans and much more to share with us than meets the eye. Life Lessons offers poignant short stories about the trials and tribulations of befriending horses. Equine expert Kathy Pike brings you on a healing journey that includes lessons a wild horse taught her, how horses teach humans in her equine facilitated learning programs, and personal insights about living off the land and engaging with the dynamics of a herd each day.
Life Lessons is now available. Life Lessons from the Heart of Horses will deepen any horse lover’s understanding of the invisible and emotional bond between horse and human.
Get a signed copy directly from Kathy Pike, the author. Single signed copies are $22 (including shipping), or $16 each when you order two or more (including shipping). (Sorry, but we cannot ship signed books outside the US at this time.)
Click Here to order your personally signed book today!
My favorite interview to date. I fell in love with Frederieke and enjoyed my time with her so much…
(Ancient Wisdom – New Consciousness). Explore the spiritual side of engaging with horses during this wonderful exchange. Be sure to post your comments below! If you are on a learning path with your horse or would like to deepen into one, be sure to order Kathy’s latest book, just out in April of 2021: Life Lessons from the Heart of Horses: How Horses Teach Us About Relationships and Healing. Inspiring true stories of how… Read more…
I look forward to supporting you on your journey with horses and invite you to participate in any of these offerings.
Kathy and the Herd