There was a buzz in the air, I could feel it in my body, my belly tightening and releasing, jitters pulsating and sending my heartbeat into rapid pounding. We hadn’t even gotten into the boat yet. But on this day, in 1983, as we stood at Lava Falls, deep in the Grand Canyon with the river running over 100,000 cfs, I could barely stay present in my body.
A big black rock, usually easy to see on the right side of the river at Lava Falls rapids, was completely underwater. Lava Falls has always been known as a spot for big adventure and big waves, but this was unheard of. We had 4 boats, all tied before the rapid, and we had hiked from the river up to high along the river’s edge in order to see the entire rapid area. Each boatman studied the river to find the best pathway, or his “line or run” from point A to point B. He would chart out 2-4 different approaches to see which would carry him, and all of the passengers he was responsible for, to their destination safely, then choose one to take.
Three of the boatmen chose the left side of the river. That was the side that was advised. The boatman I was with chose a completely different path. He decided that the big rock on the right was the way to go, and his first chance ever to take that line. In all the years he had been floating, the black lava rock on the right was always completely exposed because the water was usually much lower. He was not cavalier about it. He planned well, he thought about the consequences, then tracked where he thought he needed to position the boat and how he would need to maneuver, as we would flow through the run. He also was fully aware, from his years of experience, that the River had a strength and life of its own. He would have to work with the water, not against it.
I shook my head thinking, “Of course I am assisting (also called “the swamper”) on the raft with the boatman who chooses the path least traveled, in this case, the path never traveled.” I took a big breath. I remembered that I chose the journey with River, and that I could trust my leader, someone who had been on the journey with River for a very long time.
We all scampered down the rock ledge and into the boat. We got busy triple checking to ensure everything was tied down tightly, life jackets were secure and cranked snug to our bodies, that we knew what do to if we flipped, and that everyone was hanging on for the ride. As the swamper I was seated in the very back, which ended up being a BIG ride.
As we pushed off and began a soft glide onto the river a thick silence hung, there was no chit-chat or idle talk. I glanced at the pure blue spring sky and thought: “Well if this is how I go, at least I am going doing what I love.” It was not the first time, as an outdoor adventurist, I had said something like this, and would not be the last.
The air, filled with fresh moisture and negative ions lifting from the rapids below, stimulated my nostrils. The roar of the approaching rapids began a crescendo, an orchestra of nature. Would it be a tragedy? Regardless, there was no turning back. My confident boatman maneuvered right to the position he had spoken of previously. Faster and faster the water began to move the boat along and the thunder of the rapids deepened, bouncing off the canyon walls, roaring through the fibers of my being. Then we were there. The River had taken us and we were on HER journey. The big black rock swiftly moved toward us. Before I knew it the boat, with weighted grace flowed upward, immediately vertical, over the rock, allowing me to on ly see the front tip and the vast blue sky above. I thought for sure we were going to do an end over and flip. Then just as fast as it went up, we swiftly cascaded over the big black rock. The boat shifted directly downward and dove into the murky turbulent muddy waters below. Everyone one shrieked and screamed with adrenaline and exhilaration. Splashing frothing muddy water pushed against and up and over the raft tubes that we had deflated before the rapids soaking every fiber of my being. Everyone hung on tightly as we banged about the current and rocks and shot on through the rapids. At the end of the rapids we pulled up to a sandy beach and stopped.
We celebrated by dancing with glee on the sandy beach. We had taken a chance, gone a new route, let the River take us on her journey. The reward was a shared experience into the unknown, trusting an experienced and confident guide to lead us. We all walked away changed people. We had gained respect for our guide but also for River, her power, and her ability to move us to a place never experienced before, her beauty and her rawness.
I personally gained the experience of courage, risk, and empowerment. The River and her potent rapid, that took us only 15 seconds to complete, filled me with vitality of life and living, the experience of riding the wave, staying present in my body during fear and exhilaration, and the power of trust in the unknown.
River and Horse are very similar, each vibrant and alive, potent, movement often undetermined, bending and flowing with power and strength. I am not saying that the journey with Horse is always going to be like my run of the rapids at Lava Falls. I am saying that nature provides us opportunity for experience that we cannot find in a book, or by watching a screen and certainly not by being glued to Facebook. The journey with and in Nature– the ride with River or the walk with Horse fills our being with vibration and aliveness. We have been given a gift called life. It comes fully alive in those moments that we connect deeply with nature. Horse is inviting us to go on a journey to unknown realms of discovery within our consciousness, to venture into the field of oneness and to find our home, our herd, our tribe.
- How might your life change if you were to allow yourself a journey with nature, one with Horse?
- Who do you need to be to take calculated, yet adventurist risks that will expand your experience in this one life you were given to live?
- What might you gain if you let go of the need to control and allowed a trustworthy, well experienced person to take you on a journey to the unknown?
Each year I open a new EFLC Certification Program. Could this be your year to take a chance, venture into the unknown? Talk with me and see if I am the leader you are seeking to take you on the Journey with Horse.
Let’s connect and explore our chemistry and discover if indeed you are ready for the magical, inspirational, life changing adventure in consciousness with Horse during the yearlong EFLC Certification program. If you have been seriously considering this program it is time for you to have a discussion with Kathy. Click here to download the complete information packet and we will send you information to schedule your private call with Kathy. Let’s find out if it’s time for you to ride the wave and let’s make it a safe and adventure-filled journey.
From our Graduates:
The depth of learning around self and horse helped me shift old patterns that were limiting my potential. I now have a better deeper understanding of emotion and energy that I can use both personally, and as I move forward with the work professionally. Becoming truly centered through the use of the Mind Body Method has allowed me to connect more authentically with others and horse. Kerry Loupe, Maine
Kathy and herd of Horses are amazing teachers. During the yearlong program I was given permission to explore my self-awareness, to show my authentic expression and gain new confidence that I never felt was possible. I am ready, with an open-heart and immense curiosity to share this work with others in Australia. Lisa Campbell, Lake Entrance, Australia
I could take this program all over again and learn it all again at even a deeper level. The content is rich and deep. Stephanie Barnard, Colorado
If you are ready to be on the Path with Horse . . . you may wish to explore these options:
Annual Conference and Retreat
The Coaching with Horses Retreat and Conference resulted in such an expansive and rewarding time with each other and the horses that Kathy pike is hosting the second annual event. This incredible experience takes place over a three day period at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. White Stallion Ranch provides a retreat-like setting complete with an insightful herd of wonderful horses.
EFLC Certification Program
A one-year program that begins with you attending the EFLC Level One listed above. Then continue for one year with 3 additional onsite trainings, several mentoring calls, an extensive library of audio classes AND the Mind Body Method Home study courses.
Email for information regarding this program.
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