The other day I was playing with my lovely half Friesian and half Arab gray, Esperanza. She is friendly, lively, sensitive, and can have enormous energy. Her intelligence often is a bit shocking to me. When I speak with her, I feel no barriers. Instead, I sense her understanding and digesting what I say and giving me immediate feedback at many levels.
She has been with me for a year. She has had plenty of space and ample time to find her way within the herd. She is finding her grounding and understanding how to be a teaching horse for my Equine Facilitated Learning programs. It was a lovely day, so I decided to play with her in the arena. I intended to prepare her for a group coming in for the EFLC Level Two program and their Natural Horsemanship day.
We stood in the arena, and I took off her halter. I decided that everything that we would do would be at liberty. I carried two small-sized sticks and used them as tools to lengthen my arms. Using them simultaneously to guide her, she and I moved around the arena. She was very willing and wanting to walk with me. Her eye gently stayed on me. She watched my arms and the sticks to navigate her movements.
With softness and grace, she walked over a wooden bridge. Then she approached the white pipes on the ground, and I could sense her speeding up and anxiety rising in her body. I remembered that during an Opportunity Course activity during a past program, she had become spooked in the poles and had knocked them all down. I gently asked her to stop by raising my stick and holding it in front of her and saying slow. She stopped and stood, and I spoke to her. I told her to go slowly and gently. I reminded her that even though she has had a bad experience moving through these poles in the past, that she could slow down today. I suggested to her about paying attention to each hoof and leg and placing each one very strategically. Then I let out my breath, kept my body relaxed, and lowered my stick. She proceeded forward very slowly, not once touching the pipe and then came to a stop at the end, turned and looked at me.
Well Done! I told her. I felt joyful for her success and her ability to listen to me and to settle her body.
Then I guided her over to the pedestal. The pedestal is about 18″ high. Corazon loves it and will immediately put two hooves up and get on it. He stands there for a long time and stretches his back while I scratch his withers. He loves being “king of the mountain.”
As I guided Esperanza to the pedestal, I could tell she felt less confident. She was not on a halter, so she had the opportunity to leave any time she wanted to. Once at the pedestal, I tapped it with a stick and asked her to place her front hooves upon it. She not once even looking at the big black box or considering getting up, then she moved away. I then followed her. We walked with her circling away from the pedestal then I ask her to return to it. She willingly did so.
This time she lowered her nose and took a good look and sniffed at the big black box. Well Done! I said, giving her positive feedback for her courage to try. Then I asked her again to place a foot up. With her head relaxed, her gaze came into my heart, and I felt myself soften. Then, out of the blue, I heard myself say: “What does it mean for you if you get up on this box for me.” As I continued to gaze at her, she began to lick and chew, yawn and stretch and her head dropped very low. There was a significant shift in the energy between us.
I told her that her getting up on the big black box was not something that she had to do. It was not something that would make or break our relationship. Instead, it was an opportunity for her to explore. And if she wanted once she was up, I would scratch her withers, she would stretch her back, and it would be a joyful experience.
Remember, she was at liberty. She had no halter on, and there was no lead line for me to use to guide her. She had been on the box before — however, that time she was in a halter with a lead line. For me, a halter represents a way that a human being can guide and help a horse. And, it is also often how we think we can control a horse. I put myself in a position of being another horse as I strive for the most “natural” horsemanship approach. When the horse has no human-made constraints placed on her, she knows she can do what she pleases. I have only my body, arms, and voice to offer assistance or make requests.
Esperanza licked and chewed with her head dropped down fully relaxed.
I knew something significant had happened between us. I decided one more time to ask Esperanza to get up on the big black box. She moved over, lifted a leg, and placed it on the pedestal. I immediately told her, “Well Done Beautiful Lady!” and I poured vibrant, joyful energy from my heart to hers.
In reflection of my moment with Esperanza, I realized that the question that sprung from my mouth, I initially thought was for her to answer. Now, I understand it was her question for me to answer. What did it mean for me to have Esperanza get up on the box? Once I shared with her that it was no big deal, and we had all of the time in the world, she relaxed. I also told her that doing it or not doing it would not change our relationship and that we were exploring. Her eyes softened. She felt that I had no big agenda. She gave me what she wanted to, and I was ok with that. That was her try. What was most important was that I understood and saw her attempt, and I did not push her harder. If I had pushed, I believe I would have broken our connection and understanding of each other.
I am confident that you have had this moment in your life. Maybe it was with another person or an animal. The pivotal moment is when a question or truth is shared that brings two people to a deeper understanding of each other. My horses are not push-button horses. I do not endlessly ask them to do things, so they become mindless wheels in a cog, fulfilling the requirement to please their human. Both Corazon and Esperanza at two horses that ask “Why.” They each want to know the reason they are being asked to do something. Esperanza is often easy-going about new things. Corazon can become downright stubborn if he does not fully understand.
The question– “What does it mean for you if I do this?” has stayed with me. It has brought me into deep ponderings about why we ask animals to do the things we ask them to do. It even extends into human-to-human relationships. We can hold significant meaning around what others do for us.
When we have no attachments to other beings’ actions having to have any meaning for us, there is a particularly good sense of inner liberation and coming home to self. When what other offers can be fun and delightful, but not define my worth or my understanding of myself, I have no longer have the hooks of co-dependency and expectations that lead us to disappointment. I can more easily move into the energy of amusement and dance in the moment with what is.
Why do you do what you do with your horse?
Why do you ask your horse to do certain things at certain times?
What happens for you when you fail to inspire your horse to action?
What does it mean for you to influence others to new actions?
What happens for you when in your human-to-human relationships you make another’s action (or non-action) hold significant meaning about your worth?
Many of you have been following me for years, which is deeply special to me. Others of you may have just found me. I do hope my blogs inspire you and I personally invite you to claim your path and attend one of these lovely events or classes below!
I invite you to join me, by phone, from the comfort of your own home and…
Ignite your Intuition
Elevate the Quality of your Energy and Vibration and
Increase your Spiritual Alignment
I have just a few spots remaining in newest and most exciting program where you will dance and move in the quantum field while accessing new realms of intelligence. The Horse Ancestors will lead you back to the ancient and natural methods of connecting to the Source, giving you comfort, hope and new ways to navigate our often chaotic world.
Expand Your Spirit is much more than a one-off coaching session or spiritual reading. This program is a very specially designed intensive for you: the individual who is ready to create a more soul-filled life directed by her intuition.
I personally invite you to join me for this wonderful and vibrationally expansive experience. Register today to become part of this special journey.
If you missed my free class last month, be sure to take some time and listen to the recording. I share some juicy concepts that you can start applying to your life right away! Click Here to access the recording Master Your Connection with Source… guided by HORSE.
The Art of Inner Harmony with Horse: A Retreat with Horses to Release Stress and Ignite your True Self through the Way of Horse – San Luis Obispo, California, November 2019
One spot just opened up for this four-day residential retreat immersion program focused on engaging with horse consciousness to take you to your next level in spiritual exploration and insight. Rejuvenate, reconnect to your higher self, and be deeply guided by Horse.
Our masterful heard of equine teachers will guide you as you learn the key ways that horses teach you to bring down your stress and promote spiritual wellness.
With just one spot left, this promises to be a powerful, lasting experience. Contact Kathy after registration to make your room reservation. Click here for more information.
Retreat Details: (Only One Spot Left!)
Thursday, November 7, 2019, 10:00am to Sunday, November 10, 2019, 4:30pm
Moon Dance Ranch – Arroyo Grande, California Fly into San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara
Fifth Annual ACWH Retreat – Horse as Guide: Coming Home to your True Self – Tucson, Arizona, January 2020
This inspirational residential retreat takes place over a four-day/three-night period with a collective of no more than 24 fellow horse-lovers. Join us as we gather in community to experience the peaceful and soul-filling wisdom of Horse that will open your heart and ignite your true essence.
Special Limited Time Fall Savings!
Register with a friend and you each receive $100 savings! Simply email us your friend’s name immediately after you both have registered with a deposit. Your savings will be applied to your final payment.
Space is running out, so click the link to review our group of amazing presenters and reserve your spot right away and come home to your true self.
Private Coaching with Kathy Pike
I welcome you to join me for one-on-one coaching sessions that will provide you with clarity and shift your energy as you deepen your spiritual path. I genuinely enjoy blending the fine art of asking question to evoke your own wisdom from deep within while providing crucial information direct from your spirit guides via intuition and channeling.
With over 30 years of experience coaching thousands of individuals, I can guide you to dramatically change your energetic patterns and fulfill you potential through a Private Coaching Package