Back to my first equine facilitated workshop that I attended, and this was the first time we were doing 1:1 time in the arena with two horses. We were in a large arena, and the horses were at liberty, meaning that they were loose and free to approach the participant or not. The horses were Frank, who was experienced at this work, and Spot, who was doing this for the first time. It was fascinating how the sessions evolved.
The first participant – the horses never actually approached, but it was clear that Frank was encouraging Spot to go over to her. When we spent time after the session reflecting, this woman had spent her life giving to others but had never been able to receive .. which could be what was blocking the horses from approaching her. When the second participant went into the arena with the horses, both horses approached her, and it really seemed that Frank was coaching Spot .. he was right there next to him. By the third participant, Spot approached the person, and Frank had moved a bit farther away. The fourth person, the horses worked together as a team.
Finally, I was the last participant, and I was focusing on Spot, but instead Frank approached me. Spot actually retreated for the whole time .. it was like Frank told him that he needed to handle me on my own, as the wise elder. At that time in my life, I was quite shut down emotionally and fully armored, due to my childhood environment, and was finally at the point in my life where I was ready to start to heal. Frank and I spent some powerful time together.. and I really felt heard and seen in an entirely new way… with a true heart connection that can not be described, only felt. It was the beginning of a cracking wide open.
This example illustrates very tangibly how horses can read our energy, and show how intelligent and perceptive these majestic animals are. They are true healers and teachers. We would do well to follow their example .. to meet others right where they are .. with true love and acceptance.