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The Art of Holding Space, Giving Space and Sharing Space

I can teach people my nerve release methodology and my developmental exercises, but none of that will ever matter if you do not take the time to learn how to have consensual conversations with safe boundaries.

This mare had been in tremendous amounts of pain for years.

Multiple people had poked and prodded on her and no one could give the owner an answer as to what was wrong.

By the time I was able to get hands on her, she had had enough.

Enough of being misunderstood.

Enough of trying to be fixed.

Enough of being a Guinea pig of diagnostics.

I didn’t blame her.

It was a similar story for me on my journey to get a lupus diagnosis.

When we started, she wouldn’t let me touch her and was erratically trying to leave the space or intimidate me.

There was no aggression.

There was pain.

I didn’t run her in the Roundpen for hours.

I didn’t beat on her or yield her hindquarters.

I didn’t ask her questions she didn’t know the answers to or couldn’t physically give me.

I just held space for her.

I apologized to her.

I told her over and over I could give her some relief.

It took a little over an hour and some cookies as bribery for the tough spots, but she eventually joined the dance with me and allowed me to not only send her through some movements to open the space for the nerves, but to eventually let me in to really work on her.

But that’s the thing.

I’m never working ON them.

I’m working WITH them to allow them the safety of being in a receiving energy.

And that lost art is something I am desperately trying to resurrect within my students.

Especially for women, it’s hard to learn that you can have boundaries without raising your energy into aggression, and that you can hold space for outbursts without getting emotional and taking things personally.

But horses (as always) are the best teachers.

*Horse was sound at the end of our session*

Photo by Julia Kaser


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