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The Horses Teach the Clinics

So let’s talk about this photo -

Those that were there got to feel it and watch the entire energy unfold.

But the rest of the world needs to hear it.

This sweet boy followed his beloved owner/partner into the arena and stood in his giant body, for all the world to see what a school master he was.

As I took the lead rope from his sweet owner, he kept a careful watch on her as if to make sure that it was okay. She told him he was safe and I began to talk about what I found in his body.

As the compensatory patterns were discussed, we tied them into the movements and training that likely happened to result in what he was struggling with.

And as the stories came, in an arena full of 6 horses and 17 humans (surrounded by longhorn cattle) he began to process and yawn and eventually- just laid down and went to sleep.

We held space for him for a bit and I got to talk about what was happening for him and then I just sat down with him while the clinic continued on until he was done with this deep processing.

It’s common for horses to roll or lay down for a minute when we’re doing some Pillar 1 work, but the deep sleep mid-clinic had not happened before and it was the most beautiful learning experience for my trainers.

He obviously became my demo horse for the day and as we went on to the second piece of this work, this sweet soul demonstrated aggravated behavior as we worked through his anxiety and PTSD on what he was worried I might ask of him.

But before he allowed that to happen, I shared what this kind of trauma could look like for a human.

NOT so we could put that on our horses, but to make sure that there is a thread to find empathy when working on this with them.

When “behaviors” come up, it’s important that we set boundaries.


It’s important that we are able to sit with them in this space and let them know that we hear them; we understand and we will not push them to feel the same pain that caused the distrust.

It’s a contract you sign when doing this work with them.

The moment that was clearly understood by the entire group, he let down his guard, offered what I originally asked, and gave us even more releasing.

Further proving that he is in fact the great teacher that he demonstrated when he walked into the arena.

As the last piece of the clinic came, I offered to ride him.

He was concerned about the saddle, so we used my bareback pad.

He was concerned about the bridle so we used the halter.

I climbed up on to the gate and waited for permission to get on, and he so sweetly offered himself and stood like the old guard that he is for me to climb my broken and still-healing-post-baby body onto his 17hh+ self.

The honor of what this meant for him was not at all lost on me.

He then proudly carried me while we taught the rest of the clinic and demonstrated all 3 pillars beautifully.


When it was all over, his body looked completely different and there wasn’t a soul in that arena that wasn’t changed for the better because of him.

I don’t teach these clinics. The horses do.

Pillar 1 is about a relationship to connection.

Which means creating a safe environment and respecting autonomy must be at the forefront before we can even ask for access to help them develop their beautiful bodies.

THIS - Is why I created this.


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