It's been just about two years since I wrote this piece. Two years of patience, acceptance, and building trust. We loaded everyone in a trailer yesterday to a new pasture, to give ours a rest and to have access to an indoor space for Equus Coaching. I asked for help....from a colleague, from our ferrier, from the divine. She moved and loaded without pause. Regardless of the fears that came up for me....it was over in an instant. I was reminded of this experience and thought I'd share again.
On Sunday, Koelle arrived and we went over my intentions, hooked up the trailer and headed to the barn where Barbie has lived for the past year on pasture by the Arkansas River.
Koelle is my Equus Coach. I went through her certification program 5 years ago and I’m currently being trained and mentored by her to be able to facilitate Equus Coaching workshops.
Equus Coaching is one of the most effective forms of personal and professional development I have ever participated in and witnessed. Working with horses, along with powerful leadership and communication coaching tools, is the perfect combination for cutting to the heart of what holds us back.
It's all about relationship and giving the horse the space to be a horse, while learning to clearly communicate and ask for what you want.
And it brings up all the things….
So if you are willing to show up and be open and present, it can bring tremendous clarity and healing too.
I have struggled with Barbie since the day I brought her home. She is big and beautiful and gives a clear message when she doesn’t want to be messed with.
Her clarity often scares me. Sometimes just being in her presence gives me anxiety.
Usually, I’m visualizing what MIGHT happen in a future moment and this usually involves a big reaction from her and someone getting hurt.
I decided long ago that she wasn’t a good fit for my coaching practice, but I have been committed to giving her the best life and care that I can.
I was unbelievably grateful that Koelle had time in her schedule to work with me for a few days to move Barbie back home and to gain some clarity on the next steps with her.
Koelle is masterful at training horses and coaching people in the process.
I watched her work playfully with Barbie - allowing her to have her reactions without making them mean anything.
Without projecting a story onto it.
I watched her respectfully communicate with Barbie in a way that opened her up to connection and responsiveness that I have never seen before.
Then she worked with me to load her in the trailer.
Do you feel safe in this moment?
If No, what do you need to feel safe?
If Yes, stay here….this moment is all there is.
The three of us worked together to load and move her with ease.
I’ve never done this before in this way.
It was awesome.
Koelle gave me an honest assessment that Barbie is in a lot of pain and her reactions to humans is partially learned response - but mostly in reaction to the pain she is in.
This gives me better insight into the nature of our relationship and is helping me find some clarity for next steps in what is best for me, her, and our family.
As I have felt inadequate in working with her…Koelle reminded me that I have been trained as a coach not a horse trainer. Her masterful ability to read and work with a challenging horse like this is because of the hundreds of thousands of hours she has spent in this work.
What relief to be able to see Barbie in this new light.
What a relief to know that I don’t have to have all the answers.
What a relief to have help.
What an incredible practice when fear arises to breathe through it and stay present.
Barbie was greeted at home by our herd of two…and now they are three.
I have had some unexpected sweet moments with her this week.
Not making any big decisions…just being present.
Breathing past the fear.
Sending you permission to slow down and breathe deep this weekend.