Speaking from Your Heart
I had the most amazing experience this past weekend at my first onsite training to become an Equus Coach. I learned a valuable lesson and skill – speaking from your heart. Horses are amazing animals and because they are prey animals, they are highly sensitive to their surroundings. They are also very sensitive to the energy that humans transmit – and this is where my lesson starts.
Saturday afternoon I was asked to bring a mare, Sundance, to the arena from the nearby pasture. Sundance is a beautiful horse who happens to be in heat. She’s also a little pushy. I had not worked with Sundance previously and I’m also a rookie when it comes to horsemanship, so I was struggling a bit – actually quite a bit. I was “on task” so to speak and I was determined to get Sundance from Point A to Point B without incident.
I had forgotten some of the basic skills I had been taught since Thursday like asking the horse to do what you want and continuing that request until she gets it. I didn’t do any of that. She pushed me and I pushed back. No requests-just pushing and struggling. We got to the bottom of the road and I needed to weave Sundance (who is firmly letting me know who she thinks is boss, and trust me when I say it wasn’t me), through the group of my classmates who had gathered for our next exercise.
Sundance & Cooper
We go through the fairly narrow gate in the corner of the paddock where she sees a very handsome gelding named Cooper. Sundance, who let’s remember is in heat, tells Cooper in no uncertain terms how damn sorry she is that he’s, well, a gelding for crying out loud, They are both whinnying and Sundance is cavorting all around with me hanging on to my long line for dear life.
Sundance was excited, Cooper was excited, I was excited – and by excited, I mean my heart rate was escalating and my sense of security was rapidly diminishing. It felt like I was almost surrounded by horses as they all flocked around to see what the hell was going on. Thankfully, all three of my instructors were at my side helping me out of a tricky situation. I was a little shook up. Then I got emotional because I had been scared and because I felt so supported by my herd.
Sunday, I woke up understanding where this event went south. I had approached the gathering of Sundance as a task, rather than inviting her to join me on a stroll as a partner. I felt like I failed her and myself. So, when I had my last opportunity for coaching Sunday afternoon, I decided I owed it to both of us to try once more.
I invited Sundance to join me in the round pen. She was still pushy, and I was instructed again on how to communicate my request. She was pushy going through the gate. She was full of her sassy, magnificent self as we entered the round pen. My coach, Kasia, after hearing my intention to listen to and speak from my heart, instructed me to go to the center of the round pen and listen to what my heart told me.
As I was standing there with my back to the group, Sundance came along side of me, aligning her heart with mine. We slowly walked around the round pen, our steps almost matching, with no equipment whatsoever. There was no pushing or cajoling from either of us.
After a bit of watching this dance, Kasia asked me to come over to the fence. She asked me “Who are you, and what did you do to Sundance?” This previously antsy, animated horse was now putty in my hands, and the reason why is because I allowed myself to be vulnerable, to be authentic and to speak from my heart.
This past weekend in general, and this experience specifically, has shown me where in my life I need to be more open, more vulnerable, more authentic and to speak from my heart.
This new herd that I’m so grateful to be a part of, supported me with their hearts and allowed me to be myself. I was able to do the same for them.
Life can be so much richer and valuable if we all just can put down our armor, one piece at a time, one layer at a time to reach those in our herd.
When was the last time you truly allowed yourself to be seen and to speak from your heart? I’d love to hear about it.
My name is Nancy McKay and I coach women, most of them are over 50, who are going though a major challenge in their lives and don’t know what the hell happened. They’re feeling lost and afraid because they don’t know what their future looks like. I help them figure out how to feel happy and at peace with their life.
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One of best compliments I’ve received was “You helped me in seeing things from a different lens – I can’t believe I learned so much in one meeting! I can’t wait to see what else I learn from you.” Helping women make a shift in their thinking and in their lives thrills me to pieces and drives everything I do.
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