What is it about Girls and Horses?

Girl leaning on horse

Templeton Thompson sings about girls and horses, she says at one point “They were my one safe place.” in her song called Girls and Horses.  Seriously though, why is it that 80% of horses in 2016 are owned by women and girls?

Is it because they are better than a diary that someone else could read? Is it their soft fur? Is it their amazing contrast of power and gentle souls? Homeschool girl and horses

Maybe it is because horses, if left to live in herds of their own design are a matriarchal society.  Maybe this feels natural and right to girls at a young age.

Sylvia Zerbini

I had the honor of spending the weekend with this wonderful woman, Sylvia Zerbini, 9th generation circus family. She shared with us how, as a 9 year old girl, her responsibility was to turn out the horses while on the road which, for a Circus Family, is often. They were performance horses and needed to be looked after carefully on the road, so they gave the job to a young girl. Sylvia shared some of what she learned from the horses with us.

  • Body language – the Universal language – Horses and Humans of all ages and languages understood it.  In fact on the weekend, she spoke to all of our horses in French. The commanding posture learned from the horses earned her the attention of anyone whose attention she wanted.
  • To solve real life problems with the grace of a performer and the grit of a horse.
  • Without question, these horses taught the young Sylvia about her important place in the world and how to project her intentions and experience real results that carried her through rough times.
  • These horses taught her to pick herself up and dust herself off and keep going when there was a particularly hard lesson learned.
  • One more lesson learned: Dominance is not leadership, dominance is just that, dominance and it has it’s place in the world but truly sharing space with horses where all are included – That’s where growth happens and everyone’s needs are met simultaneously and all are respected for their contributions.
  • Learning to be alert to their surroundings, finding safety in the wisdom of the herd and comfort in their collective power. Carrying that power and wisdom through the rest of life’s experiences.

When girls are fostered at a young age to read the wisdom of nature, these life’s lessons go everywhere girls go! Horses are a great vehicle to take them on that journey.

Girls and Horses is a program facilitated at In the Company of Horses for girls 10-12. Join us! 

Oh, wait! Did I mention that those horses were all Stallions that the 9 year old girl was responsible for?

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Independence Day

Independence Day

Honoring our Veterans

What does it mean to a Veteran from World War II or Korea or a Vietnam Veteran to know people care about them while they are living in a Veterans Home?

“This is a great day”  said one 94 year old Veteran.  One  gentleman with a sparkling Cowboy hat put his arm around my shoulders and said, “She’s a quarter horse isn’t she, I said Yes Sir, He proceeded to tell me how he and his horse rode at the Cowtown Rodeo and he was a team roper; the smile on his face was priceless!

Cowboy Veteran

Cowboy Veteran

The staff at the Vineland Veterans Home was just as amazing as everyone else,  we thought we were going to an outside function under a tent with a cowboy theme, when we arrived, they said we are going inside to visit with the veterans and take some photos!  I said well, you know when horses get worried, they poop, the young man in charge said, we all do that. It was beautiful.

Visiting with the Veterans

Visiting with the Veterans

This gentleman got right out of his wheel chair to stand so proudly next to Valentine.  As person after person lined up and backed their wheel chairs in between the horses (with great skill I might add) to get their pictures taken I was more and more moved  by each of the stories; none of which I knew.  I only knew they all served in our countries military.  They were not all volunteers, many were drafted into service.  I got thinking about what that meant and more tears fell.

I looked around the room at who was there and I saw many people wearing denim vests covered with patches; I got a glimpse of one of the patches that said “I wasn’t there but I still care.”  More tears fell for me.

Freedom

Freedom

And then there was Freedom the Therapy Dog who is a regular visitor at the Vineland Veterans Home.  Young and attentive, I looked over and saw a patch on a denim vest of his person that said “Freedom’s Handler.”  I thought about the veterans and wondered if they should be wearing the same patch. This thought brought more tears for me. I thought of our current wars and drones and I thought of George Washington our earliest president and how he encouraged our earliest American warriors from the backs of his majestic war horses.  I looked over at my girl Valentine standing tall, still and proud while yet another veteran and their family members crowded in to have some photos taken.  The pride I felt for the horses who just as bravely were drafted into military service;  how they stood steadfast, like my Valentine was doing this day.  Tears fell once more.

I wished I had a tissue, I didn’t even have a sleeve, so I just let the tears land where they wanted.

Mya

Mya

The last person of the day who came outside to visit with the horses before we left was a little tiny woman in a wheel chair; she was hugging a stuffed white animal and singing a patriotic tune, she was kindof bouncing all over like a little girl might.  The woman helping her stretched out her hand to pet Mya, the pony, she said “good kitty kitty kitty”  then she said “you are too big to be a kitty” I told her Mya was a pony; I moved Mya closer and put her head in the little woman’s lap, she didn’t really have a lap because she had no legs, just these two little bouncing stumps; as she tickled Mya under the chin she said “Tickle tickle little pony.”

As we drove away I was moved once again at the magnitude of  what one of the patches I saw on those denim vests said “All gave some; Some gave all.”

In the Company of Horses Inc. had the distinguished honor and privilege to take two of our girls Valentine and Mya to the Vineland Veterans Home here in NJ.  Rolling Thunder NJ is a group of women and men who care about our veterans.  With deep gratitude I can say this experienced changed me.  I will think about Freedom for anyone in a new way.

Managing your issues

Zig and BE at work

It was practice for the “real”world outside of rehab when they would really have to manage their triggers and their denial.  Those were the metaphors they named the horses and their jobs were to get the horses to go to the pockets they designated ahead of time as a group while staying in a line between the buckets.  They went through a lot!  The horses were running everywhere and the group was split and chaotic, but then they made a big shift and got themselves together.  Once their triggers were managed they could turn all their attention on their denial.  This lesson won’t soon be forgotten by anyone who was lucky enough to participate in this Equine Assisted Psychotherapy session..

Hands on Healing with Horses Workshop with Ginger Krantz

Workshops Coming this spring to In the Company of Horses Inc!

Workshops Coming this spring to In the Company of Horses Inc!

Check out Ginger’s work here  http://earthhorsehealing.com/ Energy work is powerful work and anyone can learn to do it.  See all the details of her upcoming workshops here at In the Company of Horses Inc. Pemberton, NJ 08068!