He lied his way into the arena….

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It was a windy cloudy day in the 40’s when the men’s group arrived.  There were 8 of them hanging over the fence petting the horses before they signed their release forms.  When the paperwork was out of the way we had our intro conversation in the arena;  the wind was uncomfortable and one guy excused himself and said, ok, well thanks but I’m not really in this group and I should go wherever I’m suppose to go and besides, I’m really cold, I just wanted to pet a horse and now I’ve done that, so I should go.

We take the horses to an adult residential rehabilitation center for people in the early days of recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol, so I say to the guy, you know, the thing about the weather is, it’s either cold, or windy or there are bugs, or then there are allergies, or it’s hot, if we are just going to work our recovery program when the weather is right, we are on a narrow road here.   He said, good point, how about I just stay here and see what I can learn.

We had our activity “steps one two and three” and when we were done, the guy comes over and makes a point of stopping us to say, I am so glad I stayed, I thought we were just going to pet the horses, I never imagined I was going to learn something valuable for my life!

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The thing is, they “Want” to be together.

ImageWe can and should use this to our advantage!  

horse·man·ship

  [hawrs-muhn-ship]  Show IPA
noun

1.  the art, ability, skill, or manner of a horseman.

It’s not just about riding, it’s about having an artists eye to see what’s so, the ability to know what to do with it, the skill to do it so it becomes your way of being.  
 
As noted in the picture above, one of the things there is to see, know and use is the fact that horses want to be together.  They will be happier moving away from home together and    giving their all to you at home.  And it is through being together that you can move apart from the herd.  
Here’s the other thing to see in the photo; Curiosity, notice how all the horses are curious about the photographer? It’s not feeding time, it’s natural curiosity, this is what, if cultivated, has our horses be interested in leaving the herd with us.   
These are things a horseman understands.  

 

Sometimes…

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Equine Therapy:
Takes all different shapes and sizes.  Sometimes just getting to stand next to or pet a horse is therapy. In the end, it’s not about the horse but overcoming things like fear and self doubt.

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..

UNDERESTIMATED

UNDERESTIMATED

That’s what these teenage boys named this pony because they thought she would be the easiest because of her size. They said adults also underestimate them. So what are we, as a society, expecting from our young people?

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Kids and Horses – Perfect Together

Kids and Horses - Perfect Together

When Kids and horses come together for the opportunity to grow and learn together, Miracles Happen! Not only do people grow in self confidence when they earn the cooperation of a horse but they have fun problem solving!

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Anchoring the experience.

Girls Program

People Learning by Doing

Experiential learning works because of the ‘doing’.  Distinct from just talking about what we did or what we are going to do, valuable but different than doing. What is unforgettable in this photo?  What is the anchor that will recreate this experience for those ladies? Is it the bright sunny day?  The soft ponies nose, the horse laying down, the colorful parachute, the company, the serene feeling of being in a crowd, yet completely in an intimate moment? Is it just that this pony is as tall standing up as this girl sitting down?  It’s all up to the individual to ‘take away’ the anchor that will bring  this experience into their lives outside of the arena.

 

 

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