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Posts Tagged ‘equine assisted therapy’

The days are getting away from me here and so much is evolving. The weekend was our time to recuperate, do laundry and just play and process with our horses. Even though I was just as busy and still had all my chores to attend to, the break from the actual daily lessons did allow me the time digest and assess our progress and our paralysis in moving forward.

Come Monday morning the vast majority of us students were eager for more knowledge. We had spent the first week observing and understanding our own horse’s unique horse-anality and how their body language communicates to us exactly which quadrant of their brain they are thinking and responding from at any given moment. Each horse-anality requires a different leadership strategy. (This is true for humans as well).

By the end of the weekend I had come to realize and recognize Cruiser’s left brain playful extrovert as well as his DOMINANT left brain introvert nature. What I also realized was that I didn’t know (or was not aware of) my own body language.

Horses communicate through body language and quite frankly, I’m a bit of a spasmoid when I’m out there with a 22′ foot line, carrot stick and savvy string. Poor Cruiser is probably looking at me and thinking – I don’t know what the hell her body is trying to tell me.

So, what do you think our curriculum was about on Monday?

How to be an EFFECTIVE LEADER as we communicate through our body language, using the 7 Games. It’s really what the whole week is about. Already in two days my level of communication and respect from my horse has sky-rocketed.

Now I can see when he’s trying to take advantage of me or when he’s truly afraid or confused. He is so light and willing and responsive I am amazed at his ability to comprehend and follow through when I give him PROPER direction.

I am so excited about how we are developing our partnership. Now if I can just keep myself from tangling us both up in ropes and savvy strings  – we will go on to help change the world! (Our World anyway :^)

~more pictures to come soon~

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 My Horse Wants to Dance with Me. I Want to Dance with My Horse.

My Horse trusts me to lead. I Must Trust Myself to Be the Leader.

Philosopher and motivational speaker, Bob Proctor says, “if you already know exactly what you need to do to obtain your goal, then your goal isn’t BIG enough!”

 Whatever it is you want to achieve should stretch you and shape you into the human being worthy of your own grand vision of yourself.

It’s been a week of shaping and stretching so far. Every day we are offered a new pair of eyes with which to observe the horses through. A new perspective on our existing relationship and how to communicate with our partners according to their own horse-analities.

This can be quite frustrating for some whose partners display multiple horse-analities! God Bless Them…

Pat Parelli says, “turn your frustrations into fascinations”.

That’s exactly what this process is, Fascinating.

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I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be here at the Parelli Center. Of course, there are 73 other students here with me that might proclaim that they are actually the lucky ones.

 The reality is that we are all so blessed to have this experience with our horses, in a safe, exotically beautiful setting, surrounded by supportive, knowledgable staff.

It’s only Day #3 and I have learned volumes of information regarding the ‘Horse-anality’.

I won’t get all technical and specific with this blog, it’s more like a diary, but the insight gained with just this sliver of recognition into our horses different emotional states of being has helped me to approach my horse through his best level of understanding.

I’ve already witnessed an increase in his respect for me and willingness to try new things.  That goes both ways. I have a whole new sense of trust and willingness to follow his lead as well.

We did a very powerful human exercise this morning with a partner. We were each given 3 tasks that we needed to get our partner to accomplish without speaking to one another. It required a lot of trust and observation. I found that I was eager to get the right answer and would offer to move before my partner had completed her directions or instructions.

Then we did it again, but this time the person receiving the instructions had to have their eyes closed the whole time! With my eyes closed I could not anticipate the right answer and had to really tune in and trust my partner to guide me. When it was my turn I actually got my partner to roll up her own pant leg.

The exercise made me aware of how sensitive we really are and if we are clear in our intentions the line of communication is wide open – even without talking or seeing!

One gentleman commented on how he went first with his eyes open and was very direct, matter-of-fact and task oriented. When it was his turn to close his eyes he was tense and nervous. But his partner first shook his hand to let him know where he was and rubbed his shoulders. This put the person with his eyes closed immediately at ease, where he was ready to trust and follow instructions.

This exercise made him realize how task oriented and demanding he is with his horses without ever giving them the incentive to want to follow him.

Hmmm, maybe we should use this training for how we treat people too!

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Undemanding time with my horse was fun for me. This is where I allow him 51% of the leadership responsibility and I become his shadow. My focus was to match his energy and keep up the best I could.  I only stepped into leadership if another horse was invading our space or he was getting into trouble or danger. We covered a lot of ground in an hour and a half. I was definitely ready for lunch at the end of that session!

It was interesting to observe a pattern with regards to where I place myself as we explored. I made it a point to change sides frequently and to stay at his withers as much as possible. I noticed that when I was on his left side he tended to move and explore more readily. When I was on his right side, he was more apt to stop and observe or stop and eat for awhile.

At one point he was vigilantly attempting to open one of the feed bins. After a bit he began to lick my hand and then the feed bin – back and forth and looking me in the eye. I had to laugh at his tenacity of asking me to open the bin – poor guy has no opposable thumbs!

In case you’re wondering – yes, I did grab a handful of grain for him. Then he was happy to move on.

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Schelli and CruiserHi Friends, horsey and non-horsey alike.

Humanship thru Horse-Man-Ship is the theme here. While I am at the Parelli Center in Ocala, Florida,  I plan to share my experience as I go through the course; Liberty and Horse Behavior.

For those of you who don’t know me, my interest in Natural Horsemanship is two-fold. The obvious of course, is the advancement of my own personal relationship/partnership with my horse, Cruiser. The other reason is to broaden my understanding of horse behavior and psychology and how they relate/communicate with each other as well as the human species.

HORSES AS HEALERS

I spent many years working and studying as an actor, which in it’s essence is the study of human behavior. Although, I had a horse of my own as a young teenager it has been the past 7 years that I have been involved with the actual practice of Horse-Man-Ship (a Parelli – ism), and the study of horse behavior.

Most recently my interest in humans and horses has led me to the practice of Equine Assited Learning and Personal Development (EAL or EAPD).

The horse is a magnificently sentient being (intuitive, feeling, perceptive energy). They are capable of mirroring the human’s authentic emotions whether the human is aware of their true feeling or not. Because of this, the horse can be a major contributor in leading a person or group through blocks or sticking points in their personal and professional lives.

Equine Assisted Therapies are gaining popularity for their effectiveness in the world of psychotherapy as well. Particulary for troubled youth, battered women, military personel struggling with post-traumatic-stress syndrome and even prison inmates.

This phase of my education into the deeper understanding of horse behavior is one more step toward my certification to practice EAPD in addition to acquiring my certification as a Life Coach. The purpose of which is to bring the healing powers of horses to anyone who is interested in cultivating their highest potential. (No horse experience required!)

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Comments Welcome!
~Schelli

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