There is magic in the air where the spirit of the horse meets the spirit of a person.
And yet it is magic grounded in practicality and accessible to everyone who wants it.
Let me tell you how we found it and then let me tell you where we’re going to take it.
I’ve been very quiet on my blog over the last few months. I have spent the last couple of months taking on an awful lot of work – I started with the arthritis trial in December, teaching people everything that I have learned about how to heal arthritis over the last 20 years as an alternative therapist. Even though that group have had an interruption to that (free) course with the horse clinic that I’ve been working on for the last four weeks, the vast majority have found at least some pain relief already.
Not bad for something that doctors consider incurable, hey?
AND we are less than half way through, having covered only the beginnings of posture and inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods. There is still quite a lot of fabulous stuff to go.
I have enjoyed this trial so much and facilitated such effective change to so many people, that I will without doubt do more wellness programs for the humans in the future.
Then we have the MAGIC that I REALLY want to talk about today.
In early January, I hosted a clinic with Noora Ehnqvist here and we had the most beautiful clinic. If any of you ever get the chance to attend a clinic with Noora, don’t kick yourself later, just make a big effort – that young lady is very special. Noora set us up beautifully for The Magic that has happened in our own Wellness and Healing the horses back clinic that started only 2 days after Noora left.
Well folks, that clinic has knocked my socks off.
I am often excited. I live a wonderful life these days, having learned how to do that from the horses.
I had a laugh to myself as I was writing – life wasn’t always like this. I used to do things the hard way, even struggling with life itself. Just getting through the week was a big deal sometimes. I adored my horses but I lived with the chronic tension that came from nerves which I mostly kept squashed down to do what I wanted to do with them. I was often frustrated at not achieving what I wanted to achieve and every now and again those squashed nerves and that frustration would flare out into anger.
All that changed many years ago now, as I stepped out on a journey that has turned out to be both spiritual and yet incredibly practical too. I remember waayyy back, one teacher watching me try so hard and struggling at horsemanship saying to me “You gotta’ learn to enjoy the journey Jen”.
Yeah right… I had no idea how to and he had no idea how to teach me to do that. (Lucky I know how to teach other people how to enjoy their journey these days!)
Well when I eventually opened up to Bobby all those years ago when we wrote Bobby’s Diaries together, I started to learn how to enjoy the journey and each step since then, has opened up more and more Magic in my life and others’ lives too, culminating in the beautiful, beautiful, beautiful stuff that has been happening in the over the internet clinic that we have been doing over the last four weeks.
It has been a very intensive clinic. Sandra and Mel and Joyce, the three riders that we have been focusing on, have been THE most amazingly wonderful “students”. I put quote marks around the word students because, as so often happens, each of them has brought something new to me too.
Well they certainly did this time.
How do I describe the magic of what we learned in this clinic? It’s sooo… BIG.
We’ve all shared personal transformation that has left our lives improved for the better – that has left MY life improved for the better and I thought my life was already pretty good. We learned how to deal with conflict with confidence. We learned how that translated into a new open-ness in our bodies that directly translated to a new open-ness in the horse’s bodies.
Our willingness to do conflict differently, to meet a horse’s “can’t, won’t, don’t want to”, to meet any resistance from this new place of our own openness, brought us to understanding collection differently – real collection – soft and easy and joyous collection that starts from a horse already in self carriage, in a way that I am absolutely sure would have the old classical dressage masters smiling with approval.
And doing it oh so easily…
THIS is the stuff that our dreams with our horses are made of.
My hat goes off to Sandra and Joyce and Mel, for their willingness to be so open and share their lessons with everyone, for the head shaking progress that each of them made because of that openness and for the beautiful progress that they made with their horses. Each of these wonderful ladies had a very individual journey of unfolding and discovery during the clinic, although we had a central theme weaving its way through.
Mel has made such personal transformation in understanding her own incredible natural talent of connection to horses and in that space she has transformed Pye’s life too. Mel does horse rescue work and rescued Pye a while back. She started off with Pye wanting to attack her and ended her clinic with both of them laying down together, mirroring each other in confidence and connection. That video brought tears to my eyes – I must ask her if it’s OK to share it with our wider community here. (see below…)
Joyce started with her much loved but retired 18 year old horse Safar, who had a badly damaged back and thanks to her wonderful willingness to share some deeply personal stuff, triggered a cascade of insights for all of us that was such an integral part of the clinics success. Safar has found a new lease on life, noticeable improvement in his back and a new youthfulness even though it’s deep winter in the U.S. We look forward to seeing his progress when we get together again in a months time to review progress.
And Sandra – Sandra and Milly – bless both of you to bits. Sandra brought Milly to this clinic because Milly was suffering from occasional colic attacks – quite life threatening because at one point the vet wanted to put her down. In a healing session that I did with Milly by distance in her colic attack, I had identified that these colic attacks were being triggered by her spinal bones not being in quite the right place. This often happens, as there are some vertebrae that are directly linked to the stomach and other bones to the small and large intestines, so that when there is tension around the bones, there is tension around the organs, often causing unexplained colicking.
Clearing up Milly’s spinal problems involved understanding a whole new way to ask for collection – not from the mouth or by softening the jaw or poll or driving from behind, but from lifting up the withers and hey I reckon you guessed it – you cannot FORCE a horse to lift up their withers. They do it from mirroring the genuine and soft and joyous opening in the rider. Beautiful stuff.
And lifting up the withers and stretching and helping the horse to release their stuck spots and resistances and even their spinal problems, along with whatever else is in the way, makes it possible for the beginnings of collection to be a very healing thing to do with a horse.
Your staff here and the fence sitters had a big contribution too. From Caroline we learned how to actually welcome and even embrace mistakes as the wonderful opportunities for positive change that they are and then we took that into conflict as well – recognizing that conflict – when we know how to deal with it – has beautiful seeds for change.
I have always been a person who avoids conflict like the plague and yet now I am quietly and confidently open to The Third Way that makes conflict a positive experience. With our horses, this means that each conflict between what the horse wants or what they can or can’t do – and what we want and what we can or can’t do – becomes a lovely opportunity for the next step of beautiful progress together. I had a lovely example of this with Bobby when I rode after the lesson and Steve brought it to Oliver in his next lesson too. Wowww… what lovely softness and freedom between horse and rider for Steve and for me too – it was so beautiful to experience.
This … THIS is why I wanted a horse all those years ago.
Narel was in the middle of moving house and couldn’t join in the clinic, but still managed to contribute a major piece of the puzzle, bringing an acupuncture point that enabled us to integrate our inner wisdom, our inner guidance system that I have always been so keen on bringing to your attention – with the big picture when we need it – specially when we are in conflict.
This turned out to be a deeply spiritual experience that opened up what we later realized (thanks Peta!) was the 8th Chakra for those who are familiar with it.
And yet all of this wonderful wonderful stuff was grounded in the practicality that Holly grounds us in so well – the practical results of Pye finding a new confidence in Mel and moving incredibly better, Mel finding a new confidence in her own unique and wonderful ability, Joyce and Safar both getting younger and more flexible and confident in a new way of looking at things, Milly’s back healing under our eyes, Sandra’s break through into All That Is and me – MY life will never be the same.
Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou all of you. And bless you from the bottom of my heart…
And yeah I was going to talk about where we’ll take this amazing energy into an 8 day super clinic here at Rokeby at the end of April, but my heart is too full of gratitude today to look into the future, so we’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Here’s the blog I wrote about The Healing of Pye Well done Mel – the transformation is priceless.