Connection is everything
I actually meant to write a blog post explaining how horse coaching works, who benefits from horse assisted coaching - equine assisted coaching is different term for the same approach - what it involves, and to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. I wanted to make a video clip introducing my horses, and let you see how I work.
Life had different plans, one of my horses - Tetris - is lame, and needs to rest in a box. For horses to assist in a coaching process, they need to live as close to their nature as possible. Horses are herd animals, and the herd is their life insurance, it is a complex social structure, just like our families, our societies. They socialise, they determine their ranks in the herd through play, or they just chill out, protecting each other. Horses play rough, the kick and buck, they bite and chase each other. I guess he got involved in some rough handling with the other boys, and now is bruised, and...lame.
Tetris is a very gentle horse, well-mannered, and happy to be in human company. Being isolated from his herd, he is extremly unhappy, he is unwilling to follow, he does not want to interact with me, he is truly upset, calling for his friends.... he feels ALONE!
Waiting for the vet, I reflected on his behaviour and of course, we feel exactly the same! Without family, friends, or colleagues we feel disconnected, alone, lonely even, not seen or isolated, it is almost life threatening.
Connection is everything to a social being, humans or horses, there is no difference. The differences lie in the way the species interact, communicate, and how they treat each other. Here, a lot can be learned from a herd of horses, but that will be the subject of a different post.
So what is necessary to feel more connected, to ourselves and to the people around us? I believe that an essential ingredient is to be non-judgemental - again, loads to learn from the horses. When we are open-minded, when trusting is our default state of mind, we connect much easier.
Assuming that other people in general mean well, that their behaviour has nothing to do with us personally but maybe with the fact that they had a bad day, that they are not well or there are other reasons outside of us, the connection we need, we long for can be established much easier.
Smile at another person, and usually, you get a smile back. And if not, smile anyway! The most important connection we humans have is the one with ourselves! The horse 'is', they do not spend time reflecting on themselves, judging themselves. They are always in the moment, honestly reacting to the situation how it presents itself to them.
And as soon as Tetris has recovered, I write the blog post I had intended, and make that video. Until then, if you are curious how horse assisted coaching works, if it is something for you, and what the benefits are, do get in touch!