I first went to meet the horses at Windhorse Relations when my friend Lizette requested friends accompany her as a birthday adventure. She’d always been nervous around horses, and wanted to get over that.
I was very impressed with the experience. I have worked with horses a lot in my life. I’ve had horses for fun, run a dude ranch in the Idaho backcountry, had my own outfit running trips in Montana, and have trained extensively as an animal communicator, but I had never done anything quite like this.
Three of us went – Lizette, her wife Lisa and me. Our morning began with an introduction by the woman who runs the operation, explaining their intentions and orienting us to how our day would go. We spent about twenty minutes and I could feel a general relaxation, as anxiety was released, replaced by a rising feeling of safety and comfort with moving forward.
Having been given a solid introduction to horse social etiquette, we went into a pen to visit a few horses, and experiment with what we’d been taught about how to approach them with respect and wait for their invitation to come closer, and begin to touch them.
Once we had gotten comfortable there, we moved into a larger paddock, with more horses, and began again to try out what we were being shown, turning teaching into learning.
Next, we accompanied the horses out to a large pasture, where our hosts invited the horses to gallop around us while we stood in the center. Feeling the earth pounding under their hooves took the day to another level. We got to feel the other side of the gentleness we had been exploring on the ground – I experienced renewed respect for the raw power of these magnificent animals.
Finally, we returned to the working corral, a round pen which we took turns entering individually with a guide and a single horse. She taught us to use everything we had practiced to connect with the horse. Once the connection was made, she showed us how to ask the horse to slow down, speedup, turn around without any overt action. No tack, no hand movements – simply our energies connecting, communicating and agreeing.
At the end of the session, she taught us how to gently uncouple the connection we had made, and move away with respect and love, parting as respectful and whole beings.
It was a delightful experience: profound, soulful and deeply nourishing.