By Colleen DeRango, MA, LISAC, SEP, Co-Facilitator of Equine Workshops
In my most quiet moments of reflection, I often recall what one client said in one of her somatic equine sessions:
"Nothing reduces my anxiety from a 9 to a 3 faster than being with a horse."
I don't know why this is, but I do know that it is my daily experience around these sacred beings who have blessed my life. In this world of addiction, trauma, and mood disorder treatment, we often spend time looking through the lens of pathology; whereas, in the presence of a horse, we seem to quite often be looking through the lens of authenticity. Horses somehow help us return to the truth of who we really are.
Horses can also often help us find a subtle, gentle, whole, connected sense of being. Being with another being. Being seen, being understood, being accepted─ it is deeper than the sensation of love. It is perhaps presence in communion.
Often-times tears will come, and I imagine that if the tears could be analyzed, they would be both pure and authentic. Acceptance overflowing.
I have a mustang in my herd; his senses are still connected to the time he spent roaming free and surviving in the mountains of Nevada. His perception and presence for "resonating with other" is simply amazing, as everyone who works with him can attest. His ability to help a person move into authenticity is beyond anything I have ever witnessed. He risks trusting humans cautiously, modeling to clients to "slow down, be thoughtful, be present, and be honoring." And when they do, the reward is his trust; and it is as if his gift of trust heals.
As a trauma healing specialist, I know well of the terms trauma reenactment; trauma repetition, and trauma bonding. As a horsewoman my herd has taught me the power of "presence reenactment, repetition and bonding." And as I have repeatedly and consistently experienced in healing work with clients, the power of "presence in communion" is stronger than the power of any trauma.
Be it a girl with a horse; a woman, or a man; the horse doesn't see the gender, size or color; or what we have done, said, or experienced; rather, the horse sees the truth, and it isn't a dark endless pit, but a gentle light of acceptance, helping us all to do the same.
Register for Spirit: A Somatic Equine Workshop
You can experience the gentle light of acceptance too, by attending one of our Spirit Equine Workshops. The Spirit workshop has a 5-day and a 3-day option. The next 5-day workshops will be offered on Sept. 7-11 and November 2-6. The next 3-day workshops are October 2-4 and Dec. 4-6. Register today as spaces are limited. Call 800-244-4949 for more information