All Things Feel Possible when Meditating with Horses!
Gazing out at my horses as they munch hay, drink water, mill around, and serenely survey the open desert, I am at once, filled with peace and connected to the present. People who visit my herd share that they feel this way also and often ask, “Why is this?” The answer sometimes comes as a surprise when I reveal that horses are always connected to their environment in a present way. They have the ability to be fully at present in their bodies every moment. Because of this, being around them facilitates mindfulness by gifting us with their example to follow. By following their example, we can focus more on the here and now making them perfect guides for mindful meditation.
Research shows that meditation is a pathway to mindfulness where we can exist in the present moment by intentionally paying attention to our awareness as it unfolds moment to moment. This awareness includes, our environmental surroundings, sensations within and without our bodies, feelings, emotions, and thoughts. The practice of mindful meditation allows us to view all of the experiences that come up in the meditation in a non-judgmental way thereby reducing our stress. We just simply notice and nothing else is required.
Equine guided meditation is a mindfulness-based method that is practiced with horses present. Usually the horses are free to roam the meditation area. I like to have participants sit together in an area near my horses in chairs that are spaced widely apart so that the horses can walk into and out of the circle easily. They are free to interact with the group or with individuals as they choose during the guided meditations I lead. My horses enjoy having an active role in the meditations much to the delight of participants.
Once we are all seated comfortably, I invite everyone to ground and begin gently focusing on their breath as it comes in and out naturally. Once relaxation is felt, we will move into a guided meditation that focuses on breath work, visualization, awareness, and noticing what is happening in each moment without judgment. By having the horses present, participants can choose to focus on one of the horses and imagine how the horse would show up in situations that might come up for them during the meditation. By connecting to the physical, emotional, and metaphorical ways that a horse sees the world, it can be much easier to calm the mind and quiet the body to allow deeper meditation with the horses than that which is experienced on our own.
Participants who meditate with my horses are often surprised when they receive insights, messages, and perspectives that they attribute to the horses. I recall during one of our circle meditations, my lead horse, Butterp showed up for one of the participants by walking around the outside of the circle and stopping directly behind one of the chairs. She positioned her body so that she could stretch her head and neck over the person’s body and held it gently above the person without ever allowing her head to touch the person. While Buttercup was perfectly still holding this position, the participant began to pick up on a message that she needed to take it easier and relax more by working on her own personal stress levels. She also began sensing within her, a deep peace and joy. Looking at Buttercup’s body language, the group agreed that they too were feeling this message as Buttercup’s eyes were closed and her back foot was cocked to allow her to rest her hip. We also noted that her breath was slow and gentle. Many in the group felt emotions rising up and we were able to practice just allowing the emotions and noticing them in a way that was gentle and not self-critical or judgmental.
Humbling is a word I use to describe the ways that my horses interact and connect with people and each other. Every time we do a meditation circle, I never know what will occur and whatever does occur is always humbling. I frequently tell people that there is no way I could make these things up or dream them up. It is always natural and fitting for whatever is needed in any of the particular moments. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I receive solutions to problems, ideas for projects and creative pursuits, guidance around things that are blocking me, as well as soothing messages when I reach out to my horses through their perspectives.
Here is just a small list of some of the benefits of meditating with horses:
· Increased mindfulness
· Stress relief
· Reflective opportunities
· Emotional processing
· Connection to nature/environment
· Energy flow
· Heart Opening
Horses have the innate ability to be attuned to their environment while being perfectly present in their own bodies. This ability allows horses to dial into subtle energies that are present within people and because of their wisdom, they capture our hearts so deeply and offer us the space and grace to heal in whatever way we need in the moment. All things feel possible when we find ways to engage with horses and meditation.
To schedule a private session to meditate with me and my horses or to register for one of my Meditation Circle with Horses groups, please visit: www.silverheartranch.com or reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Darcie Litwicki is a Certified Life Coach that integrates solid coaching skills and working with horses to create a dynamic and transformative coaching process for people to reach their personal and professional goals. She believes her clients are the experts in their own lives and that we all have the ability to reach our highest potential but sometimes we need support to get there.
Have you scheduled your free 60-minute coaching session to determine if this is a good fit for you in your life? Contact Darcie to get scheduled. You can schedule Equine Assisted Coaching In-Person Sessions at Silver Heart Ranch or sessions online (Zoom), or by phone. Darcie also offers a variety of group coaching options, “Meditation Circle with Horses” Groups, workshops, and online classes. In addition, she offers Reiki Healing for animals and people, and Animal Communication Services. Contact her to learn more!