We women were gathered around a large table under the protective cover of the casita’s long porch at the beautiful and peaceful, Triangle T Guest Ranch, in Dragoon, Arizona. The talk was of our horses and what we would be experiencing with them for our week-long integrated personal growth work and horsemanship retreat that was aptly named, Wild Hearts Unite. Every woman at the table had an idea of what they hoped to accomplish with their own horse at the retreat. Some were focused on problems they were having with their horse that they hoped to resolve. Others were wanting to know their horses better, and some were just open to experiencing whatever was in store. What was in store?
Working alongside, Diana Gogan, as co-leaders, we had decided during retreat preparation meetings, that a loose plan that allowed us to be in the flow, in the moment, was what our intuition was calling for. As the horsemanship guide person, I trusted my instinct that it would be best for the partnership and connection between the women and their horses to work from the inside, out. I’m a constant student of the horse and always learning and growing in my own horsemanship and I’ve learned that the three most important guides for horsemanship center around feel, timing, and balance. Also, that if a person can present themselves to their horse as someone that the horse can trust and have confidence in, the partnership can flourish.
Over time and through sometimes getting it right and sometimes making mistakes, I’ve discovered that working with horses is more about my own personal work than working on my horse. Having discipline within myself to build on my strengths and strengthen my weaknesses along with knowing what I want to communicate with my horse and asking for it in a way that my horse understands, has been transformational. Understanding that horses are all about self-preservation and that they do what they think they are supposed to do when things are unclear, is something I really wanted to share with the women at the retreat. Being able to reach within their horses and also reach deep into themselves would be a challenging but worthwhile adventure for both the women and their horses.
For nearly seven days and six nights, a group of amazing women and their horses rose to the challenge of diving deep within. Each woman and her horse had their own unique things to work through so that their partnership could strengthen. Some were working through anxiety, some through fear, others through grief, and some through lack of confidence. Each person and horse were met where they were at and given whatever support was needed in each moment. We were all in the flow. Diana and I intuitively provided coaching, Reiki for the horses and women, animal communication, and often all three of these blended together as needed. The best part of this was that the group of women began providing support for each other too. They were listening to one another, encouraging each other, and sitting quietly with those who weren’t ready to talk about things.
The connections between the women grew increasingly stronger. Over the course of the retreat, I noticed the eyes and bodies of the women and their horses begin to soften. Instead of working merely to accomplish the horsemanship skills, that were presented, I began hearing more requests from everyone to understand their horse better. A new awareness took shape in all the partnerships. This awareness of deep inner work as being transformative for the women, the horses, and thus the partnerships was alive and present. I was so humbled by the changes I witnessed and by the commitment of this group to shift and rewrite their old stories.
By the time of our closing ceremony, each woman had written a new story and these new stories were spoken aloud to the group and released to the ethers through a powerful fire ceremony. And so, it is.
*I will be writing more blogs about the riches discovered at this retreat in the coming months so be sure to catch them at silverheartranch.com.
Darcie Litwicki is an ICF 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, private or group Meditation Circles with Horses, workshops, and online classes. In addition, she offers Reiki Healing for animals and people, and Animal Communication Services. Many of these services are combined as needed for the healing of the whole. Contact her to learn more! silverheartranch.com