When I Ride…

That horse can be my therapist…

Great first session with Robbie Nelson, the co-owner and facilitator here at Buffalo Woman Ranch. As we walked, talked and moved horses from one pen to another, I asked questions and she offered stories as examples of the work she and the horses do here. I asked about one horse who seemed to me, to be a bit pushy, maybe even aggressive in the way he was responding to me. The trainer in me wanted to rear its ugly head and physically push him back to give me more space. I don’t like being stepped on by a 1000 lbs horse and I could see that coming in my near future if I didn’t do something and quick. She asked me to “be” with that thought and see what came up for me. What was the first memory or what did it remind me of in my life?

As Oprah says, I had an “Ah ha!” moment. I was instantly taken back to a moment when someone’s aggressive behavior towards me was startling and gave me a warning sign that this person might not be who I thought they were. But I didn’t listen to my intuition…I made excuses for their behavior and I let them “step all over me” because maybe they were under a lot of pressure or were having a bad day. Maybe I could have been more sensitive and they wouldn’t have acted that way. Maybe…maybe…maybe…

Why do I have a clear boundary with my horses that I don’t insist on with the humans in my life? With the horses, there are no excuses. They simply are not allowed to step on me but with humans, the boundaries are a little foggy.

You can’t change what you won’t acknowledge.

This entry was published on October 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm. It’s filed under horses and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “That horse can be my therapist…

  1. To my innocent mind, the sentiment you express here about ‘forgiving’ aggression is maybe where many people are when they stay in violent relationships – making excuses for another’s behaviour or even blaming themselves.

    • Yes, Stephen. That’s what I was thinking of when I wrote this. I believe this kind of work would be very beneficial to persons who can’t seem to move out of abusive relationships.

      • I think you may be right – it’s something each individual has to make their mind up to do. They can be given all the advice and support but at the end of the day they must turn round and say ‘That’s it, I’m outta here!’ Anything that can give them enough self esteem to be able to do that must help.

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