Holding emotional space for a client is a big part of the work that occurs in sessions and workshops. Sometimes it can really deplete my energy. After a session with a client that this space holding was pretty intense, I went out to the pasture. Being with a horse is a great way for me to refuel. I had a halter rope with me, and walked toward the horses contemplating. Knowing that I had a specific need, I was halfway forming a plan on how to accomplish this goal of replenishing my energy with a bit of inspiration.
The biggest question that I had was which horse to ask to help me. As I stood still with my thoughts, Sunshine actually turned away from the hay bale and walked toward me. I was pretty amazed and accepted his gift. Especially since he had been running around and exercising the other horses earlier.
As I as haltering him, Sunshine bit at the halter. This had been happening pretty consistently the last few times that I put it on him. He also was a bit more responsive (reactive) to the pressure put on him when I would stand close to his head, neck, or forequarters. I neither made a big deal out of his reactions, nor took them personal. After he was “dressed”, we headed in to the arena.
Once in the arena, I let him have his customary rolls in the dirt. I had unhaltered him for these, and then I asked him to move around me. He obliged at the walk in both directions. Then, he came up and stood next to me. His head was held from a level neck, it felt to me like he was asking for some release work.
Since Sunshine was asking, I decided to do the releasing without putting the halter on him. He stood in the same spot for both sides, and performed lots and lots of releasing actions. He knew what he needed, and I am thankful he let me know.
When we were done, and he had a few minutes to just process, it was time to put him back out with his friends. As I held the halter out, Sunshine put his nose inside. There were no teeth involved. Such a smart horse. As usual, I am so glad that I listened. I think it’s safe to say that we both ended up feeling so much better after our releasing session. Replenishing and inspiring……check!