Renewed – Reenergized – Gifted

I was recently perusing Google for  horse related blogs and came across The Top 100 Equestrian Blogs set up by Feedspot.  The blogs covered everything from A for Apparel to Z for Zebra.   It is an incredibly wide variety of equine perspectives in one site. Feedspot is awesome.  For $24.00 a year my blog is now one of the Top 100, #83.  I am so excited.

The same week a friend messaged me an article from The Shift Network witten by Sara B. Willerson, LCSW.  She speaks eloquently to both the experiential and spiritual horse/human relationship.  I emailed her and asked if I could share her story on my blog.  She said yes.  What a Gift.

Even the Horses Are Speaking… Are you Listening?

By Sara B. Willerson, LCSW

Horses have been part of my life since childhood, and for the last 15 years, co-facilitators in my psychotherapy practice. My equine-guided lesson in listening began when my horse Pooh came into my life at age 14. This horse and I had a deeply connected relationship for over 20 years and he completely shifted my world. Without saying a word, Pooh soothed my unspoken wounds, connected me with my courageous self, and challenged me in ways I had never been able to before on my own.

Nature and horses were my sacred space and where I felt in tune and at peace with myself. Even at such a young age, I had a deep knowing that Pooh was re-connecting me with my heart and soul. He is the reason I partner with horses in a therapeutic practice today.

In 2013, I self-published a book, Journey To The Heart Through The Way Of The Horse, composed of horse wisdom I had been gathering for about six years. This book originated from a shamanic journey I experienced in 2006. I can’t remember the original question I asked of my guides at the time, but clearly they had a different agenda with me that day. Instead, I found myself surrounded by horses, as far as I could see. They had come to me because they wanted me to write their story — to tell the human race why they are here on this earth, and why they have always been with us.

To say this was scary, was a complete understatement. If I remember correctly, I’m pretty sure I came up with all sorts of excuses — both during that journey and afterward — of why there was NO WAY I could ever write what they were wanting. These Spirit Horses were relentless in their request. They came into my dreams on a regular basis with their persistent appeal. As I continued to ignore my dreams, the horses in my daily life joined in the campaign, so I was getting it from both sides of the veil. This dual-sided approach went on for quite a while. For the record, it is not always fun to have a herd of massive beings following you around and in your face with the reminder of such a sacred invitation! Eventually I said yes and began writing their words of wisdom.

I sat with my herd, friends’ horses, historical horses, horses in art exhibits, horse ancestors, horses at sporting events, and even the evolutional line of horses, each time vigorously writing down the words of their flowing, deeply moving language. I came to understand their deep wisdom and ancient lineage. That horse is here to assist not only in our healing, but also in our growth toward expanded connection and higher conscious awareness. In my time with them, it has become very clear they are here on this earth for a specific mission.
The Horse Consciousness

It was long ago when we came.
We came to remind you of who you are.
We are part of you and we hold the key to you remembering all of Who You Are.
You are Love. You are Freedom. You are Joy.
You are expansiveness beyond limitation.

We as Horse, embody all of these characteristics
And yet you possess them as well.
And yet you seem to forget.
We have been here all along to remind you of your True Way.
Your True Nature.

In our interactions with you,
We show and share with you this True Essence of Being.
There are no limitations. There is no end to it. It just IS.
We carry these qualities throughout your entire being.

When you sit with us, you are connected to this essence.
But at times, you still seem to forget that we are simply showing you,
Reminding you, of what you already possess.
There is no cost for it.
It is simply who you are.

And so we, collectively Horse, wish to remind you
Of the expansive love that IS the human race.
Come back and remember this for yourselves.
Allow the memory and the knowing to course through your very being
And let it expand throughout the land and the world.
Connect with us all and live in this state of bliss and knowledge.
Be the Essence of Who You Are.
I love this passage recorded from the Collective Horse Consciousness. To me, it is a principal base of horse medicine. As I partner with these amazing, gentle, and wise beings, I see first-hand their gifts to us in this realm. They support us in creating a grounded connection with the earth and all of nature. They inherently model how to walk from a place of balance and harmony with our selves and the world around us. The wisdom of their herd-based certainty that all interactions are able to come from a source of compassion, partnership and right use of power.

This morning as I was sitting with the herd (and gathering my courage to write this article), they shared a present-day message on their role and the ways they are walking with us:

“We are here to pattern the Earth’s energy into a harmony of flow. Our hoofbeats flow with the heartbeat of the earth. When humans walk with us, they calibrate themselves to this flow. This is the original vibration. It is why we are here. Attuning with self. Being in flow with all around. Entrainment with the earth.”

This special herd of horses is calling us to listen, connect, and flow with Mother Earth’s vibration. I see them inviting each one of us to step outside into nature. feel your feet planted and in communion with the earth. Hear the hoofbeats of her vibrational pulse and attune to this internal heart. Take a deep breath. Allow yourself to step into this beautiful, harmonious field. Stand with your horse guide who shows up to walk with you on the original vibration path.

Even the horses are speaking…Are you listening?


Sara B. Willerson, LCSW, and Horses, Heart & Soul® provide equine-facilitated psychotherapy, learning, and nature-inspired creativity services for children and adults in the North Texas area. Sara and her herd live and work on 19 peaceful acres just north of Dallas. She completed an Equine Experiential Learning Apprenticeship with Eponaquest in 2003 and is an Advanced Approved Instructor. She is tri-certified with and a board member of Equine Facilitated Wellness Canada. She is trained in Shamanic Practice and Healing Touch For Animals®. Sara’s professional experience has focused on working with clients through issues of trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, and life transitions. Together with her equine partners, Sara invites everyone to experience the transformational healing power of the horse outside of the traditional office environment. Click here for more information.

The Catalyst is produced by The Shift Network to feature inspiring stories and provide information to help shift consciousness and take practical action. To receive The Catalyst twice a month, sign up here.

This article appears in:
2018 Catalyst, Issue 17: Your Most Radiant Self

Where I Am Now

Sitting at my computer thinking today is a day I would be riding my Sparkle Plenty.  The leaves are red and gold, new green is spreading across earth dampened from autumn rain, air crisp, invigorating… a deep inhale of the exuberant breath of the season.  I am not riding.  I am at the computer.  I haven’t ridden for a year.  Due to the physical changes of lives long and well lived Sparkle Plenty and I are retired.  The fluidity of body is crystallizing.  She is twenty-five years old and I am seventy-one in just over a month.  Even as our bodies stiffen our spirits expand.  I go out to the pasture and she greets me with ears erect, eyes alive with expectation of goodies and grooming, head held high in anticipation and then she canters, a bit stiff legged, up to my heart.  I love this horse, I have loved her from her birth.  I and my beloved recently returned from a first time trip to the Hawaiian Island of Kauai and I did not feel grounded until I hugged my Sparkle Plenty and I rested my head on her rump listening to the rhythmic sound of her chewing the grass hay I brought her.

Tom Dorrance writes in True Unity, “Often when working with riders and their horses, I will mention the need for self-preservation; this to me includes the physical and the mental – and a third factor.  I’ve been trying for some time to think of words to get this third factor to where it comes to light; to show how it blends in with the other two – physical and the mental.  It is the least mentioned, but I am beginning to believe it is the most important factor to recognize: the rider needs to recognize the horse’s need for self-preservation in Mind, Body and the third factor, Spirit.  He needs to realize what that means to the horse so he can benefit from what it is in the horse, what it means to the horse.  He needs to realize how the person’s approach can assure the horse that he can have his self preservation and still respond to what the person is asking him to do.  This is going to be a useful thing to both the person and the horse.”

Spirit – is it not spirit and freedom in spirit manifested in horse that first brought us front and center into the world of horses?  Are stories still written as they were when I became enamored of horse spirit?  The Stories of indomitable spirit and heart when horse and human were brought together in immense challenge and  companionship?  Marguerite Henry, Sam Savitt, Walter Farley, Will James, C.W. Anderson and of course the all time classic Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.  Spirit comes first.  We just forget in the process of learning the mechanics of tools and integrating tools with living beings.  We are the tool maker, we harness power with tools.  And so we learn about harnessing the power of horse with the implementation of halters, ropes, bits and bridles, saddles and cinches.  Which bit to use when, what saddle works best for the job at hand, how should weight be distributed? And the horse is to stand still while we work out the correct type and use of the tools we have created until the horse itself becomes a tool to be manipulated.  “Just livestock,” as one person said to me.

We are living, thankfully, in a time when horse spirit is being validated.  Explorers of this new relationship include: the McCormick Family, authors of Horse Sense and the Human Heart and Horses and the Mystical Path;  Linda Kohanov, author of The Tao of Equus and Riding Between the Worlds; Mark Rashid, author of A Horse Never Lies and Considering the Horse.   At the leading edge of research into the horse human relationship are the Therapeutic Equine Programs, especially EGALA, Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association  with many certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapy programs across the US.

My passion for horses is still there but showing up at a new level of relationship and spirit.  I peruse the old books and stories and explore new stories and horse-human dynamics.  I find connection in all of it and the connection is SPIRIT.  Sparkle’s spirit and my spirit have danced and embraced over time, place, and life changes.  When I lean into her warmth, her energy, her soul, I wonder afterwards how I will ever live without her.

Sparkle Plenty

Church of The Round Pen

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Let me retouch the joy I feel working and playing with the beautiful lady, Chloe, as we become acquainted in a Bear Valley Springs Round Pen. The joy of balancing energy between horse and human. I am visiting my brother, just outside of Tehachapi, CA. He has two very nice horses; Silver, a gentle giant, half shire-half quarter horse gelding, a delightful silver grey. And he has Chloe, feminine, lovely, elegant, half Friesian, half paint – a beautiful balance of black and white. I am smitten with her.
Chloe and I don’t know each other. I have been told she has a certain level of training. I find when I ask her to move up to that level she is confused, not sure as to how to respond and becomes agitated, throwing more and more energy into escaping my request. I lift my energy, changing my body posture to more assertive as she escalates. I know that somewhere she knows the correct response and I wait for her to find it, not letting up on my response to the energy she is throwing out. And suddenly she finds it, bending her ear and eye to me, her head and tail lower, she begins to respond rather than react and I yield the pressure of my energy and she begins to lick her lips. Joyful communication. We have found a momentary balance, a balance to build upon.
We see the round pen as a place of schooling for the horse but in reality, hidden in plain sight, is the dance of relationship, the coming together of energies, enfolding one in the other, creating a communication of mind, body and spirit. Horse spirit is our captivator. We are enthralled with the primordial, free expression of horse in body and action. We want to capture that spirit and make it our own. Of course we can’t capture it, we can only interface with it. Come to that common denominator that enlivens each of us.
Like any church, the round pen can be misinterpreted to be all about dogma and rules. Rules are guide posts to a deeper entanglement of promise and potential. When we bind ourselves to rules we bind ourselves to the structure of ego. Ego structure is important but it is only a portal, or an impassable boundary, to the greater dimension of energetic relationship.
This is deep stuff and I don’t mean to scare anybody away. We, of The Tribe of Horse, all seek that mystic relationship with our horse. The relationship where we become one in mind, body and spirit.

TRANSFORMATION. “A personality change aligning to a pattern appropriate to spiritual life which so sensitizes the recipient that incoming spiritual forces have significantly increased impact.”

Today we made thunder – You made thunder.
I am the witness making the space available.
You are my horse, the primal voice of my passion.

Lightning lanced, you arc and lash and flare.
A tornado tossed tumble weed your buckskin body
Bounds, lifts, floats, and dances in the round
to the strident concussion of your own music.
I stand in the eye of your storm
Reveling in the power of your expression
tasting the turbulent wind funneled through your nostrils
vibrating to the pounding rhythm your
hooves drum on the skin of sod and soil.

And then the storm is spent.
Your canter is cradle rocking soft
A Soul soothing cadence quiet as an April shower
I lift my hand and step back, a beckoning bow
Inviting you to share the center with me.
You come, ears up, muzzle reaching into my cupped hands
You blow a gentle Zephyr, the west wind’s promised warmth.
The scent of exuberant exertion lifts off your body, damp and dense.
You are Life coming to me willingly,                                                                                           You share your heart space.