Happy to share this post written by a client who worked with Marion Langford, the herd and I this past fall:
To be able to do this, and then make sense of it in words later, with Marion and Cheri as witnesses to the whole dance, was a gift I will never forget.
As a therapist, I often say to my clients "Your body is not a car - your body is a horse". When I say this, I am inviting them to pay attention to the non-verbal signals of emotion and sensation that their body provides, to learn to settle their emotions and be in the moment.
Now, thanks to Marion’s and Cheri’s invitation to work with the herd, I would learn the truth of that saying.
Cheri led me through greeting the horses with no agenda, no purpose - not going for a ride, or exerting power. I was simply to notice and respond to these other beings.
Each horse took their own time checking in with me - some quick, some more hesitant. I had to slow down and be there in the hot sun and sound of the wind. That was the first unusual thing - being present with my senses.
Then I stepped into the paddock with all five horses. Cheri and Marion lent me their verbal support and encouragement, their presence and their attention to safety as I stood amidst these big warm animals.
It's not easy to put the experience into words - because there are no words used. I stood while Kola came near, and I stroked his face and nose. Then he pressed his chest up close to mine, his neck over my shoulder, and Cheri coached me- 'just feel his presence'. As I did this, settling my breath, and focusing my attention on the point where my body met Kola's brown shoulders, he bent his neck toward the ground and began, Cheri told me, to lick and chew - a sign from Kola that I was completely myself, open and authentic.
I felt warm and grounded and secure. And then Soliel, the beautiful white mare of the herd, stepped up behind me and put her head over my other shoulder. I was held in a gentle communion of these two horses, warm and silent, and completely safe. I felt still and accepted, protected in a newly discovered sense of animal community. And all I had to do was be open, and accept what was being given.
That's an easy sentence to type - but as any only child will tell you, it's not always easy to do. As any busy woman might tell you - letting go, and standing still is easier said than done. And as a divorcee finding new relationships in the world - feeling safe and accepted was new and immeasurably moving.
Learn about self discovery FEEL sessions and life coaching with Marion Langford and Cheri Davidson at Horse Discovery.