Birgit Weskamp Studio

Moments with Kairos

Experiential Learning with Horses

Working with horses can be very helpful in putting changes into practice, or in shedding light on patterns.

They provide a safe harbor in so many ways: maybe learning more about how you make choices, or how you establish boundaries with others. Or resting. Reading nonverbal communication cues. Being clear about your intentions and supporting these in how you feel. Asking with clarity. Leading from within. Closing the authenticity gap. Being true to yourself.

And even if you are afraid of horses, there is always a safe way to experience them. No riding is involved. You don't even need to be in the round pen or paddock with them in order to benefit from the horses' presence.
But why are horses such extraordinary mirrors to ourselves? Horses are fight or flight animals. In order to survive, they need to be aware at each and every moment if there's a danger present so that they can either burst into fast speed or protect the herd through an attack.They will read the intention and bodily messages of a predator and act according to what they perceive.

If you were to approach them with confused intentions, you might not get very close because the horse reads your confusion in the nonverbal signals you send. The more you are aware what you feel and how that feeling is congruent with your intention, the easier and safer it is for the horse to allow your close company.

Horses will hold a mirror up to what you show them - an amazing learning experience that allows us to practice authenticity. Learning by doing.
Observation by a client who learned from my stallion Ala (see photo above):

Meeting Ala is still fresh in my memory. ... I found out, that I am actually more aware about myself in connection with a horse, than I initially thought. Just less of an observer, rather than just be, and how natural it feels. I think horses pull us very quickly into the here and now. This is, I imagine, to establish parameters ... "Am I safe or not?"
This morning I read something, that describes beautifully these moments: "Just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy".  Rabbi A.J. Heschel

Alexa, Pacific Grove , CA