Horses

What is BodyMind Awareness for Horses?

BodyMind Awareness for Horses involves

  • Awakening your embodied awareness
  • Holistic approach groundwork and Liberty
  • Gentle understanding always rewarding
  • Empowering and embodying the horse
  • Simple movements
  • Working with Centre of Gravity
  • Using both sides of the body evenly
  • Working with your energy
  • taking all this awareness and softness onto the horse

It also involves

  • Teaching you the exercises
  • Empowering you to use your intuition
  • This logically expands into ridden work

It promotes the balance, co-ordination, freedom and natural alignment of the whole horse. If the neck is tight, tense or too short then the horse is misaligned and has to have compensations all the way through its body. As we cannot actually separate any of the parts then this tension or misuse is detrimental to the whole of the horse, mind, body, and spirit.

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What can BodyMind Awareness Help With?

There is a long list of things but I feel it is primarily about you and your horse’s partnership. BodyMind Awareness can help restore balance, realignment, and co-ordination. The horse then moves more freely from its centre of gravity and this then brings them into balance not only physically but mentally and emotionally.  It is a great way to keep horses healthy if ridden or not!

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My Training and Background

Undoubtedly my best, most profound, unique and patient teachers are the three horses that I have had the honour to share my life with; Sheehy, JJ and Loverboy.

Sheehy greatest lessons have been with patience, intention, and my energies, JJ greatest lessons were in; to wake me up, to my inner and outer worlds. To embark upon the complementary and holistic healing methodology path. I used to call him my Zen Buddhist Monk, he taught me to start learning to thrive and stop just surviving. Loverboy’s greatest lessons are in love, whoever named him, did so very consciously I believe because, he is love and joy personified, and he loves everyone!  He has also led me to the freedom and natural life for horse path and myself. He also is very strong in developing sensitivities.

Now be under no illusions I was a novice when Sheehy came into my life but I have found out since, that I had a natural gift for seeing things in horses, which came from a strong wealth of brilliant horsemen, from my maternal grandfather’s line, Edward Cahill. He is my source, he and his father were famous for being the best horsemen of their generation in Clonmel Co. Tipperary Eire.  My grandfather had so connected with horses, he understood them inside and out. The sad part has been that I never met him but through the family stories with one picture and an old-fashioned pair of clippers that he used he is with me and I am from his DNA and very proud. I often ask myself what he would do in this situation, and the calm answer always comes.IMG_1216

I just have this inexplicable connection with horses, they are very familiar to me. When I am around horses I feel more alive, it’s hard to explain, I feel I belong somewhere.

Horses were very few and far between in my life until the age of 36 years when cutting a long story short my ex-decided we were going to buy a horse. Well, I was catapulted into a new, but also a strangely familiar “Deja vu” life. Every step along my path with horses. now many years later makes complete sense. Because I had never looked after a horse before in this life, but I had this inner knowing, that everyone else around dismissed because they knew better or were professionals.  So I had to dig deep and find an inner strength to develop my spine (literally with the Alexander Technique) and start using this inner spark to grow, learn and develop my way.

Sheehy

 

Sheehy

Sheehy

I probably wouldn’t have studied and trained in the Alexander Technique if I hadn’t become a proud owner of my own horses.  Because what I have learnt and continue to learn is always so meshed together, everything always relates , humans to horse and vice versa. When I find someone who is teaching something that I resonate with, this new learning always benefits my human and horse education.

So it is very natural for me to do both and I strongly hold the view that to look at both is vital because as we know we impact each so much especially us with the horse.

Since the first horse, Sheehy entered my life on 5 June 1998, I have had a strong classical dressage influences in my training and this is where I searched for the people with whom I would resonate the most.  I now remember that I met someone actually just before this, a very special woman called Dawn. I used to spend hours listening to Dawn talking about her training with a Spanish Classical Master as a teenager. She turned up at the riding school that I used to go to out of the blue and started giving lessons on a Saturday. Well, I became hooked, this was how to be with a horse.  We lost contact after about a year when she moved north to new ventures but I am very grateful to her for starting my classical path.

Dawn recommended only one trainer Bertil who I stayed with until I moved to Devon in 2008.

Next to join us was JJ a year to the day later, he was my most profound teacher a one in lifetime soul friend. He woke me up to my inner spirituality. He sadly is no longer with us in the physical form but definitely is in spirit. He had bucket loads of character, probably two horses condensed into one, he has had the most profound effect on me and my life, I could write a book about him and his lessons, I think about him every day!

JJ

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Then three years later Loverboy arrived and the trinity was complete!

 

 

 

 

There have been a lot of wonderful people and training that have influenced my process but I can say that the one I call the greatest is Manolo Mandez, and I was very grateful to have experienced his tremendous gifts to the horse at a clinic in 2015. I wish that every horse and human could receive his training genius! He so encapsulates an embodied teaching method.

some of the other experts and genres that I have trained with are;

Peggy Commings, Waterhole Rituals, Sally Tottle, Equine Touch Practitioner Training, Equine Shiatsu, Lesley Glover and John Harland both energy workers, and Equine Facilitated Learning. Some genres I investigated but didn’t resonate with so I have left them out, as they felt damaging to the spirit and integrity of the horses and therefore to me.

Book

If I had to give you just one it is Imke Spilker book Empowered Horses.

I am a seeker of learning to help and evolve my horses and myself, I am grateful to all my teachers for the wisdom that they hold and that they chose to share this for the benefit of the horse!

Below a simply beautiful poem about nature and I would say especially horses.

A Rabbit Noticed My Condition

“I was sad one day and went for a walk;
I sat in a field.

A rabbit noticed my condition and
came near. It often does not take more than that to help at times –to just be close to creatures who are so full of knowing,
so full of love
though they don’t
– chat, They just gaze with
their marvelous understanding.”

by John of the Cross

So if this intrigues you, why not give me a call or an email, to discuss your horse and we can go from there!

Rider Awareness Courses

 

Photograph of Lizzie and Loverboy by Fiona Leishman