“All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he’ll listen to me any day.” – Author Unknown
The Horses Know: A Reflection of Self at Souls at Play Equine Center
What I know to be true is that horses reflect our energy and much can be revealed in their presence. I’ve always felt a connection to horses and I believe it’s the sense of freedom they convey to me. I always looked at that freedom as a physical attribute of riding free in wide open spaces, however learning more about the energy of horses and how they reflect back to us our energy has been cathartic.
“Horses reflect our energy and reveal to us
a missing part of our soul.” – Donna Adinolfi
In 2000, I had the opportunity to experience Wyatt Webb’s Equine Experience at Miraval Arizona (back then it was Miraval – Life in Balance), and it was one of the most profound experiences of my life. At the time I was seeking answers as to what my purpose was and what to do in the next chapter of my life (the ‘turning 40’ time period) and I learned a lot about myself from Wyatt and my other teacher – my horse – and it helped to set the stage for Mindful Adventures and pursuing writing in a greater way as well as working with Miraval and other destination spas to help people lead a healthier life. I’m grateful for that time. I’m grateful for Wyatt.
Fast forward to a week ago and my experience at Souls at Play Equine Center, which happens to be about an hour away from where I live. It was serendipity that brought me to this opportunity as it was during a holiday silent auction at my church where an item for a session at the Equine Center would become mine. Mike (my significant other) knew of my love for horses and interest in equine therapy and the rest is history.
Serendipity might have been a catalyst to get me here, however life as I knew it
changed drastically a few years after that first equine encounter and I can’t
help but wonder if the teacher is appearing because the student is ready.
The Center has three Friesian horses that were imported from The Netherlands and they’re quite large. All are black and all have their own personality. At first, I thought that I would connect with Revallier (known as Reval), however it wasn’t about what I thought. It was about my energy and letting go.
Let’s meet the three horses. Aris is known as the wholehearted horse and was my first teacher (more later). Beaucheme is limitless and the leader of the three. Oh, and he’s blind in one eye (more on that lesson later). And Revallier, also known as Reval, is the one with the amazing hair. I loved that about him and he’s the one I identified with first, yet another would ‘reveal’ more to me. Reval is the largest of the three.
Sarah DesJardins created Souls at Play Equine Center as a way to combine her love for horses and her life’s work to empower people to know their own value. She’s a catalyst of change. Intuitive and beautiful, inside and out.
Our Session Begins:
Sarah met us upon our arrival and our session unfolded in unexpected and profound ways. With the memories of my first equine encounter with Wyatt in Arizona, I had some ideas as to what we’d do, however I soon let go of them as each session truly takes on a life of its own based on the energy of the moment. It’s all about being present. When you’re with the horses, especially these three, you connect to your heart and for me, well, let’s just say quite a bit came up rather quickly.
This is also a story of vulnerability and perhaps sharing this is also
part of my journey and can help others.
Shortly after arriving I asked about Aris. I had concerns about his demeanor in the pen and I asked Sarah about him. And Sarah asked, “what do you think?” Hmmm……the session begins. Both Reval and Beaucheme had walked out of the pen and Aris was alone. He was facing the opposite wall for a little while and I said he looked sad as if he isn’t needed and he looks lonely. Oh my God! That’s me. The tears started streaming down my face with an overwhelming yet revealing emotion. That’s how I’ve been feeling and Aris picked up on it. Was I unapproachable and withdrawn when I arrived? I don’t know. What I do know is that I faced that and felt a little better after sharing it and bringing it to the surface.
Mike and I continued to connect with Sarah and while our conversation continued about how our lives led us to one another, our common challenges (all three of us lost our spouses), life, love, self-trust, and more we noticed that Beaucheme wanted to be part of our conversation. Sarah shared more about him. Remember when I mentioned he’s blind in one eye, yet he’s limitless and the leader of the three? It revealed another lesson to me. More of an aha, yet something that I’m reflecting on and processing through journaling.
Much more was discussed and brought to the surface while surrounded by all three horses and then Sarah wanted both Mike and I to do an exercise together. While it was to involve all three horses only one seemed to align with us and that is exactly how it was meant to work out. The exercise was to help Mike and I communicate better. It was a little comical at first because we weren’t telling Beaucheme what we wanted from him (uh…nor each other!), yet he was guiding us and once we paid attention we got through the first part. It took a little time and a little guidance from Sarah, however we got through the task with a greater understanding of each other and some tools to use moving forward.
Equine therapy is also about ‘peeling away the layers’ and healing, which leads us to reconnecting with ourselves and I believe will also reveal a more confident and empowered self so that we can share our gifts with the world. Isn’t that what most of us want?
I’m ready for my next session.
The Horses will reveal more to me and I’m excited to see them again.
The farm is located in Manchester,Michigan (about an hour from Detroit)
Contact Sarah directly at 734-417-4112 for more information or to make an appointment.
Photo credit: Souls At Play Equine Center