Why Practice Mindfulness With Horses?
Horses are always in the present moment. Simply spending time with these amazing animals can help us be there too. As a long-time mindfulness practitioner, I am continually amazed at the many parallels between working with horses and practicing mindfulness. Horses have taught me the true meaning of connection and how to completely experience the freedom of the present moment.
Who Can Do This?
Maybe you are looking for peace and contentment through the practice of mindfulness. Maybe you already work with horses and want to deepen your connection with them. It doesn’t matter who you are, or if you have had any prior experience with either horses or mindfulness. Anybody can practice mindfulness with horses. You don’t need to ride a horse to connect with it. In fact, building a mindful relationship with a horse begins on the ground.
EFM is a discipline intended to promote personal mindfulness by working with horses. The basic premise is that safe horse handling requires the horseman/woman to be mindful of the horse, the environment, and themselves every moment they are with the horse. By default, simply being with a horse is practicing mindfulness.
The EFM program is based on a foundation of safe horse handling practices and is informed throughout by the principles of natural horsemanship and mindfulness. Upon demonstrating competency in the basic skills to safely handle a horse on the ground, participants have the option of continuing their equine facilitated mindfulness practice in one of two streams: Mindful Companionship; or, Liberty Training – Strengthening the Connection to Your Horse.
How to Get Started
To learn more please Read the Program Overview, or, please call or text (613) 438-9642. Cost per one hour private session is $30. If you find this is something you are really drawn to, affordable part time leasing of the horses may be possible.
Meet Your Facilitators
Horses are so emotionally intelligent that the relationship they form with each person is different and unique. They have the capacity to read and reflect back our personal emotional state. Spending mindful time with horses leads to self realization – the ability to see and accept who you really are.
My horses are very dear to me. Their stories reflect the relationship they have formed with me, but, as you read them, perhaps you will find yourself intrigued by some aspect of their character that will serve as a point of entry for you to foster your own connection with one or all of them.
Danny is a six year old Rocky Mountain Trail Horse. He came from a good situation and has absolutely no emotional baggage. Where Violet is super-sensitive and tends to avoid emotional distress, Danny quite simply radiates unconditional love. I have never encountered another horse with such an exceptional degree of empathy. He immediately recognizes when someone is having a bad day and typically responds by coming over and standing quietly with them, maybe gently putting his muzzle on their shoulder. Its almost like he is saying “Its OK. I am here for you.” If you are looking to get grounded and centred, spend a bit of time with Danny.
Violet is a 15 year old American Paint whose history is uncertain. She has had several owners. She is a sensitive horse and has taught me that connection is based on trust, respect, patience and compassion. From her I learned that mutual trust is the the most important aspect of any meaningful relationship. When Violet is ready to share the present moment with you it typically means you have found a place where you are pretty grounded and centred.
Delta is a five year old Quarter Horse / Arab cross. Delta was the last addition to the herd. I didn’t find him. He found me. This happens in the world of horses. Sometimes the horse picks the person. I am very grateful that Delta chose me. We experienced an immediate connection which allowed us to develop a meaningful relationship in a very short time. I think we might be soul-mates. He is curious and playful and when I look at the world through his eyes I see joy. A little more aloof than Danny, Delta will still connect if you can keep him interested. He loves to show you how smart he is, so is a perfect partner for practicing natural horsemanship and groundwork.
Brendon has been teaching mindfulness for almost ten years. He is the founder of Get Yoga and the author of “Teaching Trauma Sensitive Yoga – A Practical Guide” published by North Atlantic Books and distributed world wide by Penguin Random House.
Brendon has dedicated the last five years to getting to know horses, working with them every day to understand the wisdom these masters of mindfulness have to offer. His dream and his passion are to share this wisdom with you.