My Reflection in Horses

My Reflection in Horses

In general, we have a hard time looking at ourselves for better or for worse, but if they suddenly put a mirror in front of us, we begin to glimpse our own pictures much more clearly. This is what often happens when we are with horses, that they might act as a mirror for us.

Nothing that occupies me today and motivates me about coaching with horses, would have taken place if it wasn't for what I experienced in the past with these creatures and the learning that being with them and observing them provided. For that reason now I feel the urge to share with people what that meant.

Although some years have passed since I first attended an experiential workshop with horses, I can still remember vividly very special moments I shared with those sensitive animals. I was enthusiastic about the plan to spend a day in the wilderness but in reality, I was going without any specific expectations regarding the workshop. The main motivation was to get to know myself better and to get closer to the horses from somewhere that wasn't riding.

I had had no idea that what I would experience there and the scenes I would see would have such a profound impact on myself. Nor did I imagine that certain observations and reflections that arose during that day would never leave me and in fact would come back to me to shed light on gloomy moments in life.

The day was basically spent interacting with the horses. Initially, we got into the herd to make a first contact with them and then the exercises and games vis a vis with the horse inside a track started to take place. Through the tasks assigned by the facilitator and the reactions of the animal while we were carrying them out, gradually came to light our personality traits, usual ways of dealing with situations, tendencies in relationships with others, repetitive behavioural patterns and a long etcetera that was carefully broken down by the person leading the workshop, for our greater understanding.

Throughout those hours that seemed to fly of the pure enjoyment that they entailed, I saw and above all I understood, revealing aspects of me, my world and my relationships. It was as if they had opened my eyes wide, where before they had only been half-open. I was there to grow, to mature, to learn how to live better and suffer less, so I lowered the barriers, opened my heart and prepared myself to receive what they wanted to show me in that first encounter which would inevitably be followed by many more.

Si entras en coherencia el caballo se siente atraído
As coherence comes in, the horse approaches

As the day came to an end and we started to think and discuss together, there was something that everyone agreed on: my expression had changed, there was a glow in me that i did not have in the morning. I remember that it was impossible for me to erase the smile from my face, a smile that emerged from some very deep place... In fact, it was very much like what one feels when falling in love, I was invaded by a sensation of lightness and fullness that would last me several days.

It may not have been exactly a crush that came that day, but it was a compassionate reconciliation with a new version of me that also included the less beautiful, not-so-loved aspects, those that we are not proud of and that we unwittingly reject or our unconscious insists on hiding. I began to recognize and welcome a more real, more authentic self; I learned to detect my vulnerable areas and my strategies for hiding them.

If horses had not made me a mirror as they did and without learning to turn the focus of my attention into myself, it would have been very difficult for me to begin to modify what needed to be modified, to change the way I look at life or to begin the transformations that are still going on in me today. I owe to the horses great awareness that has been key to evolve and advance on the road to happiness.

Laura García de Castro is a consultant in Transpersonal Mindfulness with a specialty in Integral Health and Development from the University Miguel de Cervantes. She is also certified in Horse Coaching by Equilibri.

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