Last week, Art Soul and Horses hosted Generation of Harmony Founder Kerri Lake’s event, “Being With Horses”. The experience involved the horses being at liberty in the arena with five people. “At liberty” means they are completely free, able to move and behave as they want to.
Now, when I am working with my horses at liberty, I usually carry a reed or a training whip, the purpose of which is to allow me to maintain a safe physical distance while providing an extension of my arm to create space or to increase energy pressure when guiding the horses. Its purpose is to keep me safe when the horses are playing or running; it helps me be bigger and easier to see (and avoid!). For this event, the horses were going to be at liberty in a space with five strangers for the first time so, out of what I rationalized as simply an abundance of caution, I brought my training whip in case I needed to move a horse off and give a person more space.
I had not initially planned to participate in the group, but as I moved around, keeping an eye out for safety, I noticed Luca and Skye Mama following me around like horse puppies. I was a bit embarrassed and tried unsuccessfully to push them toward these wonderful women who had come here to experience Kerry’s work, all the while trying not to influence the experience with my presence. Kerry raised an eyebrow and, in her graceful way, came over and kindly suggested I “get rid of that whip.” So, with a bit of trepidation I took the whip out of the arena and took a seat just outside until I noticed Kerri waving me in. I accepted the invitation to return to the group, where Kerri led us through a series of mind and body exercises as we all stood scattered about, in no particular order, in the arena. At first, I was nervous, unsure how these two young horses would behave but, as we all took our attention from our minds into an awareness of our body, a beautiful thing happened.
I started to let go of my fears of someone getting kicked or trampled by the horses, and suddenly it was just us: the horses, the sky, the cool breeze and, most importantly, five women who were simultaneously moving the energy of our thoughts into the energy connecting with our bodies. Without prompting at all, we arranged ourselves into a large circle as Kerri continued to speak us through connecting with our breath and grounding. As we moved deeper into our experience, the horses’ responses were magical. Skye Mama walked directly into the center of the circle and stood for a few moments, connecting with the energy shift. She then walked forward to the first person in the circle and stood facing center with her head about the chest area. At first, I watched suspiciously out the side of my eye but then I gave myself over to the process and all fear truly fell away. I allowed myself to be at peace. Sky Mama took her glorious self around the circle in perfect order, standing with each member of the group for a few minutes before moving on to the next. It was a beautiful, organic, and unscripted orchestration of pure love energy, as if Skye Mama was drawn into each person’s space to share a divine exchange of energy – of love; of trust; of compassion; of beauty. Luca stood off to the side while Skye Mama worked, and when the circle was complete, she too walked over and spent time with each person.
Needless to say, it was quite a learning experience for me, and a powerful reminder to do what I teach: to drop out of my head and into my heart; to let go of fear and to trust the horses and the process completely. I feel compelled to share this with you as a reminder that we are always learning, growing, and expanding, and that I know this journey back to self isn’t just some one-time magic pill. I do this for a living and yet still needed this gentle nudge to lean into trust and surrender – again. That’s the nature of our personal work – we learn, we integrate, we are reminded, we grow.
I am grateful for Skye Mama’s and Luca’s lesson; for the beauty of this work, and for the perspective of practitioners like Kerri, who remind us to just BE with horses.