“It shouldn’t be like this”
“Why is it so hard”
“My horse should be doing -“
“Why am I still scared”
“No one supports me”
“This isn’t what I thought my life would be like”
When we get stuck in what we think life -should be- we totally miss what life really is.
This is commonly the root of our frustration, anxiety, depression, resentment, and suffering.
Life is what it IS.
Learning to accept and love what ‘is’ allows you space to then make a plan with action steps to move in the direction you want; my friend, that is true freedom.
Let go of what you think life should be.
Let go of where you think you should be.
Let go of what you think your horse should be able to do.
Let go of what you think your marriage should be.
Let go of how you think your kids should be.
Live in this moment. Love now. Embrace now.
If you’re looking steps to help, check out the free 30 day challenge inside Back Into Horses After Babies in the guide section: “Chomping at the Bit.”
Until next time my friend 💜
2. While your core is engaged in doing the above exercise, bend side to side to touch your heels
3. Hip thrusts while laying on back with knees bent. The next step is when your core is raised add in a bent leg lift
4. Plank - start with short times, work your way up
5. Pushups - start with wall/ then hands-on bench knees floor, then standard "girl" pushups, then full pushups.
6. Squats - use a chair under your bum to assist you.
7. Step-ups onto a stable surface are also amazing and mimics getting on a horse a bit too. If using a chair lean it against a wall and make sure it's not tippy!! Falling off hurts trust me.
8. Bonus - Exercise ball sit: Engage your core and gently sway your hips side to side and front to back. Add in circles both ways. Perfect to do while watching your favourite TV show or while working at a desk.
Disclaimer! I am not a doctor or physical therapist...take this advice as just that,.... advice from a momma of two who struggled to ride/get on my horse after having babies.
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How come talking about the loneliness, guilt, resentment, anger and shame that comes with motherhood isn’t a thing?
How come when we try and reach out for help, we are told, “Yes, being a mom is hard, isn’t it,” or, “It’s just your hormones dear, it will all level out soon enough,” or my ultimate favourite, “don’t worry about that stuff, your babies are only babies once, sit back and soak it all in and just cheer up.” How isolating is that? We have just confessed we feel like we are drowning, and we are told to swim better.
If I asked you to describe a ‘mom,’ what comes to mind? For me, Brene Brown explains it perfectly: mom’s do everything, do it perfectly, and make it look easy while doing it.
What about being a horsewoman? According to western movies, they make us tough, resilient, stubborn, firm and can do any job a man can do, but better.
Those are a lot of expectations. If you are like me, you are both a horsewoman and a mom. The weight of those expectations is exhausting.
What’s worse is we don’t talk about these extreme expectations. These standards are unspoken by society, but they are implied. It’s not like after your first baby, a nurse comes in and says, “okay, now here’s what you need to do to be a good mom.” You don’t get a piece of paper when you become passionate about horses stating the requirements needed for you to be considered a good horsewoman.
What’s sad about these unspoken standards is that we feel like failures when we inevitably can’t do it all. Those thoughts and feelings like we are failing, unworthy, less than, not enough, who am I to do that? They haunt all of us. These feelings are shame. We hide them away in hopes no one will ever see them; because if they did, we would indeed be judge and found unworthy.
Before we go further, let’s make sure we are all on the same page. Shame is the fear of disconnection, fear of being judged as unworthy and not good enough; to be cast out. Shame is “I feel awful because I am a bad person.” Guilt is “I feel awful because I did something bad.”
As a mother of two amazing young daughters, living on a beautiful farm, with an outdoor arena as a front yard, who was I to complain? I should be the happiest person alive, shouldn’t I? But I missed myself before having children. I felt that I was a horrible mom for having these thoughts; I felt ashamed. I felt unworthy around my horses because my connection with them was almost nonexistent. I was angry, resentful, frustrated, and I felt alone.
Luckily, thanks to my horse, I started going down a rabbit trail, trying to fix our connection. Instead, I found how much healing I needed. The shame I was carrying was eating away at my passion for life. I started to see the hope that I could indeed be happy and fulfilled as both a mother, wife and horsewoman.
What I wish I had in those moments was someone to talk to. Someone, I felt safe enough to share my thoughts and struggles without being disconnected or judged. I wish I had someone to help me realize that what I was dealing with was, in fact, shame and that there was a way through it. If you recognized a part of yourself as being stuck in shame, I’ve created a free booklet to help you start unpacking your thoughts to work towards finding your freedom from shame! If you’d like your copy sent directly to your inbox, you can get that here: Finding Your Freedom From Shame
Brene Brown is famous for her talks on shame; if you haven’t read or listened to her books or lectures on youtube, you need to. Almost everything I’ve learned regarding shame has been from her, so she gets all the core credits here. But what I’ve come to realize is in my darkest moments, it was shame that kept me there. Don’t let it keep you stuck.
You are enough! You are worth it!
Have you ever heard something that gave you a bit of a revelation? One of those ah-ha moments where you went, “wow, I wish I figured this years ago!” I had that experience a few days ago. What he shared wasn’t a new thought, but the way he explained it caught my attention. I was driving, so I couldn’t write it down word for word or the gentleman’s name who said it, but here is my version of what he said.
Our mind doesn’t care about time. All the thoughts and emotions throughout our lives are forever stored in our minds within an eternal filing cabinet. What becomes the challenge is how easily we can access a specific file. Some are filed so long ago and pushed right to the back that we cannot access the memory easily at all. Others are at the forefront, and we can quickly go back to that moment. Some are stored in the pleasant and happy files; others are put in the traumatic and terrible feeling files.
This idea was a perfect explanation for ingrained, knee-jerk reactions I have. Some responses are pleasant, like rushing to see a loved one for a hug. Others are bad, like jumping to the defence and lashing back verbally if I feel vulnerable or attacked. These are reactions based on specific files created by particular memories and feelings. I might not understand why I am reacting that way because I cannot access that file. I buried it so deep in hopes of losing it, but in reality, that event in time changed me. That file I pushed to the back, hoping it would get lost only becomes ingrained in me; the emotions and feelings associated with it altered my DNA.
Then I started to think about it like retraining a horse after a traumatic event. The event could be something huge like being in a significant accident or something that we view as minor; however, they perceived a very real scary threat. After a while, the horse might not remember how or why something awful happened. They only remember that when they did something (got in the trailer, got close to that shed, went through that door), that something terrible happened as a result. I think humans have the habit of assuming time should take care of these traumatic/scary events. Feeling that after a set amount of time, the horse should just “be over it by now.” Have you felt this way? In reality, we have to help them retrain their brain to release that bad memory.
This thought process is no different when it applies to us. We react, think, feel, function and are-who-we-are because of every single thought and emotion stored within us since the beginning of our existence. I find this incredibly empowering! Knowing that I am shaped because of stored memories and emotions means I can change my perception. I’m not at the mercy of it’s-just-who-I-am mindset anymore. I have immense power to heal and evolve my deepest self.
As much as I wish I knew this years ago, I also recognize we all learn things when we are ready for them. We find people within our lives, hear their stories, see their examples, and we can choose to be curious. We can decide to be vulnerable and open ourselves up just a tiny bit to try a new perspective. Or, we can let our inner child who is scared of change keep us exactly where we are.
I encourage you to start taking action and empower yourself by acknowledging you can release and heal from the past. Comment “I RECLAIM MY POWER!”
I was unhappy. I was dealing with postpartum depression, which resonated as anger. I felt lost and confused as an individual, as a mom, and most definitely as a wife. I knew life would be different after having one baby, but being a mom of two was a whole other story. I was exhausted, with uncontrollable hormones, confused, and angry. I knew I had to get ahead of things, or I would sabotage everything near and dear to me. I knew there are adjustments in becoming a mom in my head, but living through them is a whole other story.
My first decision I actively made in trying to feel more, dare I say it, “normal,” was wanting to work with Ace. Big eyes, a wide blaze, beautiful sorrel coat, and he was going to turn my world upside down. Ace was still very green and young. He was a five year old with minimal riding. Between my hard-headed, large ego, stubborn, my-way-or-the-highway attitude and his extreme sensitivity, confusion, and an excellent pinch of spirit, we butted heads. Badly! I knew my skill set was not enough to get him going under saddle again, so while he was away at the trainer’s, I set to work to learn all that I could online.
It’s funny now, looking back at it; that it took a horse for me to start looking at myself, and I mean really look. Not just give excuses for my temper or my training methods or my stubbornness. I began to see how wounded I actually was. My past was still haunting me, even though previously, I was sure I had “moved on.” But healing from abuse is never that simple. I started to find methods bringing to light areas in my past that made me see the world and myself through stained lenses. I started using essential oils to help with my moods, and I was amazed by how well they helped. Then I learned that certain oils could help release anger easier or help me forgive. I could help bring forward those feelings of being a little child again, worry-free. From then on, I was hooked!
I started researching where to apply the oils to my body. Anger is stored in my liver? Really? Fascinating. The effectiveness was only increasing. Then I experienced my first Aroma Freedom Technique. WOW! I was able to figure out, on my own, without talking to strangers, that some old buried memory of mine from decades ago was the reason I was scared to pursue this career choice. And when I was able to see this memory and pour love into it, the most amazing thing happened. The power of those feelings I had been carrying for decades inside my body -- they lifted like an early morning fog. My mind was clear! I understood that past moment for what it was, and I understood the present. Talk about liberating!
Shortly after my introduction to Aroma Freedom Technique, I heard about this Conscious Language thing. To me, it sounded like affirmations. In a sense, it is, but that is like your pinky finger in relation to your entire body. Learning about shining my light, using my gifts, and sharing with the world was very empowering. Then it went to the next level, realizing and believing that I am living my life as God intended, serving others in this way. That when I am serving and shining my true light as planned, I have immense power in my words and thoughts!
All of this because of one horse. Because of Ace. Healing myself was what I needed to do for Ace. He needed a leader, not a boss. Once I was able to be that leader, our relationship completely transformed.
Because of my horse, I released even more trauma, pain, and negative energy to start repairing and rewiring my brain to be a better wife. Because of past sexual abuse, I had walls around my heart so high and wide; they were causing issues in my marriage. I was quick to anger, easily defensive, and would default to distancing myself when I was upset. I wasn’t an equal partner; I held back part of me stuck in the notion I had to keep protecting myself from being hurt. My ego was so scared of completely removing those walls that I only gave small parts of my heart. I then learned that my anger resulted from losing my power, not in the present, but from my past traumas. It was when I learned to send love towards my anger that things started to change.
It’s amazing what happens when you respond with love. Envision a playground bully, they can either be met with fear, distaste, hate, avoidance, and that bully will stay a bully. However, if someone responded to the bully with love, they will pause, think, and most likely change for the better. (This is not a perfect example, but I hope it has you nodding your head with, “ah, I get it.”) I had to learn to love my inner bully; she was, after all, acting out as her way of protecting ourselves from pain, even if she was wrong.
I can’t help but shake my head with half a smile on my face even as I write this. All of this, everything I’ve learned, everything I’ve experienced, the changes in my life, all thanks to my horse, Ace.
My experience is why I am so passionate about teaching others about these life-changing tools. Am I all “fixed” now? Do I have everything all figured out? Is my marriage perfect? Am I the constant happy-go-lucky mom? The answer is no. What is extremely empowering is having the tools and skills to work through triggers and moments of not-so-good. No one is perfect. I still struggle, and that’s ok. I get up, and I recommit. And every time I stumble, it becomes easier and easier to get up, dust myself off and go again. The healing process becomes faster and faster, sometimes, mere seconds. For these tools, I will forever be grateful.
Would you like to learn more about what helped me? I would love to show you more.
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, and one of the most popular traditions is expressing our thanks, or gratitude, for things in life. I think this is a beautiful practice and something that should be done daily.
This year, however, I am feeling a lot different towards this holiday. While I am genuinely grateful for all of my blessings, I can’t help but focus on the latter half of the word ‘giving.’ Previously, I’ve always heard the phrase, “You know, thanksgiving, it’s about giving thanks!” But what if instead, we just focused on giving. Instead of focusing on our blessings (again, not saying this is wrong or bad), we focus on how we can help others. What can we give to others? How can we bless others? How can we improve someone else’s day, week, or life?
I honestly believe that giving is one of the purest forms of gratitude. It’s paying it forward. As much as appreciation can change your life, it will most definitely if its something you don’t often implement, giving, I feel, will completely flip your life on its head! In the right way, of course.
I think that’s why I feel so blessed doing what I do. I give a lot of myself to help others, and it feels incredible! Not only am I helping change other people’s lives, but I’m also drastically improving my own as a result. I am excited to pour my heart and soul into my business every single day because I have seen the effects of helping others. It has been the biggest blessing, embracing the calling to serve.
I feel the same way regarding how I interact with Ace. Our best rides, the purest moments, have all occurred after giving him something that touches his own heart. For Ace, it is merely taking time with him just to be, or giving him a perfect belly scratch. Meditating with him, being present, focused, in tune, it connects us. I’m wholeheartedly giving him a piece of my heart when I do any of these things, sincerely hoping to improve his day. And like all things, when I give, he gives! I don’t sit back and wait for him to provide me with all his effort only to reciprocate afterwards. As humans, if we want to have a pure, deeply connected partnership, I think we should all be more focused on how we can make our equine partner’s life better. I’m not talking about spoiling them but helping them learn how to handle their own emotions. Teach them how to regulate their nervous system. Pay attention to their worry cup, and empty it continuously. Work on your emotions and mental state to be healthy, strong, and a viable leader for your horse. When you start giving, I promise you that your life will indeed flip upside down in an epic way.
Thanksgiving. Thankfully Giving. What are you going to give today?
Drop a comment below, I'd love to hear!
This past weekend I was blessed to ride both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s ride ended up being a delightful arena ride where we worked on a variety of things.
On Sunday, I didn’t feel the desire to do schooling, and it was very windy, so I didn’t exactly want to go for a trail ride either. I felt drawn to do connection work. As I walked out to catch Ace in the back pasture, I suddenly knew what I wanted to do. Get on Ace bareback, with his halter, in the field amongst the other horses. Riding my seasoned horse in from the back pasture isn’t a new thing for me. Riding Ace in, however, is. I tried to get on him twice in the past in the field, but he felt too anxious each time. I didn’t mind ‘giving up’ those times in the past because, honestly, I was pretty scared! Getting on a younger horse, the bottom of the pecking order, I was having visions of a horse lunge to bite him, kick, or they all decide to gallop in ahead of us had me more than happy just to lead Ace in. But Sunday was different. I felt different.
See, over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on this guide to help people learn and start using conscious language as it applies to our horses and us. If you’ve ever created something, you’ll know that the creator/teacher always ends up learning the most during the process by preparing, researching, and writing out their content. I want to share something that I wrote in my guide, Harness The Power of Speech.
“I think God has a plan for all of us. We have all been given beautiful gifts, and we are meant to share them with the world. We are to shine our light. When we stop listening to our inner voice, or rather God's voice, when we hide our light, that is when we start to find ourselves in times of chaos or dissatisfaction. Maybe you don't feel worthy of asking for more, or perhaps you don't feel worthy of your gift, to begin with.
Some people have the gift of teaching, working on cars, building houses, creating jewelry, and then there are those gifted with the love of horses. For us who are passionate about horses, our gifts will all look different. Some people will be able to teach clinics, some will jump, rope, do liberty, trail ride, and then some people use will horses to feel connected to God or the universe. I think all of us horse lovers are designed for something extraordinary, just like every other human alive. It is up to us to accept and develop the gift that has been bestowed to us.
I grew up with horses my entire life; I always had a deep connection with them, and they helped me through some challenging times. Horses were, and still are, my safe place. However, what I’ve been learning now is that we have a duty to these animals as well. In the past, I was judgmental, critical, short-tempered, and expected my horses to “fix” me emotionally.
Now I believe I have a higher calling, and so do you. We owe it to our horses to better ourselves on our own. When we start healing from our pasts and being emotionally available to our horses, we are open to seeing their hurts, fears and struggles. We can then open our eyes and begin to learn their language or communication method, and we can start helping them with their emotions.
In my heart, I knew I was missing too many pieces of the puzzle to create a deeper connection. I am so fortunate that I listened when God, or my inner knowing, started pushing me towards a new adventure. I could have let my fear take over and give up. But I accepted the challenge that has led me into the most incredible journey! I encourage you to be brave. You have a brilliant light to shine to the world; don’t hold back, read on!
So, what if you could overcome your fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and self-doubt by merely speaking and thinking as if you were calm, capable, confident, and relaxed...” Leanne Nelson, Harness The Power Of Speech.
The point I want to make is that I could have stayed in my place of fear about getting on and riding Ace in from the field. I could have let my imagination run away with me and think of the endless scenarios of how I could get hurt, or even have Ace get hurt. I could have let my inner itty-bitty-shitty-committee, as Jane Pike calls it (excuse the cuss word, but it just flows so well, doesn’t it?) make me feel unworthy, not good enough, not capable, and in general, keep myself small.
Luckily, I know I am destined for more than smallness. I might not know exactly where I will end up in my journey with Ace, but what I do know is that I am called to be brave, confident, calm, enthusiastic, curious, empathetic, patient, a leader, and always grow. I know this is what I’m supposed to do; accept these challenges and find my way through them, and then share with others.
So, once I got out to the horses, Ace greeted me with his usual friendly lovey-eyed self. I looked around to see the best thing to use to step up on to try and get on. I decided on using the back of an old pickup that amongst the row of automobile gravesites. This was the first time I was using something other than a fence to try and get on. Ace knows how to side pass over to pick me up, so he already knows the hard part. We had to work on his confidence at side passing towards the truck, then staying there while he got a nice scratch. It didn’t take long, and I was able to get on. The other horses were close by and napping, so we started walking around the pasture a little. Only a few minutes passed, and I knew we could make the ride back in from the field to the tack shed.
It went so well! The other horses stayed in the pasture, and we plodded our way down the path. While Ace ate his feed, he became stressed that he was, in fact, alone. I decided to do some groundwork to get his focus back on him and me, and the present moment. I was already over the moon with how well everything went and was going to end things on a happy note and let him go when I had the crazy idea to ride him back out to the herd to catch another horse so that I could take my daughters for a ride. I don’t think I have ridden a horse out to the herd since I was a young, fearless kid. The fear of a horse just bolting to get back to the pasture was pretty high on my mind previous to this. But on that day, I accepted the calling. Yet again, I was not disappointed! Relaxed, loose rein, let downs the whole ride back. Ace even spooked once at some kittens zooming around the corner of the barn, and besides giving a surprising, startling jump, he was calm and relaxed moments after.
I want to encourage you to listen to that inner knowing. That God-in-you knowing. That feeling you have when you know you’re being called to do something. Even if it might seem irrelevant like riding a horse in from the pasture, accepting that call is empowering. God has great plans for you and your horse.
Perhaps when you were younger you played a video game called Donkey Kong. If you got hit by a barrel, you had to go all the way back to be beginning to start the level over. In a video of Warwick Schiller, he refers to the Donkey Kong Principle. Generally speaking, if you are working with your horse and you come up against a problem, don’t just sit there fighting with that problem. Go back to the beginning and start again. This is the best way to find the “hole” where things start to go wrong.
When I was riding the last week, Ace was having some difficulty getting his right lead. This has been a struggle for him in the past but just came up again as a problem. During that ride, I kept changing tactics trying to find the easiest way to show him what I wanted. We were able to get the right lead in the end, and I was fairly happy with our progress. After the ride though, I realized I didn’t “donkey kong”. Yes, I slowed things down to try and work with Ace the best I could at the moment, but I didn’t stop, and start over. Talking with a few knowledgeable friends of mine I got some good exercises to help him.
With harvest still underway, there were about 5 days where I didn’t work with him since that ride. I was also in a bit of a personal funk. I decided when I finally got out there I was going to start with some groundwork, then ride bareback if we got that far. I was surprised where I soon found myself, standing beside him asking him to disengage his hip with just touching his ribs with my hand and he wouldn’t budge. Eventually, I was leaning right into him, and he was looking back at me with the expression, “what are you doing?” Alright, let’s go back even further, two hands, one on his rump, the other on his ribs. Yay, we got a step! Slowly, I was able to get to light pressure with one hand in the place my leg would be if I was to be asking him while riding. I called it a night. The next day, he was much more responsive, and I was able to jump on and practice bareback with a halter. I like this exercise because it really shows his level of understanding when I don’t have a bit in his mouth. It also lets me move freely and really influence his body movements with my own with no saddle between us.
As I reflected our ride over, I realized it takes me much longer to remember to apply the “donkey kong principle” to myself. I had been in a funk for 5 days. I was depressed, stressed out, irritable, and grumpy. I knew I was in a funk, but I honestly had no desire to fix it. Until I got downright sick of being in my darkness.
So, I did donkey kong on myself. I did an ATF session on myself, I inhaled my aromatherapy, I meditated, I changed my language. Not surprisingly, I soon found myself feeling happy, energized, focused, and wanting to be productive again! After some reflection, I realized I was just tired and burnt out. I was wanting a break but felt guilty for it. So instead of being present, acknowledging this, and resting; I let the guilt drag me down into a slump and the depression kept me there, and I found myself zoning out of my life, binge-watching “New Girl” once my kids were in bed.
It is easy for me to sit back and try and break down the steps to make things easier for my horse, and my kids. But doing the same for myself is definitely a skill that requires more practice. I am just thankful I have the right people in my corner to keep pushing me, even if I don’t want to be pushed at that moment.
Are you looking for people to help you? I’ve got an amazing free community with some awesome people in it encouraging and learning together on how to help ourselves, and our horses.
If you’re wanting something more focused, detailed and private I have a tightly knit membership club that might be more what you’re looking for. Membership is currently on sale!
I can already see the look on your face as you read the title. A look of: “how does that make any sense,” as you furrow your brow and maybe tilt your head to the side.. I didn’t even really understand what I was learning until the result presented itself. And that was a calmer horse.
First off, these ideas are not my own. I have been following several trainers, and although they maybe didn’t say it flat out as I did, they laid out the work so I would come to that conclusion on my own. So here I am, spilling the beans. Why? Because I think more people should know about this, and it could help a lot of horses and their humans find their calm faster. Let’s get to it.
At a recent Jonathan Field clinic, I participated in it with my horse, Ace. Early on, Jonathan kept talking about the importance of having a plan. I had heard this before, but with different wording with similar meaning. Or at least that’s how I was interpreting it. However, it started to click when we were doing the groundwork. I had to direct Ace in a pattern while he was about 10 feet from me going around in a circle. Pylons were out, and I had to use my body and intention to get him to go on the pylons’ far or near side. Talk about focus! I had to be 100% attentive to what I wanted Ace to do and where I wanted him to go. The second I became wishy-washy in my mind, Ace always went off the path.
It wasn’t long into this when I could see Ace mellow out. He was stretching out, lowering his head, flowing forward in a nice even trot. He was calm. It was like a lightbulb moment for me. He was relaxed because I was focused. He was calm because I had a plan. I knew where I wanted him to go, so he had nothing to start creating anxiety. He didn’t have to be concerned if I knew where I was going or whether I was sure that corner had a monster in it. Ace was able to relax when he knew I was right there in the moment, taking care of him.
I think another large factor in this was Ace wasn’t going to get into trouble for trying to go somewhere he thought I wanted him to go when I had no idea what I wanted, but I just decided to nag at him anyways. In that circle, on our path, he knew if he responded to my slight asks and intention, I would let him do his thing. Go around the circle. I wasn’t nitpicking every little thing. He had a job: trot the circle. I had a job: pick the path of the circle. As a result, he saw me as a confident leader.
Now I want to expand on something a little further here. As important as it is to have a plan, I also want to remind you that we still need to be flexible. Warwick Schiller has taught me to listen to my horse. I might want to work on a specific drill pattern, but my horse might tell me that we should work on something else. For example, let’s say my horse is all of a sudden, not moving his shoulders nicely. If I persistently push my plan forward, I will only butt heads with him because he needs his stiff shoulders worked on. The same applies if he’s a bit spooky at things. If he spooks a little at the halter, then the gate, then the saddle pad, then the saddle, then the fence, then the arena gate -- how can I be shocked if he blows up and bolts at the next little thing? His worry cup got full, and I was too short-sighted to address the initial concern before moving onto my plan.
Learning these two things and finally able to connect them has made me very excited! Ace and I have a very long journey ahead of us. We will be partners for life. I am in no rush for our future, as we are in your moment together right now. I am so thankful he has the patience to forgive me when I fail continuously and show such satisfaction when we have a significant “ah-ha” moment together.
To hear more, Watch This!
Until next time, 💜
Someone I deeply respect recently told me that, "Anger is often a result of blaming someone else for our choices."
I have always had a temper. I even received a nickname because of it as a child. I thought it was just apart of me, something I had to learn to control; stuff it way down inside and not let it out. It has been a lifelong struggle between my anger and I. When I heard my friend say those words to me, I broke down. The words were ringing in my head so loud I had to find a chair.
But then, she told me the way out. She said, "The way to the other side is through forgiveness, touching your anger/blame/shame/guilt with your great God love, letting it all be ok and then reclaiming your power moment, to moment, to moment." Could it be this simple? Yes. Simple - yes, easy - no. I was grasping for ways to end the extreme waves of anger. To stop being so easily annoyed at circumstances, myself, or others. Anger has always been my knee jerk reaction to things out of my control. And I never really understood why, until now. I was then to think back of a time where I felt this, which could be moments ago, or from a time in my past. It came to me quickly. I have not been able to forgive myself for some experiences when I was a teen that has scarred me deeply. I was holding onto self-blame, "I got myself into that mess; I should have known better." I felt shame over what happened. I felt powerless, like a puppet, and I couldn't break the strings.
Letting my great God' s-love love me then at that moment, started to take power away from the negative emotions surrounding it. These words will be on my heart and said aloud frequently as I begin to reprogram my thought patterns. "Me love me. Me love all of me. God loves me. Hey, anger, I see you, and I love you and accept you. I choose to reclaim my power."
Not suprisingly, anger was also my go-to reaction when I was working with horses in the past. I was always quick to lose my temper if things weren't going well. I had a negative outlook on the entire situation. The more I learn about my emotions, the more it changes how I interact with my horses. I can see the problem in a whole new light. Learning how to look into the past, understand where the real trigger is, and finally release that negative energy is paramount to moving forward. I'm not giving my ego the power to be easily offended if I fail. I don't take it as personally if I am struggling with something with my horse. I can give myself the grace to continue to grow right alongside Ace. Does this mean I never fall back into anger? No. But I can recognize the pattern and stop the cycle much faster at that moment.
“She is the typical crazy sorrel mare type: grumpy, full of sass, fighting all the time, ears pinned, you know what I mean.”
“Oh yeah, you’re riding a paint, no wonder you’re having so much trouble. That’s just classic behaviour for one of those crazy horses.”
“My horse will always be a hot mess.”
“Jeeze my horse is a special kind of stupid. We had this down pat yesterday, and now he’s acting like a total spazz!”
I think we are all guilty of having these kinds of thoughts revolving around our horses. We put them into prepackaged labels of how we think they are, and how they will always be. And somehow we are still surprised when they don’t change.
What if I told you that it is these exact thoughts that are creating the behaviours you desperately want to get rid of.
To explain a bit of what I mean, I’ll share with you one of my experiences with this. We have a horse on the farm, Hungry. He is my husband’s rope horse and he and I did not get along very well. I had labelled him as the “a** hole,” and whenever I went into the pen I always had my eyes out for that a** hole palomino. When I first heard about changing my thoughts and expectations, I thought this would be a great way to test it out. I was a little skeptical but was willing to give it a try. Before I went out to the horse pen, I did some mental check in’s. I prepared myself by thinking good thoughts about Hungry, and how I wanted our interaction to go. As I walked into the herd he brought his head up from grazing, and just stood there looking at me. His eyes were softer than his usual. His ears were pricked forward in curiosity. I started talking to him and praising him for his good attributes. A few moments later he was walking towards me with kind eyes, his muzzle stretched out hoping for a scratch. This was much different from the usual, ear pinned, “what do you want” glare I would normally get.
After this, I started to try and use my thoughts and mental pictures to my advantage. I made a real effort to project how I wanted my rides to go. I would leave the house already thinking my horse was amazing, the ride was going to be great, and I would have a lot of fun. This soon became the reality! The more I practice it, the more my horses seem to respond and do what I am picturing in my mind. I am very much a beginner at this, but when it does work, it feels amazing!
Mental thoughts are also paramount with our self-talk. If we are playing a movie of negativity about ourselves in our brain we are setting ourselves up for failure. Guess what? We have the power to change the movie! If you are forever swimming in a pool of self-doubt, uncertainty, unworthiness, fear of failure, then you are going to have a very hard time being the active leader your horse truly needs. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can your horse trust you? If you don’t believe in your horse, how can they have confidence in themselves?
I encourage you to take an active change in picking the movie you play in your head about your horse, spouse, and yourself. You have the power to bring in positivity, change, and room for growth.
In my latest Youtube video, I share some ways I have been using these mental images regarding my horse Ace.
Until next time, 💜
“What we speak is what we create.” Andrew Bennett
Others, myself included, believe that our words, and even our thoughts, will shape our reality.
What do I mean by this? It is quite simple in theory. If we are projecting negative thoughts and speech into the universe, that is exactly what will happen. Counter to this, if we are forming our thoughts and words in positive ways, we will attract positive outcomes. This is often referred to as conscious language.
Since making an active change in how I speak, and how I think, there is no doubt that this is changing my life. I am loving the results; it is influencing every aspect of my life! To elaborate, I would like to share with you something that happened last week.
My horse Ace and I were attending a three day Jonathan Field clinic in Saskatoon. I was so excited! The morning we were supposed to load up and hit the road, I was very conscious of my language. I was repeatedly stating that travelling alone with my two young girls, (ages 3.5 and 1.5) and my inexperienced horse, for over three hours would be “fun and easy.” Believe it or not, it was exactly that.
If you have travelled with young kids before you will understand the importance of being flexible. Sometimes you have to leave earlier, or later than expected. I was as prepared as possible; most of the bags were loaded and the trailer was ready. All I had left to do was take out the cooler, snacks, diaper bag, kids, and catch my horse. We had a couple of hours to spare so we spent the rest of the morning playing in the yard. I noticed my youngest daughter was getting tired earlier than expected. I was also watching the clouds as it felt like a storm was going to roll in. “Today is fun and easy,” I kept repeating. I decided to get ahead of any potential melt-downs and rain, and I packed a lunch so we could hit the road earlier than planned. Intuition told me to take the last load out to the truck and see how far away the horses were, saying again in my mind, “this will be fun and easy.” I was trying my best not to feel anxious at the thought of having to walk 15-20 minutes with two little kids to find the horses.
Guys, I’m not lying; there was Ace walking up to the gate only feet from my house. They never come around to this gate as they spend their time in the far pasture. So there I was doing a happy dance while I easily caught my horse. “Thank you, God!” With Ace at the trailer and eating his feed, I go inside and get the girls. In no time at all, we were rolling down the road.
The girls travelled well. You could even say it was fun and easy. I decided to travel a different highway to avoid some major construction. Since we left earlier than planned I was going to have to drop the girls off at my parents to use up some time. I also didn’t want to be sitting on the street with a loaded horse and kids in the truck while we waited for the barn to open. As it happened, this new route I had picked to avoid construction ended up being ideal as I could get to my mom’s much easier to drop off the girls prior to going to the barn to settle in Ace. Once I got the girls unpacked, I headed off for an additional 25-minute drive to the barn. Watching the clock I was going to arrive ten minutes early. As fate would have it, the gates were already open. I got a prime parking spot. “This is fun and easy!”
Once unloaded, Ace handled the city like a pro! There was construction going on in the parking lot; tons of trailers were pulling in for an evening barrel racing jackpot. It was a very busy place. He never lost focus. He just sat and happily ate his hay by the trailer while I got his stall ready.
He was so chill and responsive I had a strong desire to go for a ride. This would never have been possible if my girls were with me. Since they were happy with their Nana and Papa, it only made sense to take advantage of the situation. Saddle up, ready to go, and only two barrel racers were in the outdoor arena. Winning! He handled their intense energy amazingly well. At one point a big crane forklift was loading a flat deck trailer right beside the arena, and though he was attentive, he didn’t lose focus. "We are in control."
The next three days of the clinic were life-changing. Ace and I learned so much. I was determined to absorb all the knowledge and experience Jonathan had to offer. Every morning on the drive to the barn I was making affirmations such as, “I easily understand Jonathan’s methods; I easily communicate with Ace; I see what Ace is showing me; I radiate happiness and encouragement; Ace and I are in tune with each other.” I have never felt so connected with the universe, God, or with my horse. So needless to say — I am a huge fan of conscious language and positive affirmations!
Do you find yourself often stuck in a negative cycle? I would love to show you exactly how I started using these methods in my life. Click here to get My Free Guide to help get the world working for you, not against you.
Until next time, 💜