Old McDonald had a farm…
Ok, sorry I just put that song in your head. (Sort of. ha)
If you follow me on Facebook (and you should), you know I am obsessed with goats, especially the ones in Morocco who live in trees.
Oh, and to be clear, I don’t want to own a goat of my own–unless it can live the tree in my front yard, because, well, that would be awesome.
I just find them incredibly funny. And the screaming goats? I’d like them at my funeral, please.
So you can imagine the near chest-explosion of joy that took place when I arrived with Susan Hyatt for my day of Equus coaching to be met by A PEN OF GOATS!!!!!!!
This, friends, was a total sign of the awesomeness that was to follow.
If you’re unfamiliar with what Equus coaching is, let me fill you in.
First, there is no riding of a horse involved. All the work is done on the ground with the horse.
For me it involved my being in the ring alone with a horse while my coach, Sheppard, was outside the gate giving me guidance.
Horses are prey animals, so they are acutely aware of their surroundings. They are also fiercely honest. When you work with Equus coaches, you pretty much get schooled on how you communicate—what you do well and what you need to work on.
‘Need to convince a HORSE you have no relationship with to move? You’d better have your stuff worked out.
Otherwise, as my horse so helpfully showed me, that horse big fat isn’t going ANYWHERE.
My goal was to convince Stella to move around the ring. I wasn’t going to physically lead her, I was just going to convince her to go while I encouraged her from the middle.
Gang, I was the WORST at first!! lol
I wish you could see it: there I am in the ring with this beautiful horse, and she’s just standing there.
I couldn’t think of anything to do so I started talking to her. I mean, I’m a professional communicator, right? I can get a horse to listen to me.
You know what she did?
She kept standing there.
She didn’t move.
I don’t even think she blinked.
Me: Ok, Stella. Can we do this?
Me: Stella, don’t you think it would be awesome if you moved?
Stella: (“Who is this insane woman?” …still not moving.)
Me: Stella, it appears you’ve lost your groove.
Stella: Girl, please. You’re the one with the groove issue here.
This went for so long that I finally asked Sheppard to come into the ring with me to show me what I was doing wrong.
Two things stood out.
1. I had jumbled up the rope I was holding in my hand. Rather than holding it in a neat fashion, my tool was a mess. That represented what was going on in my head. (Truer words never spoken.)
2. The movements I was making with my arms and my body to convince the horse to go, while they felt huge to me, were actually very small.
Stella wanted me to tell her what to do. She wanted to trust me.
I wasn’t giving her reason to.
And Guess What?
After we worked through those pieces, once I really took note of what Stella was showing me, I figured it out.
By the time my session was over, I’d had Stella galloping around the ring as fast as she could go.
I could slow her down, I could speed her up, I could change her direction and I could make her stop.
I was in control.
And if I left with anything that day, I left knowing that I haven’t even begun to tap into the power I have to affect positive change in this world.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we’re going to rock this out.
Fasten your seatbelt. This is about to get really good.