Horses’ wisdom surpasses that of our human counterparts in so many ways. They have been on this planet for more than 50 million years and have a quiet, deep wisdom that we can learn a lot from – if only we can truly listen. I incorporate horses in my systemic coaching and share more about this approach below.
Horses have an innate ability to be truly present
Horses have a lot more to teach us than we perhaps give them credit for. They have been on this planet for more than 50 million years, they are non-predatory, and typically live in a herd. One of their most profound teachings for humans, is their ability to operate across multiple dimensions simultaneously. They are masterful teachers of how to be fully present whilst also being attentive to needs (their own, as well as the needs of the rest of their herd). In addition to being fully present, they are constantly scanning their surroundings for confirmation of safety.
They exist, and have survived, because they operate from a ‘we’ context – they know how to leverage the wisdom and strengths from within the herd, and interdependency is key. They are continually shifting roles within the herd, for the sake of the herd – they operate to consistently seek and maintain completeness or wholeness of the collective.
Feedback comes quickly and in many forms
In their interactions with humans, horses are instantaneously assessing our reliability and dependability. They can very quickly sense if there is something missing, different or needing attention, in order that we can be whole (and able to leverage all of our resources) and therefore fully available. They pick up the most subtle of signals, especially incongruence (a disconnect between what we are saying and what our body is communicating and/or feeling). As humans, we have dumbed down this capability and often completely miss these signals within ourselves and in others. This feedback from the horses is often available within a very short period of time.
Systemic coaching with horses offers a way of working – a means that often gets to the heart of an issue very quickly and provides intense feedback, in a safe environment. In their highly attuned sensing, horses can give us vital information and it is in this context, that they can be powerful partners in the field of systemic coaching.
One of my fellow systemic coaches, based in the Netherlands, describes this profound way of working in this TEDex talk below:
A working example of systemic horse coaching
For humans to have a healthy flow, we need to have a healthy regard and respectful inclusion of all aspects of our past – this can sometimes require some interventions, such as releasing ‘old patterns’. In addition, a realistic acknowledgement of our present is required. The combination and healthy integration of both these aspects, enables us to be fully resourced and ready to face (and step into) our emergent future – in a way that allows us to harness our highest potential.
In a recent systemic horse-coaching session, Zander is partnering with me to help the client work out what she needs to face, acknowledge and connect differently with from her past.
As you’ll see in the video below, he has some very poignant messages for her. By identifying, facing and including these, she was able to leverage resources and prepare herself to move forward and step into her own emergent future with more confidence.
If you’d like more information on this approach or have an issue that you’d like to work through in a safe and effective environment, please feel free to get in touch with me.