Equine facilitated course – day 2

So after waking up and getting ready I set off I can’t say I was keen to go. However one of the things we’d agreed in our group contract was that we would stay in the group and not run away- it’s easier to stay in the group than run off and have to re-enter it. 

I usually really enjoy the journey to the farm. It’s in the countryside and has lovely views, however as I got closer the tears started and so did the fear. A fear of what, I’m not sure but the anxiety was definitely increasing. On arrival I got a much needed hug and a well done for turning up- something I really needed. 

During check in my emotions we’re building. Check in isn’t done in any particular order you just share as you are ready. Quite a few people were feeling positive after the day before, I definitely wasn’t. 

I left my turn until the end and then just couldn’t say anything, I just sat there tears properly streaming. The lady next to me moved her chair close and put her arm around me and all I could say was that my exit was now blocked – I’m definitely a runner! All I could think of was wanting to escape and telling everyone to f-off and leave me alone- something I often do when I’m vulnerable and need support. 

I didn’t really get much further just holding onto everything and it all looping in my head and sending out the bigger off vibe. The group leader then suggested we have a group hug. Me still stuck in my chair and everyone else putting their hands on me. A bizarre feeling with me just wanting to escape and become invisible. The heat from the person that practises reiki was a bit bizarre though. Another lady just said she could feel me being torn. The coach just reinforcing that I was loved unconditionally, something a feel hard to accept, I guess I’m always trying to hide some part of me from the world. A couple of others getting a sore throats reflecting me not being able to talk through what I feeling. I can’t say I really moved on from this point and kind of just went into shut down. 

We then were asked to pick a piece of paper out of a cup (each had a horses name in). I picked B-J. That’s not an abbreviation for what you might think! His name is Black Jack. Born black is is now white with a laminitic neck. He is a gorgeous kind pony who I’ve work with quite a bit volunteering. 

So out I go into the field with the sub- coach to catch Black Jack who is already standing near the gate in the very muddy field. Whilst out in the field I get talking to the coach about what this thing could be that’s got me stuck in the teenage phase. Well there is something that happened when I was about 15 1/2. I guess I’ve removed any emotional detachment to it and don’t think there were any emotions there anyway. So I share this with the coach and she begins to explore the emotions with me, but as per usual the port gillis goes down and the padlocks on. I ask to take Black Jack into the school where we are going to be working and the other lady has already caught the horse she picked and has started working with him. There’s a massage bed in one half of the arena with blankets on it that I’m going to be on. 

I walk toward the arena feeling like there’s this giant spotlight in the sky full of expectation. As soon as I get through the get the horse starts bucking like he’s trying to kick everyone out of the way. I’m asked to take his head collar off. As soon as I do he ducks under the rope used to separate the school into 2 and runs away. Hmm, definitely reflecting what I’m feeling then. 

I’m asked to sit on the massage bed. The plan is to bring the pony back into my side of the arena. The rope is strung around 2 barrels leaving 3 gaps of just rope and 3 members of the team are asked to stand in the gaps to make sure BJ doesn’t do a runner again when he’s brought back in. When he does come back in though he’s walked around the arena with a lead rope around his neck being supported to stay in. When this comes off he walks towards the rope and towards the one person who is scared of horses. 

Now we’re all aware this lady is scared of horses and she has been given a water spray bottle (the type you spray plants with). These are often used with the animals as they’re harmless but are easy to use to put a boundary in place when there’s unwanted behaviour. 

You can see as BJ approaches, even though he stops before the rope that she is absolutely petrified. In addition to this, the other horse then comes across from the other side of the arena. Well she is absolutely petrified, we’re all watching willing her to use the spray bottle as it will get her what she wants- for them to move away. However she is completely frozen with fear, scared of what the horses will do next, her eyes flickering from one to the other to try to keep an eye on them both, petrified that if she does spray the water they’ll do something worse. Eventually, after what seems ages for us and must have seemed a life time for her she’s encouraged to spray the water on the floor and from this builds up to spraying it at the horses feet. The horses then move away. This was a really powerful image to me of knowing what you need to do but just not being able to do it because of your fears of what might be, I’m hoping holding into it will help me. 

So then the spotlight’s back on me, which obviously I hate. I talked in the field about wanting to be invisible and this is one of this moments. I speak to the main coach about what is spoke about on the field and I guess I’m starting to acknowledge that might be why I’m stuck in this teenage stage. The coach walks away to get out of my energy space and I’m asked to praise myself to encourage Black Jack to come over. I guess my tactic isn’t to directly praise myself but just to stop holding onto stuf and to be more open. This seems to work as the horse starts coming over to me. There’s a big dog laying down by my feet which eventually moves to let the horse get closer until it’s about a metre away. My mind wanders slightly to what I was talking to the coach about, I’m not sure if this was promoted by the coach asking questions or not. As I’m thinking about it the lady who has spoken about a similar situation becomes overwhelmed with nausea and turns away. As soon as this happened the horse runs off. I guess my feelings were that if she’s not alright with things how can I possibly be. 

We ended the session with the horse there and broke for lunch. I can’t say I felt I’d made much progress and felt I bit empty, either that or I’m just not sure what I felt. 

After lunch I sat down with another lady and we tried to decide what our personal contracts would be. I settled on trying to find out what the 10% was that was blinking me from letting people close and the support from the group was to be unconditional love- basically not f-img off when I told them to!

So contract done and we checked out for the day. I can’t say I felt great, the prospect of change is easy, but I want to do it and I need to do it. 

That evening I had a friend round for dinner.  Bless her, she suggested I get on top of something I’d meant to do a couple of months ago and I basically told her to f-off and her timing was really shit- good job she’s an amazing friend!


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