Part of any EAGALA training is taking part in the activities yourself and so I was watching what was coming up and selected what I thought would be a simple one which wouldn’t be too difficult and then my bit would be done. So when they asked for volunteers to get a horse (s) over an obstacle without touching the horse (I may remember wrongly) , no bribing and without talking, I thought easy and was there. So it proved, with us linking arms together and with one of the ladies walking by the horse it was easily done, the only problem was the group deciding if finished. It was the end of day and we all went home and I didn’t give it another thought.
It was only the next day , when we met again that everything suddenly hit me as others shared their experiences. One lady had been blown away by the whole experience and I’d never noticed. For once I had completely lost focus on the horse, I was just in on myself and getting finished, and no-one else. I had felt I knew it all and this was just a simple exercise that meant nothing. I know I’m single-minded, and can really only focus on one area at a time, and now I was showing the traits of the old arrogance – it’s still here. With this, I felt a little low and wanted to touch and rub a horse.
This set me wondering, do I prefer animal contact to people? More affection that way too, due to my untouched childhood? Do I have a need to touch and feel? I don’t know!!! Then one of the horses came and started blowing down the neck of one of the trainers and I was reminded of when I first came to Austria. Despite all my saying I’d given up horses, I was missing them as they’d been so much part of my life. I met Edda, who took me to visit her horses and as we went across the field, this huge thoroughbred youngster came up to me and snuffled my hair and I just stood there and felt the comfort of the touch, his interest in me, and was so grateful and touched, I felt rejuvenated. Then at the training, the Shetland pony who was in charge of hospitality came up to the woman sitting in front of me and began snuffling her – I was so jealous! I was needing that too, then he came to me, snuffled and lipped the side of my face so it was wet – I had to laugh, I’d got double the dose! Watching these people I was with, all touching, scratching and communicating with the horses, I suddenly realised I wasn’t alone. And that was the greatest peace giver of all, I’m not alone in this bond with horses and from at that moment I was at peace. If this work can do this for me, what more can it do for those in real pain and damage? How much more when this therapy is used to start God‘s healing?
- ‘Horse therapy saved me from a very dark place’ (guardian.co.uk)