Every once in awhile we have a person who comes in who is simply petrified of horses! Susan was one of those few. We watched her face as her team was left with only one horse left to choose from, a hanoverian thoroughbred (a tall black horse) named Kokanee. Her eyes widened. Kari immediately read the body language and asked if she was ok.
“NO!” She sputtered! “I’m afraid of a dog, a cat, a hamster! Kari I’m afraid of a fly! I can’t do this!”. Kari facilitated the situation and it was decided that we would go get a horse that is a little smaller for her. In cam Jordy, our much smaller curly horse.
Even still, Susan kept her distance, only brushing with her arm fully extended to it’s greatest length. As the program went on, Susan kept the brush with her, almost as a safety blanket as she cautiously moved throughout the arena.
Susan and her partner were both planners and analytical thinkers. Once they got to the point they could get to an obstacle they would begin to plan. And plan. And plan some more. To the point where Jordy the horse was beginning to fall asleep. With that que we were able to step in and facilitate the situation. The group FINALLY decided they needed to take action. So they woke Jordy up, moved him to the obstacle and quickly proceeded to go right back to planning. What did Jordy do? He laid down. Right in the middle of the obstacle! The team laughed and laughed and when asked what Jordy was saying they said “That we need to make a bloody decision and take some action!!!”
Then something amazing happened. As Jordy laid down on the ground, Susan planted herself right beside him. It was stunning, overcoming her fear had made her feel strong and powerful and her teammate wept for her, knowing truly how much it meant to Susan in her life.
It is truly amazing, when we trust in the teaching of these majestic creatures, there is nothing they can’t teach us.