Lessons from the Queen Horse

Mar 03, 2022

A post from waaaaay back—March 1, 2014

In my Equine Gestalt Coaching program we’ve been working on our values—toward and away. Toward values are the things we live by, the things that are the most important to us. Away values are things you avoid feeling within yourself. My top two toward values are intuition and healing (in all ways, physically, emotionally, spiritually.) My intention is to  live my life by my intuition and my desire to help people find their own healing. My top away value is rejection. I hate to feel rejection above all else.
Recently Rayn asked that I bring the kids out to see her so finally Thursday after school we swung by the pasture and walked out to see her. Loreli (9 yeas old) ran up to her chattering away about school, “Guess what Rayn? Today at school I…” Daniel (6 years old) stayed next to me. Rayn put her head in Loreli’s hands, allowing her to pet her face. As Loreli talked to her I moved toward Rayn’s side. I reached out to lay my hand on Rayn’s back and at the same time Daniel moved toward her head (I didn’t realize that). When I touched her she pinned her ears and whipped her head around and Daniel was right there. I yelled, “HEY!” and smacked her shoulder—she stopped but Daniel was pretty shaken up. He looked up at me with big eyes, “Can we leave now Mom?” Loreli really wanted to go explore the adjoining pasture and Daniel decided to go with her instead.

Leaving me with her.

On a good day I recognize anger for what it really is, underlying fear. I wasn’t just angry—I was furious. Not a good day. My fallback: berating. Not a proud moment for me.

“I cannot believe you could do such a thing! He’s just a little boy, he could have gotten hurt, what is wrong with you?!

And the thought eased into my mind, “It wasn’t him, it was you.”

Rejection reared its ugly head: “Oh, okay, it was me. Fine. You didn’t want me touching you. This is becoming a really nasty habit of yours. Yes, damn it, a habit. You are not allowed to pin your ears at me just because I touch you! I can’t believe you think this is okay. Sometimes you have to suck it up and allow things you don’t necessarily want. Oh! I’m so mad at you! What if we were working and that was a client? Not okay!”

Rayn was methodically eating grass, looking at me out of one eye, calm. “This is just awful behavior! That is such a scary response to something so simple."

I stood next to Rayn, quiet finally. She was grazing, took a step toward me and brushed her shoulder against me and pinned her ears again! “Are you kidding me? You did that to yourself!” All I could think was how were we going to work together if she continued like this? I worked myself up into, “What if this became so bad I had to sell her? I’ll have to really work hard on making her act correctly. Re-teaching correct behavior.”

The words I said earlier started to sink in, “Sometimes you have to suck it up and allow things you don’t necessarily want.” Oh dear, that is icky. 

Then the word “scary” popped up. I was scared. Deep breath. What was I scared of? Rejection. When I feel rejected I can go on the attack.

I continued to walk slowly next to her as she was grazing and realized a lesson: I can’t make others accept things.

Then Rayn said, “Live gently. Speak gently.”

That meant something very specific to me: Insisting Rayn let me pet her is like hugging a non-huggy friend every single time you see them. Like insisting your husband give you piggy back rides wherever you go. I’m such a visual person, I see myself yelling at Brad, “I don’t care! Sometimes you have to suck it up and allow things you don’t necessarily want! Give me a piggy back ride!” Haaaa! Can you imagine doing that to a fellow human being? What about our animal friends?

Big lesson. I calmed down. I realized this is the horse that has earned her keep for a lifetime for the miracles she’s taught me. She’s never hurt me. She’s never led me astray.

Then, in one big download of information from Rayn:
“I ‘behave’ when I got to the barn with you. I ‘act correctly’, and do the things that are expected of me. When your friend who was emotionally hurting came out to the pasture with you last week I stood solidly with you to help her. You had your hand on my back and we worked together for her. When you come to my world, I expect the same. No pawing and petting. Watch where I am and where you are. Watch us move together. Watch our levels of asking each other for things and the responses. Learn my expectations and the herd’s expectations and reach for them—just as I do in your world.”

Well damn. A fifty/fifty partnership is what I wanted from the beginning—I’ve not been holding up my end. When I truly take another’s thoughts and feelings into account and adjust my trajectory I will no longer feel rejection.

Upon my realization, Rayn turned, took a step toward me and touched my heart with her muzzle.


I’m still at the beginning of my coaching program and have felt like I had no clue as to what this would all turn into. In talking to one of my coaches today I realized that I have very real, personal experience with the EGCM (Equine Gestalt Coaching Method) coaching. My horse coaches me. It’s my job as a coach to “Get out of my head and into my heart.” (A horse named Remi recently told me that). That has a lot of applications but in this case I need to get out of my old patterns and get out of Rayn’s way and let her work.

We students often say to those who ask what we’ll be doing, “I’ll be a coach. My horse is my co-coach.” Ha. Rayn isn’t my co-coach. She’s the coach. It’s my job to assist the client in their interpretation of her information and to use the tools I learn in the program to help the client find their truth.

The coaching program’s job is to teach me Gestalt methodology and hone my skills in working with healing horses, so I can be quick and clear in hearing and communicating. It’s like working with an angel. A twelve hundred pound angel.

And this is what an Equine Gestalt Coaching session can feel like. The horse’s wisdom: strong, patient, elegant, sophisticated, calm. They know themselves, they want to help us and they are clear in their interactions.

Our job? Be willing to open ourselves to the truth.


Love to all from the Mother Ranch,



Awhile back I went through my old blogs and changed the kid's names (just in case you know us and are wondering, "What the heck?" :-))


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