Category Archives: Coaching
The lessons in this last year have been amazing! With the new awareness’s that each day brings to me, as I open up to the things, remembrances from my past awaken in me to see, choose, change, and play with until I find the gift that is always there. Brought to the present in my day to day events which cause the miracle of changes in both Scoozi and myself. This month marks almost a year since my abrupt departure on my twenty second ride on her.
Caused my willingness to stop doing anything until I totally understood myself, my dreams, my intentions, my reasons and my true feelings into “Why” did I get to this point I such an explosive fashion? Where and was I intending to go on the same way? And how much of any of this came from being true to myself, or from pleasing others, unseen except in mind… the mindless crowd?
This morning’s sudden desire to share, came after I was reconstructing a new candle holder and playing with the aspect of making this new container, practical, able to hold the candle upright and safe from the cats being able to accomplish dislodging it from my desk to another shattered mishap on the floor.
As I was melting another candle to fill in the smaller hole on the bottom. The impulse to add a little color and extra fill for the hole, sent me for the smooth, colorful, clear, flat stones the cats had discovered to utilize for their nightly game of keep-away from one another.
After I filled the bottom, I thought it would be a nice touch to have a row of them in the space around the edge of the glass. Though this proved a interesting trying to be careful, executed experience of sliding the flat on one side of the stones down the sides of the vase into place with the big candle already adhered to the wax below.
In the experimenting with how to maneuver each stone in place, I kept catching small bits of the very soft natural wax, to smear on the sides of the glass… and a memory found me from a few years back when I took one of my students to her first ever exhibition.
This student (about 21) was learning to be astride a horse, in public, in an event that eventually utilizes speed, learning to control her fears of being run away with, being bucked off, being humiliated and a host of other mind terrors which she had previously encountered and come to me to work through. For her to actually accomplish 5 trips in and safely out of the arena with 2 times at a walk, 2 at a trot, and the last time comfortably at a lope… so excited and proud of herself.
To then as she is sitting there beaming, have an older lady come up and critique her on the clothes she was wearing and how from “up in the announcer’s stand” the male announcer could see down her shirt… humiliation at its best.
Her parents thankfully were in hearing range of the entire incident and attempted to make light of it. And even with the conversation about how what others said, especially since none of those comments had anything to do with all of the fears she had worked her way through, how much she had managed to accomplish… none of the good mattered. She decided to quit trying to compete, to be open, to breathe in her new found success.
My awareness of the looks of my new candle holder took on an entirely new perspective… It’s my first time playing with wax. It’s in my house for me. If I never get back to cleaning up all the smears… me and the candle don’t care because the candle still burns brightly and smells amazing.
Looks don’t mean anything. I understand that feelings, inside… are EVERYTHING. Managing our own feelings…no matter what the outside world says or does is the most important thing.
I am so appreciative of this last year and what I have learned… I don’t need to defend or explain anything I’m doing, have done or will do. Because I now choose to live every moment in what feels and works best for me. I am learning to coach, train and teach from the new standpoint of “It is what it is” What others think or say “DOES NOT MATTER” The feelings inside are everything. People are everywhere… EXCEPT INSIDE OF MY HEAD. It is ME and Only Me Who gets to choose HOW I REACT!
I bless you are feeling fully present.
May the space of time you read this post in, also be time you take to breathe a little deeper. May it invite you to allow yourself to consciously receive love, from God, Source, All That Is and Me to you.
I am at peace here. My months of clearing, cleaning, and reestablishing my priorities for Me… Found me meditating, reflecting and spending many hours soaking up the time of re-discovering my true self with the joy in just being in my life and with my horses.
The first part of this year I was beginning my journey with Scoozi. With our series of starts, stops, stalls, flips and an abrupt dismount. I started to ask myself a lot of questions about what it is that “I truly do and have always wanted to do with my life”? How could I best serve in a way that is useful, unique, and true to me? In a way that felt…. right… fun and all ME!.
This time allowed me to truly look at, revise and reassess my past experiences. Finding the best way to see each memory that came to mind. Aware from my recent reminder of Wayne Dyer’s “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” A new, deeper list of self intentions was born.
Because I have become so clear in my desire to listen to my deepest dreams. To truly connect with my horses despite a very busy world of suggestions, directions, ultimatums and others ideas for me. I was able to align with my innate truth without allowing the world to distract me.
I have becoming more fluent in Horse/Human/Self connection. Aware of my old buried roots of intuitively knowing how to truly listen, feel, and connect with horses and peoples “feelings”… Because I know so thoroughly about shutting down my own personal unique ideas, for the reasoning’s from others. “Shut up, do this, wear that, because they said so.”
I have become more fluent in Self… Owning my walk, talk, looks, dreams, desires and abilities.
Supporting others by truly listening to what they hope they are saying. Versus what their bodies, inflections and words are actually communicating. Assisting them in finding their truth, their voice, their own unique signatures and styles.
I am back, and aligned with my true self. Sharing this because it’s so important to carve out time to listen to one’s heart whisper, to listen and discover… what is calling.
To recognize having a desire to learn something, to align with a cause, to start something new, or and this one is tricky – to let someone or something go…
Be brave, dear one, trust your gut…
Drop the current narrative for just a moment.
Listen… your heart is calling you.
And watch for the magic that unfolds!
Ahh… the simple question of a child. The ten year old at lessons yesterday so intent on getting right the timing with her horse, stopped suddenly in tears of frustration. “I’m so stupid!! She’s not even trying to listen to me and do what I say. We are never going to get this right, I don’t even know why we come here. Stupid horse, stupid heat, stupid ground. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Ms Cat why do you even come out here with us?” Tears rolling down her face, in the 96 degree weather on a hot Thursday afternoon in Texas.
With only attempting one new move, a tiny shift in her posture to re-learn after my noticing her growth spurt of the last few weeks. After taking the time to adjust her stirrups and explain how it would help her sit and feel better. I told her “just takes a little while to get used to”. Watching her face as I demonstrated how those 2” of adjustment were now going to allow her to be able to sit deeper in the saddle, to feel her horse up under her. She would no longer be crouched forward in trying to keep her stirrups in place caused by her growing legs adjusting to fit in the saddle, instead of adjusting the saddle to fit her.
All the excitement of “hope” that this would be the cure-all for the problems found in the last few weeks since her previous lesson, showing in her face after the adjustments were completed. She proceeded to walk through the simple warm-ups she has been learning, to see if the little mare was following her feel. Listening, turning and moving together easily and smoother than minutes before.
Smiling from ear to ear she moved into the trot… for it all to seem to come apart. The horse dropping in to turn, the small hands trying to compensate with all of the thoughts running through her mind of “what it was she thought she understood she was trying to do”. By the third attempt all of the tears, frustration and indignation surfaced from all the time her mother said she had been working on it at home. They came boiling to the surface in the tirade that ended in the needed to be answered question.
I let the tirade run its course. Looked at her and asked “Why do you think I am still out here with you?”
She reached down petting her horse and apologizing to her for being so darn stupid and mad. Then looking at me, took her hand made it into the letter L (I use here to symbolize learning) held it at the front of her head and said “Because you love helping us to learn! You care about having fun. Fun for me, my horse, for you and that we are comfortable, confident and safe!”
And… I queried? “Baby steps!” Suddenly her face lit up as she remembered, “Ms Cat this is what practice is for, so I can learn it slowly, for it to become easy for me and her. I don’t have to get it perfect, just improve a teeny, tiny, bit, have fun, be safe and breathe!”
I then asked her “What do you think is wrong?” As she sat there thinking for her answer. I watched as the tension was released in first her fingers, then her body as she became more relaxed in the saddle. The mare’s head dipped, the reins became soft, with a cocked her hind foot as calmness returned.
“I don’t know… can you explain it to me better?” I thought about the maneuvers she was making and where I saw the improvement might be made, and then I asked her to explain what she thought she was trying to do. Listening as I heard her explanation, aware of her understanding what she thought I was saying, verses what I was intending for her to do. Aware of the discrepancy in words, I immediately switching to my physical mode of teaching, by allowing her to see and really “feel” the movement of the horse step by step in the best position for this mare’s physique and her young rider. Mimicking with my body the movement of the horse in the correct position with hindquarters engaged and the frustrating feel of the horse when dropping to turn, causing the hind legs stepping out, with no collection. To have the thrill of within just a few simple, really slow steps, she was getting her body in sync with the little mare at a walk, then an extended walk, to finally one simple circled trot to the right, then to the left with both moving together, upright and connected, all smiles and scratches for her mare.
The Wayne Dyer’s quote “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!” came up a lot this last week. Reading questions and concerns on a few horse sites I belong to from so many owners and riders who in learning new ways are having the same disconnection of words to physical action seen with this student earlier. When she allowed her emotions to come boiling up, and thankfully flowing out of her body for relief. Instead of the learned habit many experience in “feeling not good, pretty, successful, happy, rich etc… enough”. Many asking for help… to find tons of advice and suggestions. Not aware of how much their “not enough” feelings about what they are attempting are the limiting factor. The negative self talk, then internalizing the feelings into walls of doubt that seem impossible to overcome. Aware also of how many words there are out there to describe a movement, a place, a desire, a need… the words are only as capable as the feeling of possible or not possible as the understanding behind them.
In assisting my clients and their animals I’ve learned to listen to the question asked and the feeling accompanying it is. Slowing things down, hearing what they think, how they feel and what is the thing inside so tangled as to be creating this confusion of “I need the whole thing now!” Not the fun and joy of feeling the music in learning and creating their own dance. Teaching for me is awareness, breathing, learning and fun along with others on this journey!
When you think you know what it is you do and suddenly find yourself fully engulfed having fun changing lives in ways you never quite imagined or have ever explained to another…
In the last few weeks of my working with horses and their owners I was suddenly, almost magically transported to a keen insight into what it is I am actually doing in my “supposed” line of work as a horse trainer/coach. I am a transformer.
I have owners bring me their problems… horses, fears, ideals and dreams. Their horses that have stopped working, are barely moving, running away and are in conflict with what is being expected, or are totally refusing to “behave”.
I evaluate the communication between horse and rider, finding the clues to the mistakes. Many times because the horse’s body is out of alignment. The owner’s timing is off. The horse has never been asked or taught how to move in ways that are comfortable much less correct, and with no idea of how to ask with the rider’s body for the expected results with their horse.
I assist people in learning to connect in the horse’s body language of communication, how much difference it makes to a horse to move in a way that the horse can flow in any direction that is desired when the person asking is in the right place. Even more so to be able to bring to the owner’s awareness that many of the horses brought to me have been started or handled by well-meaning individuals who are not aware of what incredible mimics’ horses are. That every minute you are handling a horse you are teaching it something! What you do want or what you don’t want. For horses focus and live in the now, they are not thinking of ten minutes ago, are where they will be tomorrow.
Their focus on present is so keen, that if they are asked to move in any way that causes the one moving them to stop moving. They accept the non-movement as this last movement they have done was the right answer.
I have had three horses in the last four days that are older horses, who have no idea how to lope confidently on the ground with a lead attached, much less under saddle. These horses all show the signs of being ridden by people that had no idea that everything they asked a horse to do, even if it put the horse’s body out of balance. It had to be the right answer because one of several things would happen. The horse would stop moving, slow down to a more in control speed, the rider would stop pulling, yanking, kicking, lose the rider, or would quit and put the horse away. Many times selling the horse because they didn’t know how to fix the problem they had created.
I assist owners in becoming aware of how everything going on with their horses is a reflection of something in the owner’s confidence in communication. Horses and their owners’ bodies are evaluated, for chiropractic, feet, emotional and communication abilities. Many times as in the present horses… I go all the way back to simple, basic baby steps. In assisting the horse to find trust in my ability to ask with the right feel and timing for the best answer for the horse, then by showing and teaching this to the rider to start a whole new form of communication. Teaching and coaching both with their ability to understand and work with each other to change the habits that have brought them to me.
Always I watch with fascination and joy as a horse learns to lose the brace from frustrated, fearful handling because of all the misunderstanding in trying to figure out what is desired of them, and that it is possible to do these movements in a much more comfortable and easy way. I show both how to communicate comfortably, safely, and effectively in a way that they both understand and can feel that they must move as a team, each one’s job is to be in a position to assist the other the best placement of their bodies, so they can now find a new way to react that feels and works better for the both of them.
Many times taking former “washed up, bad, blown up” horses, and frustrated, fearful riders. Back to performing winners, comfortable, and confident companions, by getting all to slow down, communicate, trust and “ask” each other to be the incredible partner they had both been seeking and believing possible when they first came to me. I love my job, the people and the horses that grace my life.