Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Like Bread & Butter: The Gift of Being One with Your Horse

It's been a bit of a bummer that in the last month before heading to CA, Serendipity, my life horse, started to show more pronounced breathing difficulties, leading to a diagnosis of heaves. This of course, makes getting her fit to have fun, a bit of a challenge.

Yet, we still had to make a little progress towards fitness, so in the final week before leaving, I brought my 22 year old Soul Friend out to ride.

As I mounted her bareback, I felt a little apologetic, telling her, "I'm sorry. I know you aren't feeling all that great, but we've got to get you a bit stronger for our upcoming beach adventures. I promise, it will just be a short ride."

"Oh, it's no big deal. I could carry you all day long. I've carried you my whole life: It's like we're bread & butter!," she replied.

"Ha! Bread & butter?!," I asked, not quite sure what she meant.

"Well yeah, bread easily carries a thin coating of butter, and it's like they belong together. The two become One. And both are better together. The bread doesn't worry about carrying the butter, it's no big whoop!"

"No big whoop, eh?!," I replied.

"Yup, no big whoop!", she affirmed and off we went as she showed me that energetically, it's like her back has my body programmed into it, like she KNOWS how to carry me, because we've been together almost as long as she's been alive.

And with that I relaxed into the peaceful, rocking sensation of becoming One with this magnificent being who has been my best friend for almost 20 years, knowing that we belong together as surely as bread & butter!

"But not peanut butter and jelly," she spoke at the end of the ride, "that's an entirely different metaphor!"


May your summer be filled with the deepest levels of closeness with your most precious horse friends! And may we ALL get the gift of feeling like Bread & Butter with our Horses!

When have you felt most at One with your horse(s)? Please share in the comments below.

Mares in the Mist: Equine-Inspired Poetry!

If you love horses & poetry and the feelings of inspiration that both of them can give you, this offering is for you!  

One of our readers, Fotini Walton of the Big Red Barn in Canada, has produced a lovely book of equine-inspired poetry that captures the essence of what horses offer through this work we partner with them to offer the world!

Below, enjoy an example...

~ Mares in the Mist ~

As they emerge from the fog,
On this late winter day,
They bring stories of the past,
A glimpse into the history.
Not only of the horses,
But of the land that they walk,
They'd have stories to tell,
If only the could talk.
If only we would listen,
We may hear their inner voice,
Perhaps that is why they remain silent,
Thus giving us the freedom of choice.
Do we want to hear,
The stories they wish to share?
Only you can answer this question,
As you see into the eyes of the mares.

About the author: Fotini Walton
Fotini has been fascinated by horses since she was a little girl. ‎ She has also been a writer since childhood. She combines her two passions of art and horses through her poetry publications: "Words from the Herd" and "Words from the Heart" (available on and Fotini is the founder of non-profit organization, The Big Red Barn, a place for self-discovery through the healing arts (yoga, mindfulness, expressive art) and, of course, horses! 

For more information, please visit Fotini at

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Mistake IS the Message: The Gift of Humiliation, The Power of Perspective

The symposium always offers many Ah-HA moments of Opening. For me, one of the biggest lessons this time was: TRUST the Universe, it has Magic in store!

We opened the symposium Saturday morning with the Horses saying it is time for us to take the Unity Principle to the next level (see video of that message here). Little did I know that they had a cool trick up their sleeve to let us know our group was making progress already! And it came wrapped up in an uncomfortable emotional experience: Humiliation!!!!

On Saturday evening, we had a wonderful shamanic drum circle where we enacted a Fire Releasing Ceremony.  Everyone wrote down on one piece of paper what they were ready to release and on another, what they were claiming. Then, one by one, with the support of the drum beats, we approached a 3-flamed candle and burned the papers in a symbolic ceremony of stepping into our Next Best.

I went towards the end of the procession and I had been watching the burning, thinking it seemed simple enough. Actually, it wasn't all that easy! As I crouched before the flame and offered my papers, in quick succession, I accidentally doused out 2 of the 3 flames!

Yikes!  I was especially mortified to realize there was NO way to relight the wicks! We were down to ONE flame.

Honestly, I'm not sure why, but as I peered around wondering how many people noticed, I felt so embarrassed! My monkey mind chattered, "Dr. Jenn couldn't get this right! And almost ended the whole darn thing!"

As I returned to the edge of the circle, in my embarrassment, I shared what had happened with the lovely Equus coaches, Maureen and Marlene of Unbridled Coaching. In typical Maureen style, she said, "Well which one doused the flame?!"

And I realized it had been my fear that snuffed out the light. Oh, yay! It was gone, transmuted. And in one moment of perspective-shifting, I was able to release my embarrassment and feel grateful for a shift.

As I sat in that better-feeling state of gratitude, I suddenly opened into the deeper meaning behind it all:

The three flames had become ONE.  It was a SIGN the horses were sharing that the group was making progress toward our goal: UNITY.

HA! I had to laugh out loud at that!!! Here I was feeling all humiliated for no good reason when really, the Mistake was the Message!

Hidden in what appeared to be a mistake, was really a deep sign that ALL is WELL, that we are becoming ONE, that UNITY is upon us for the asking! Woo-hoo!!!

But I did have to SHIFT perspectives from the uncomfortable emotion to be able to access the Truth. And that happened from the power of a simple COACHING question. So thank you Maureen, for that powerful shift!

Hidden in many "mistakes" is a deeper message or learning. When we become open to what is wanting to open within us, we can access the true gift in the moment.

When has a "mistake" held an Ah-Ha Opening for you???
What helped you make that Shift?
Please share in the comments below!

2015 Symposium Opening Message from the Herd: Essence is the Answer!

Every year as I prepare my offerings for the Symposium, I tune into the herd to see what THEY want YOU to know!

This year, the horses are clear: They want you to EMBODY your ESSENCE, so that you can offer your soul gifts to the world through your very Presence!

Below, in the opening message of the 2015 Healing with Horse Symposium, we explain more.

Please excuse the sound quality of the video. Due to the camera's location, you WILL feel like you are part of the audience. But once we get started, you'll be able to hear me! :)

Onward & upward sharing your Essence!!!

Did you see the Picture Gallery from the Symposium?
Visit them below.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Please share: What is YOUR Essence that you are ready to offer the planet alongside of horses? Please leave a comment below!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

2015 Symposium Photo Gallery, Part 1: Friday's Epic Opening Events

Welcome to the Powerful and Play-filled 2015 Healing with Horse Symposium, May 2015, Denver, where over 80 equine facilitators from all over the US, Canada and the world gathered to empower each other to EXPAND their practice with horses!

Hosted at the Beautiful Zuma's Rescue Ranch lovingly run by Jodi & Paul Messenich, home of our Symposium for the 3rd year!

To kick-off our wonderful journey into Essence, my power sign, the Rainbow, graced us with magical energy, opening doorways into potent energies for transformation!

We were blessed to have Trish Broersma, one of the founding voices in our field, be with us and offer her guiding light several times over the weekend. The festival began Friday with a pre-symposium workshop on the founding principles of Trish's program, Journey Horse.

Trish gave a lovely demonstration of the beauty of Liberty work as a portal of connection that can ideally prepare healing horses for offering their best gifts during sessions. Here is liberty-horse Atticus enjoying some carrots, as a way for Trish to claim Territory. Her liberty work is based on the Waterhole Rituals of Carolyn Resnick.

Here participants greeted 4 horses and tuned into what messages they each held for them. It's always amazing to see what can be learned when approaching 4 different horses!

The day finished off with an exercise in Group Story-Sharing. Each small group was given time to create a 5 minute story to share with the whole group, including a horse as group member. Many groups chose a story which reflected the Hero's Journey, a powerful model to make meaning of life's challenges.

One group narrated and acted out the Hero's Journey in a powerful way, with the wonderful Wilma as horse guide! See below...

Friday Evening's Opening Event began with a Snack Social, the perfect opportunity to begin making soul-ful connections!

Afterward, setting the stage for our soul-ful connection with horses, Trish also kicked off our weekend with a powerful guided journey through our history with horses, on Friday evening.

Here, Calling in the Directions.

Beginning with a wonderful song that Tiffany MacNeil wrote with the horses!

Next, we walked backward through time to experience humanity's history with horses. The energy of the horses was SO powerful this evening, that I was tearful the whole time! The horses are SO GRATEFUL that humans finally understand the GIFTS they are offering with their Presence!

What a beautiful way to kick-start our soul-filled journey with the Heart of Horses!

Continue to Part 2: Saturday's Symposium journey here.

2015 Symposium Photo Gallery, Part 2: Saturday's Extraordinary Events

See Part 1: Friday, here.

Saturday continued with a moving message from the Herd encouraging you to EMBODY your ESSENCE, so that through your very Presence, you can offer your Soul's Gift to the World!

We continued with an informative group session lead by Linda-Ann Bowling of Unbridling Your Brilliance in Canada, who helped us experiment with how we hold our bodies- which is a profound doorway for transformation. Your whole personality is expressed through the way you move in your body, so shift your body, shift your life!

Of course, the horses are excellent at showing us HOW we show up in our bodies!

The day continued with morning small group sessions with the horses. Shall we take a peek at a few of them?

Lisa Murrell of Equine Alchemy shared the wisdom of COACHING with horses using an International Coach Federation Certified model that incorporates the horses.

Here she helps a participant tune into her body with a scan and a heart's desire before going in the the herd. 

Due to the unpredictable weather, the Equine Alchemy session continued inside with MINI's Missy & Mariah!!! Thank goodness, because look how powerful they are as healers!!!

Cynthia Rank Ballas of Healing with Horses in NM lead a fun session on Activating Your Somatic Superhero to Slay your Fear!!! Putting on your super hero TAIL to find and feel you power was a highlight of the session.

The afternoon included even more Small Group Sessions! Linda-Ann Bowling showed us how to facilitate a Journey Ride, to invite transformation from the BACK of a horse, which of course includes connecting with your horse partner first, and includes gentle drumming, to help participants drop into The Zone.

Evergreen Amundson also shared about using the Medicine Wheel and incorporating Earth Horse Wisdom into our work!

Saturday was capped off with a wonderful Drumming Circle led by Tammy Cunningham that included a Fire Releasing Ceremony to call in the next level of what we are most ready to embody! Soul-a-rific!!!

I was mortified when it was my turn to burn my fear and invite my greatness, because there were THREE FLAMES in the candle and I managed to accidentally SNUFF out 2 of them!!! Until I remembered that our opening theme was creating UNITY by embodying our ESSENCE and the Horses were showing us that we were already making process by reducing the 3 flames to ONE to reflect UNITY!!!! Woo-hoo!!!

It was a wonderful way to ANCHOR in all of the shifts that had been taking place since we had begun!!!

Continue on to Part 3: Sunday's Soul-ful Opportunities!

2015 Symposium Photo Gallery, Part 3: Sunday's Soul-ful Opportunities!

Did you miss Part 1 or Part 2 of the Photo Gallery?

Sunday continued with some powerful small groups!

Maureen & Marlene of Unbridled Coaching came back this year and shared the Equus Coaching perspective on Passion! Play! & Purpose! We got a bird's eye view of the Herding exercise and how to coach using Byron Katie's questions. Insights!!!

Is there a way to do this work that totally honors the horse AND creates real shifts for clients? YES, there sure is and Lizzy Meyer of Whole Horse Consulting offered a powerful paradigm shift that focused on how to structure a Sacred Session to ensure the Horse's well-being. Here they set Sacred Space by introducing the Drum to the horses.

Lizzy is a passionate advocate for ensuring the well-being of the horses we ask to partner with us during this healing work, to ensure it uplifts, not drains, them, so they can offer their best to our clients! She is available to consult with you on your herd too! Looks like this horse agrees!

Ever wonder what it would be like to see the world through the senses of the horse? Darlene Elsbury of Unbridled Hearts led her group through a series of multi-sensory experiences so they could see what they could learn through the senses of horses!

The afternoon continued with another series of small group activities. Duey Freeman of the Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies always gets rave reviews for the experiential way they work with attachment through powerful interpersonal experiences and interactions on top of the horse!

Schelli Whitehouse took her herd outside to tune into more powerful ways to market their business through practicing Professional Presence!

Carol Crisp introduced us to the ways in which the Emotion Code can be used to help horses, humans, and the relationship between humans & their horses! This was one powerful session, where BIG emotions were cleared for both horses & humans. What a blessing to bear witness to such beauty.  Thanks to Calvin, for his magnificent white gelding presence! Carol offers remote sessions if you feel you or your horse may have some stuck emotions! You can also learn more about the Emotion Code in Dr. Nelson Bradley's book.

Below Carol uses a magnet rolling over an energy meridian to release the emotion in both human and horses. 

Here are some wonderful words from John who experienced this beautiful session with Calvin, pictured above.

"Hi Dr. Jenn, Wanted to follow up on your suggestion to let you know how amazing my day with all of you was. First of all there were so many trails that led me to the festival, none that could be denied. I was destined to be there for multiple reasons.

As many of us (light workers) are waking up to assist in raising the energy consensus of ourselves and the planet, our paths to that realization become clearer. I’m not sure if you saw the picture that I had of a painting I bought a year and a half ago that has the essence of Calvin all over it. So as you know the universe is right on and the divine connection is always on time. That picture was one of many confirmations that I am on the right path for me.

As for my experience with Carol and Calvin I can confirm that it was genuine, the feelings and truth were right on with everything. I could feel the release of stuck energy in my being when Carol was working with Calvin and then even more with me.

When my father showed up and wanted to help release generational guilt that was extremely powerful. I will always be grateful for the experience and to feel his presence again.
It is clear to me that Calvin stirred up something in my heart when he (Calvin) showed up in the circle. He spoke to me with his big heart and called me to have courage, to not hold back. His lesson was profound and he has had a major impact on my well-being.  I am convinced that this noble knight and I have connected before perhaps in another lifetime. Although I have always had a big heart this opened my heart even more by removing stuck energies that have been there for 44 years.  My sweet wife has commented on how much more at peace I seem since last Sunday and I definitely feel it inside.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for your part in having this amazing weekend for all of us looking to remember how connected we are to each other and everything."
With much gratitude,
John Schonewill

Sunday day wrapped up with a wonderful guided experience into our own Hero's Journey to release what stood in the way of expressing our Essence, led by Trish Broersma, author of Riding into Your Mythic Life, in which a version of this exercise is featured.

The activity ended with each participant announcing their Hearts Desire as they dropped it into a crystal bowl, with the horse's offering their blessings!

We were blessed to have Tiffany MacNeil lead the group in a song, so we could combine our voices into ONE voice, through the hearts of horses! You can hear some of her equine-inspired music on Horses & Music for the Soul.

The inspiration didn't end there! It continued for TWO more days for the group of folks who gathered for Equine Alchemy's post-symposium workshop on launching your equine assisted offering. Lisa Murrell and Schelli Whitehouse continued the empowerment alongside of the horses!

One of their participants, Bobbi, even fell in love with Rumi and decided to adopt him. She'll bring him home to the east coast later this summer! HAPPY endings for ALL!

Healers come in all shapes & sizes, below meet some of the other residents at Zumas Ranch, who can lift your heart!

HUGE THANKS to Zumas, all the horses, facilitators, participants and helpers who made the 3rd annual Healing with Horses symposium an EPIC EQUINE-ASSISTED EXTRAVAGANZA of Upliftment & Empowerment. Here's to YOU offering your Soul's Gift to the world, alongside of our dear friends, the horses!