Every once in a while, I find a children’s book, or pre-teen chapter book, I am drawn to. Often the book is about horses.
I just finished reading ‘Warhorse’. I love how the author wrote the book from the horse Joey’s perspcetive. I appreciate how the author recognized the importance of relationships in Joey’s life. How a relationship makes life meaningful. How the context of our life affects us. How a home base is so necessary. The story also acknowledges the horse’s feelings, and the impact of stress on the body. Of course, the happy ending is also satisfying.
Another favourite I read many years ago is the heart warming story ‘No Small Thing’. It is the story of the relationship between a pony and three siblings. The metaphors in the story tell us how important creative problem solving is, and how nourishing adventure can be, especially when entered into with a buddy. The story is also a reminder to not let circumstances stop you from embracing opportunities that make your heart sing.
At The Equine Connection, we usually read a story, or poem to open our sessions. The metaphors and lessons in good stories are food for the soul. They also provide a lovely introduction to seeing the horses’ body language as the teaching it is. Two of my favourite stories are ‘My Pony’ and ‘The Lost & Found Pony’. The first emphasizes the importance of exercising the imagination, and soothing ourselves via the senses. The second is a tale of a small, brave pony, and his connection to a girl. It is a heroine’s story. Reminding us to write our own life as an adventure we embrace, and to never give up.
Of course a very powerful aspect of equine-assisted learning is hearing the horse’s individual stories. The horses role model ways of living within their specific stories. The energy people pick up from a particular horse is connected to the horse’s personality, and to their life stories. If a person has a similar story, their own energy will resonate with the energy of that particular horse. Because the horses are so good at holding their self-worth, the way they live within their own life story is powerful. If I had to name one common thread to describe the power they emanate, it is how they protect their worth. They know they are valuable, no matter what the circumstances of their lives. They know they are not their life circumstances. A good story can connect us to our own self-worth, as well as give us a surge of power to protect the gift our life is.
Our e-book, Ten Horse Hugs, shares parts of the herd members’ stories.