Horse and Self-Discovery

Posted on January 17, 2011

Horses and Self-Discovery
By David Charnack

Nestled in the rolling hills of Sebastopol, Surrounded by lavender gardens and apple orchards is the EquuSatori Center. At the new and unique learning facility, from executives looking to hone their leadership skills to women’s self-discovery, individuals and groups, coached by professionals, work together with horses to gain new insights about themselves.

Enlightenment has been described as becoming conscious of something new about ourselves or the world around us.  We may feel excited or uplifted and time often seems to stand still. This moment is also referred to as Satori. When Satori happens through an interaction with a horse it can be thought of as “EquuSatori”. According to EquuSatori Founder Lisa Walters, “ The evolution of the horse has made them masters at what we call subtle sense perception”. In the wild, a horse’s survival depends on its individual and group awareness skills. When interacting with humans, horses respond to the subtleties of our body language.  Horses have a finely tuned intuition, and react quickly to our thoughts and our intent.  This makes it important for us to remain present and clear when interacting with them. The moment-by-moment feedback we receive from a horse can give us insights into how we are perceived by others.  In our interpersonal relationships we can say one thing but give off quite a different message by our body language.  This incongruence is often quite revealing and can lead to understanding long established patterns of behavior that may be sabotaging our success or happiness.

Lisa Walters and Lynda Krogh began offering the EquuSatori programs in Equine Experiential Learning in response to clients and friends who encouraged them to share what they have learned from their backgrounds in Business and their experience in owning, riding and training horses.

Lynda Krogh points out that, “part of a horse’s nature is to mirror the person they are interacting with, providing an excellent way to gain personal insight into what makes one tick emotionally and otherwise”.  Horses are honest by nature. What is really interesting is that the same horse will respond differently with different people.  They quickly identify incongruity when a person’s intentions, emotions, body language and physical actions don’t line up.  Walters adds, “Horses respect and respond positively to congruency. The valuable skill of being more present improves in their company.  Being around horses has helped us to grow in many aspects of our lives”.

Lynda and Lisa refer to their work as Equine Experiential Learning, a learning model that extends traditional experiential learning to work with horses.  They stress that the coursework is not about knowing or learning how to ride, as a matter of fact, previous experience with horses is unnecessary.  The programs provide the participant with a comprehensive personal experience that combines theory, self-awareness, intuition, intention and action.

“People in all walks of life find something new about who they are and how they are seen by others”, adds Walters. “Interacting with horses can be a valuable way for business managers to become more effective.”  They learn more about how their way of being is interpreted by others. The results are often astonishing!

Children who have challenges with self-esteem, attention difficulties or problematic behavioral problems can address these issues while having fun learning about horses. Personal growth always comes with self-discovery”.

Walters and Krogh bring their backgrounds and expertise in horsemanship, psychology and business to EquuSatori. They encourage and welcome inquiries about available programs.  Telephone 707-322-4955.