V.A. Domiciliary Staff Member
I cannot thank you enough for the time you and the staff took with our team, I had an experience that changed everything in terms of my codependency. This in turn began some changes in my relationships at work and at home. I believe using the horses was the gentlest yet most impactful way to pull back my defenses and allow me to see where I was still holding on to fear driven codependency and control.
I tear up when I think about what your little “Tiammo’ taught me just by being in his presence.
I have been able to take this understanding and bring it into the classroom as well. The Veterans I serve get a good laugh at some parts of the story (at my expense) but they also identify with the unspoken messages that “Tiammo’ brought.
Thank you all so much for the opportunity participate and take with me a much grerater understanding what I do and how I do it. Well done Ladies!
My Experience with Heroes & Horses -Amina
Horses. They are beautiful. Majestic. I like them. Yet, up close and personal, I feel fearful and afraid. However, on this particular day,
I felt inclined to volunteer for an equine exercise. Having no past experience with equine therapies, I surrendered to the internal shove and went for it. “OK, I can do this.”
That spurt of confidence was followed by the facilitator, Ann Balowski, stating, “We are here supporting you in your emotional safety and physical safety.” What?!?! I felt a knot in the pit o
f my stomach attached to a racing thought of, “What did I just get myself into?”
Ann asked me which horse I would like to work with. Journey was looking straight at me. Journey it is. And a journey it has been. Fitting.
As if scripted, the exercise, premised on chasing my dream, comes at a time when I actually am in motion of chasing my dream.
Journey is my dream, Ann reminds me. Being told to catch my dream by harnessing her brought up all kinds of wild thoughts and emotions. “But I’ve never harnessed a horse.” “How can I do this if I’ve never done it befor
e?” “I can’t figure this out.” “How can I do this by myself?”
I asked Ann for help. She stated she would be there to provide support though she would not do it for me. Ouch and thank you.
Flooded with and aware of the emotions and feelings of doubt, almost paralyzed, I looked at Journey. She looked at me. Digesting the symbolism…the horse…the dream…something so big it’s scary. “How can I possibly catch something so big?”
Pondering. Contemplating. Then, looking at Journey head-on, looking into her eyes, she suddenly didn’t feel so scary anymore. I felt peace and comfort. She spoke to me.
In one swift motion, I harnessed her.
Ann asks, “What would it be like to walk with your dream?” Oh boy. Great question. I tried pulling her. Journey sighed at me. A big sigh.
I moved to the side of her, touched her face gently, looked her in the eye, and asked for us to do this together. We
walked. My dream… in motion. The intense joy felt in walking with my dream cannot be described in words.
When a moment of distraction occurred, I lost focus, and my dream got away. I chased her. I caught her. Together
This was my equine experience.
The entire equine experience gifted me with tremendous insight into my fears, my abilities, my challenges, my strengths, and my desires. Just as the horse provided a meaningful gateway into self exploration, Ann as well provided a space of safety and trust in which I felt comfortable in surrendering to the whole experience. Without a doubt, I encourage all persons to allow themselves the gift of the equine experience with Ann Balowski. You most certainly deserve it. Enjoy your Journey~ : )