Equus Coaching

equus-head-new

 

 

There is Experiential Learning…  and then there are Truth Experiences

"You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving."
– St. Francis de Sales

And you learn to play by playing.

In the summer of 2010, I learned more about myself in two minutes with Koelle Simpson and a large black horse than I had in two years of coach training.

Let me be clear.  The experience was not pretty.  I wanted to be “in control” and “look good” in front of my buddies.  Why the hell I thought I would be able to control a horse when I hadn’t been near one in 20 years is beyond reason, but I was totally invested in it at the time.

My ability to control crumbled right into the dirt under my boots.  The fortress walls I had built around my heart and ego did too. My mascara didn’t stand a chance. I was vulnerable, uncomfortable and it was very, VERY eye-opening.

Koelle Work Shop Alan's Pics 028And then it happened:  the moment I stopped trying to control, told the truth about how I was feeling (clueless, exposed, and afraid), the horse began to let me lead.

Not control.  Lead.

The horse was giving me very clear, non-judgmental feedback as to when he found me to be a safe, effective leader to follow—and when he didn’t.

That weekend I redefined and implemented, through visceral experience, what effective leadership (in life and in business) looks like for me.

THIS is what Experiential Learning should feel like.

When you learn to lead, set boundaries, and voice your truth with a 1200-pound coaching buddy, you will never forget how to do it with a bunch of humans.

No horse experience is needed and there is no riding involved.   I just ask that you show up with an open mind, closed-toed shoes and a readiness to play.

Why Horses?

In short, they give direct and honest feedback via their reactions to how you show up and communicate with them.  Being that they can’t talk, the language spoken is non-verbal, energetic and affected by how comfortable you are just being yourself.

Through the eyes of a horse, you are given the gift of seeing your blind spots, your bright spots and how the patterns that show up in the arena play out in other parts of your life.

The interaction with the horse becomes a direct metaphor for your interaction with life.

  • Do you lead with force and a desire to control?  Or with grace?
  • Do you set clear, effective boundaries?  Or do people walk all over you?
  • Do you stifle your opinions and compromise your values?  Or do you use your voice?
  • Do you know where you want to go?  Or do you simply follow the crowd?
  • Do you trust your vision? Or believe you can’t create your dreams?

Those kinds of questions come to the surface.

Koelle Work Shop Alan's Pics 031Then (and here’s my favorite part), you and I get to play with the metaphor until you like how it feels.

Unlike most people, a horse doesn’t care if you were incongruent five minutes ago.  She cares about what you are doing right now.  Communicate clearly and she responds as you envisioned she would.  Become insecure, and she loses interest and explores the grass in the corner of the arena.

You experience on the spot trial and error until you have that visceral “touch point” of how it feels to show up and create what you want.

Interested?

Options and pricing for private sessions can be found on the Coaching Page.  Group workshops and other options are on the Experiences Page.  If you have any other questions, feel free to Contact me!

 

Photo Credit:  Boots and Mustang - Jennifer Voss;
Horse Boundaries - Ellen Yale Photography; Jennifer with Black Horse - Alan Jensen