My biggest desire is to help others with my horses in the same powerful way they helped me.
As the Director and Sport and Games in an inner London secondary school, I was drowning. I felt like I was constantly swimming against the tide of the expectations of leadership and management, pupils, parents, staff, family! I was struggling to keep my head above water.
I got to the stage, frequently, where I thought I just couldn’t do it anymore. Then from somewhere, I got a second wind and the strength I needed to carry on. However, the second winds became fewer and far between. My breathing became stilted and the sea of water that threatened to pull me under, began to do just that.
I began to dread going into school. My body trembled, I was sick to my stomach and my head either felt like it didn’t exist, or that it was going to drop off. I went from leaving work at 8pm to leaving as soon as the bell rung. I couldn’t physically be there any longer that I needed to be. I felt trapped and suffocated. I didn’t know where to turn.
I did eventually go to the Dr’s who diagnosed ‘low mood, anxiety and depression’. I refused the course of anti-depressants he recommended but was happy to be put forward for counselling.
Enter the horses.
I had lost my voice! I was not sick. I just simply couldn’t make a sound come from my mouth. It started on the Monday and got progressively worse, so by Friday, I couldn’t make myself heard. I phoned, actually emailed in sick, text my department and stayed home.
I knew I had come to the end and something had to give. I couldn’t do this anymore. Unable to sleep, I trolled the net looking for something, anything that might make a difference and guide my next steps.
I came across a ranch in the US who helped soldiers and war veterans with PTSD. I wondered, could they help normal people too – not that soldiers were not normal people but I knew what I was experiencing could not be described as PTSD. Digging a little deeper, I found an organisation called IFEAL, who helped people like myself and were only a one hour drive away.
It was 3am but I fired off an email anyway and settled down for a kip. Waking at 8am, I checked my emails. Nothing! I waited until 9am and called the number on the website and luckily the head of IFEAL, Sun Tui, answered. Unable to make myself heard, we agreed to meet the following Tuesday morning.
In total the meeting lasted an hour, and I could feel that something positive could come of it.
What blew my mind was the last fifteen minutes.
Sun Tui invited me to meet the horses. She said it was feeding time anyway and they were due to come in. So she took me to the edge of the woods, and she called for them. For a few minutes, nothing happened. No horses came galloping through the trees for their grub. I began to feel deflated and my insecurities began to set in. Typical! Not even food could entice them in!!! I stood there and cried. I felt like such an idiot as I couldn’t understand why I was crying.
And then slowly, through the bush of trees, one horse appeared closely followed by another, then another. Six in total. All approached me as though coming to say hello and then walked away and stood nearby. Then a big black mare came and stood beside me.
She was MAHHOOOSIVE with the feet to match. The idea of her stepping on me with those huge hoofs or even brushing past me, freaked me out a bit. And, yet through my fears, I could feel her calm, gentleness. I was compelled to stay with her and felt a warmth and comfort that I remembered getting from my mum when I was upset. It felt as though she were holding and hugging me. I felt a sense of peace that I don’t remember experiencing before.
From that moment, I was officially in love and hooked on horses. I was intrigued to know more and to be with them as often as I could.
Many people, quite understandably, do not have any concept of how working with horses can bring such profound benefits to humans. And, yet many of us have heard of the benefits of working with animals but have not experienced it personally.
The simple truth is that horses can help us to locate a magic within and have it stand in front of us so we can see how truly marvellous and remarkable we are.
To find out how we can work work together, call me on 07572 363041
or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
It would be great to speak to you.