Don't you find September has a way of creeping up on you unexpectedly. As I write this the September sun is shining, apples are on the trees, leaves are beginning to turn a golden colour, and evenings are beginning to feel a little chilled.
Its a time of new beginnings, particularly for students, children going to new schools, a new academic year. A time of knuckling down again after the summer holidays.
This summer at Hephzibah we have had a busy time, with groups, new people coming to visit us and working with the horses.
Sergio the youngest Amigo, has been learning lots of new things, he has been learning to be confident and brave going out on the roads with Seve as his nanny escort. He has learned to be brave with cars coming up behind him, been in big open fields, which can be a bit scary for a young horse, and today we have been to introduce him to tractors and farm machinery, a common sight around our country lanes.
When I think back to how far he has come in two years, I am very encouraged and thankful. There was a time I wasn't sure how we would ever come this far. It is true I have had some great help with professional riders, Craig Messenger, got him started for me and Charlotte Johnson has been helping me to continue with his education. However the biggest thing I have learned over this period of time is to take your time, don't give up and break everything down into baby steps, until he understands the questions being asked of him. I have also had to overcome a fear of getting back on him myself after we parted company early on, sadly in your 50's you don't bounce so easily. I have had to practice what I preach with others when I am working with people to help them overcome fear and anxiety.
Taking a step back from a problem can be very useful, sometimes we can be so consumed by it that we can't see a clear way forward. I have had to let go of any pre-conceived ideas that I thought I knew after a lifetime with horses and humble myself to accept that I can't work it all out on my own, I needed some help. I also have had to learn not to project too much into the future, but be fully present with him in the here and now.
Learning to be present is something horses are so good at teaching us. We often run ahead with the "What if's", and our minds can get so weary of trying to constantly problem solve. When you are with horses with no agenda, you can become fully mindful and that can be so helpful to regulate your emotions, when we become aware of what our bodies are trying to tell us by our senses, rather than being stuck in our head. Horses do this naturally, they don't worry about tomorrow, they are fully present in the here and now. Someone once told me "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that's why its called the present." I love this as it is so true.
What do you need to step back from this season? Would you like to take some time out to explore how horses can help you become more fully present and mindful?
We are excited to be able to offer you the "Be Still and Know"Equine Assisted Mindful Retreat on 5th and 6th October 2019. Full details are on the website. Two half days to relax, connect with horses and nature in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Beautiful walks, vineyard tours, pretty village, and lovely local accommodation. Lunch is included and make new friends.
We would love to see you there, places are filling up fast so don't delay £100 will secure your deposit. Price is £100 per day. If you are interested in a wine tasting tour in the afternoon, please let me know, as I have to book this.
Enjoy this beautiful new season, and take some time to slow down, connect with yourself and nature.
Love Emma and the three amigos.