Deepening Awareness and Connection with the Horse's Help

Prayer, by Stuart Kestenbaum, from Prayers & Run-on Sentences

Our problem - may I include you? - is that we
don't know how to start, how to just close
our eyes and let something dance between
our hearts and our lips, we don't know how
to skip across the room only for the joy of the leap.
We walk, we run but what happened to the skip
and its partner, the gallop, the useless and imaginary
way we could move through space, the horses we
rode before we knew how to saddle up, before we
had opinions about everything and just loved
the wind in our faces and the horizon in our eyes.

EMBODIED EQUINE EXPERIENCING℠ is an equine-facilitated, experiential learning modality in which horses are co-teachers/facilitators for those who wish to develop a closer and more conscious connection with themselves, and for those who are recovering from trauma, addiction, eating disorders, or deep-seated, long-standing concerns around self-worth and the ability to realize goals.

Trauma exists in many forms. It may be the result of an accident or injury, a profound loss, abuse, medical trauma, or family history including birth trauma. Signs and symptoms of trauma may include anxiety, hyper-vigilance, low self-worth, compromised immune system, depression, hopelessness and chronic anger or rage. We may feel shut down, inhibited, or overly sensitive. Our emotions may be unbearable or feelings may be absent, with an array of somatic symptoms. Our system is in a constant state of fight or flight. Paula integrates her experience as a Somatic Movement Therapist and a Somatic Experiencing® practitioner (the trauma recovery work of Dr. Peter Levine) into her work with horses and clients.

Connecting in an embodied way with horses opens us to discovering our authentic selves and learning new ways of settling and balancing body and mind. Horses can help us become more comfortable in our own skin, more trustworthy to ourselves and others. With their help, we can find a more reliable sense of physical and emotional balance, resilience and ease.

What does an EMBODIED EQUINE EXPERIENCING℠ session look like?
It starts by just standing with the horse, noticing the horse's and our own responses to simply being together. Work can take place in the stable aisle, in the stall or in a larger enclosure. Each session has its own organic structure, sometimes involving touch, leading, or simple, ordinary movements. We break things down into simple steps, noticing when we are moving too quickly or asking too much of our equine partners or ourselves.

  • Learn how to track your body's responses and how to settle when activated.
  • Build feelings of confidence, mindfulness and a spirit of improvisation.
  • Connect with the horse using bodily practices that are intuitive and playful.
  • Build trust in your ability to have a felt sense of emotional attunement.
  • Learn how softness and listening can create physical and emotional balance.

    No previous riding or horse experience is necessary. All work is done on the ground.

    Contact Paula to make an appointment for a private session.