HOW HORSES HELP US:

Experiencing Body, Mind and Spirit with Horses

There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen.
Rumi

Other animals think with the whole of their bodies.
David Abram

"When we transform our own bodies through movement or imagination,
when we blend our own sensuous physiology with the earth or our horses,
we become a feeling, expressive landscape among other feeling, expressive landscapes.
This merging and blending is the path to a deep peace and pleasure,
where we abandon our separateness and become connected;
woven into the fabric of our world.
And in that shared terrain we can more easily feel and find each other...and ourselves."

Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body

About horses
From my many years of working with horses, I have a deep appreciation for the flexibility and recuperative abilities of the nervous systems of these extraordinary beings. Even though they are prey animals with a finely attuned ability to track their environment, on their own they do not tend to develop fixed emotional and somatic responses. That is one of the many lessons that they can share with us.

How can horses help humans?
Horses can help us to understand ourselves as partners and cohabitants in an inter-species world in which the language is movement and touch. In my experience, horses can help us with whatever needs helping. They can illuminate issues or give us insights into the places that we are stuck - places of resistance or habits of body and mind that have become obstacles to our opening fully to ourselves and the world. Often that information is stored in the body. It can show up as pain or stiffness or a lack of feeling and joy.

As prey animals, horses are congruent, meaning their outward behavior always matches their inner feeling. Horses read not only our movement behaviors but their underlying emotional tone. They mirror our physical and emotional expression and show us when we are "out of sync" - that is, when our inside feelings and outside behaviors are not in harmony. Often our movement unconsciously reflects an unsettled or distracted state of mind. The non-judgmental, reflective presence of a horse can help us settle and ground ourselves physically and emotionally, as we understand more clearly what we are communicating both consciously and unconsciously.

About Paula:
As a movement artist I bring an improvisational perspective to all of my work with horses and humans. This offers an opportunity to deepen relationship by nourishing our intuitive, moving selves. I am a Certified Laban Movement Analyst (CMA) and a registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist (RSMET). and a Somatic Experiencing® practitioner.

I have trained with Linda Tellington Jones, and am Guild certified Tellington TTouch Practitioner I . A part of my training in dressage is with Sabine Schut-Kery and was blessed to own her performing stallion Capprichio for the past 17 years. Some of my most valuable horsemanship lessons have come from studying with Linda Tellington Jones and with cowboy and black belt Aikido master Mark Rashid.

My book, Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body is published by Trafalgar Square Books.

Private sessions, classes, clinics:
I am available to teach private sessions, workshops and clinics. I can come to your facility, or I teach privately both in my movement studio in Kent, CT, or at the barn in upstate New York with my horse partners Amadeo, Blue and Izarra.
Contact Paula to make an appointment for a private session or book a workshop.

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Listen to Paula discuss "The Common Body" on the Somatic Summit

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