I have written here in my blog several times that I do Equine Facilitated Learning. I have witnessed it but never experienced a profound shift myself until last week. I went down to my friend and colleague Lori Lionetti’s place for a visit. She owns and runs the Lazy L in Wallkill, NY. When I was there, I did an equine healing exercise with Lori. It is a ceremonial process, so Lori tided the paddock, and we set up a massage table, and she burned sage to clear out any negative energy. When she was ready, Lori climbed on the table and closed her eyes. Her horse Snap came over to check things out and walked away. Next, Lori’s horse Mandy came and stood next to the table and held her head over Lori for about 20 minutes. I led Lori through the process, and I kept Mandy from nibbling on her. Mandy released energy, yawning large and long over Lori. When Mandy was done, she walked away and pooped. The ultimate release! Lori and I processed the event. She said that she hadn’t noticed a release while Mandy was releasing energy. We wrapped things up and went about our day.
That evening, I started to notice that I was feeling a little bit irritable and emotional. I didn’t think much about it. I thought that maybe I was just tired. The next morning, I woke up feeling extremely emotional. I thought about it for a moment before I realized that Mandy had loosened up some of my emotional baggage, and it was starting to come to the surface. When I went downstairs, I told Lori what was going on. She invited me to come out with her while she did chores and said we could do a session. While she was going about her business, I stood in the horse’s turnout shed. Snap was in there with me, and I was loving him up. Snap is a small bay horse. He’s a 23-year-old Tennessee Walker, and he is cute as they come. He still had his winter coat, so he was a big ol’ woolly bear! After about 15 minutes of scratching his withers and belly and loving him up, I stepped away. Snap came and stood next to me, but he wasn’t looking at me. As I watched him, I started to notice his head bobbing, and he was breathing these deep, huffing breaths. If you practice yoga, it looked like a horse doing Kapalabhati breath. He would do that for a while, then turn his head and hold his nose next to my belly for a minute (see above picture), then go back to the head bobbing and the breathing. This process went on for about twenty-five minutes. When he knew he was done, he turned and walked away.
I checked in with how I was feeling, and all of that emotional chaos was gone. I felt light and clear. As time has passed since that energy healing with Snap, I have noticed that I am calmer. Decades of buried anger that I thought I had dealt with was gone. I have been feeling a bit tender and raw, like the skin after a scab has fallen off, not completely healed, but definitely on the mend. I’m noticing the things that irritate me don’t bother me as much, and if I find myself starting to think the negative thoughts about whatever that thing is that bothers me, I stop and let it go. I have had lots of energy work over the years, but never anything as profound and powerful as this. I am still completely blown away by what happened, and I’m not sure I would believe it if it hadn’t occurred to me. Yes, I know that horses are magical creatures. Yes, I know that they can help you to make changes. But the depth of the change that occurred in 25 minutes was incredible.
I know that I have been doing a lot of work on myself. I have been working on moving energy in my daily qigong practice, but Snap saw that I needed help and stepped in to do the work without even being asked. Horses do this sort of thing with their herd mates all the time, and they will do it for us humans as well if we are open to their energy. I know that this type of thing won’t happen every time, but this work is real and powerful. Thank you, Snap; you are a gentleman and a healer.