Healthy As A Horse

Photo by Ana Rita Sousa & Ivano Salonia.

For anyone that knows me, you know that although I love animals I am not what you call an animal person. I love to pet, play and snuggle with a friend’s dog, but I am happy to leave and have them walk the pup for the evening and think nothing of it. So, when I heard that I would be participating in the Equine Experience with Wyatt Webb at The Miraval Resort, I was a bit nervous. Therapy through horses, I was also skeptical. “Horses are big” I thought and I have not had a close experience with one in years. As a child I rode horses and even used to spend summer vacations at a ranch with my mother. But, to be working with a horse to get some sort of therapy seemed a little too far out of the box for me. I did what any skeptical human in the 21st century would do, I Googled it. And boy, was I surprised. People come from all over the world to spend time with Wyatt Webb – from celebrities to some of the top CEO’s in the world, they come and have this… Equine Experience. So, maybe then I was getting a little excited. Let’s see what this is all about. Psychology in general fascinates me and if I can observe from afar this could be really cool.

We walked to the horse corral and took a seat. Thus far, Wyatt has not said much, I’m expecting much the same as we sit down. Again, wrong. Wyatt pulls up a stool and starts to talk with us. Now, I’m not going to give away any secrets or deeply discuss his words- but what he said resonated with me… deeply. I felt like Wyatt was talking right to me as he discussed how people- including myself of course- act, how we interact and how we treat ourselves. How we get to self-doubt, self-loathing and fear and why none of it should be. So, when Wyatt asked who would be first, I jumped up. First for what you might ask? Well, what Wyatt was going to do was observe us walking to Elvis, lifting his hoof and cleaning the dirt out of it. Sounds easy enough and how in the world will he be able to dissect anything from watching this? Well, within two minutes and without even walking toward Elvis, I was baring my soul to Wyatt, the phenomenal women I was sharing my trip with and Elvis. Tears were streaming down my face – something that many of my closest friends hardly see let alone a group of people I hardly know- and I was figuring out how I would get this big animal to lift his leg. After two tries, I did it, but only after working a few things out. Leaving Elvis post victory Wyatt asked me how I felt. “Good” I said nonchalantly. “You sure”? he asked. “Yeah” I said “It feels great” Again, without much emotion. “You have problems celebrating your victories and telling yourself you’ve done a good job” he asked. It was like he knocked me on the floor. I don’t like to pat myself on the back or say good job, it’s an issue I’ve been struggling with a lot lately and Wyatt knew it.  See, Wyatt’s main point is that horses see your emotion and, then, translate the truth and mirror it back to you so you then you can get a better understanding of what you bring to the table when interacting with others.

I learned more about myself – and was called out on quite a bit of bullshit- in those two hours than I have in a long time. Is it possible to say that Wyatt changed my life in that time? Well, he certainly altered the way I’ve been thinking about things since and, therefor, I would say yes. Did I lift that horse’s leg? You’re damn right I did. Did I do it my first try? Absolutely not. Elvis felt my fear, he felt my doubt and he felt any nervousness I brought to the table. Leaving the Equine Experience I knew two things; 1)That I would absolutely see Wyatt again- he has a week long intensive equine experience that I must be part of and 2) I needed to be more aware- aware of how I treat myself, aware of how I treat others and aware of how others treat each other and thus far it’s been great.

Your mental state of being is as important as anything else. Personally, when I am stressed or don’t take care of myself, it takes a toll on every part of my being. I don’t sleep as well, I don’t work out as well, I don’t eat as well and I’m just not as good to myself. This experience is something that I think every person needs to try. Connecting with Elvis made me healthier there really is no simpler way to put it.