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  • Courageous Connections

Horses Help Us Heal

Updated: Apr 1, 2023

My dear friend (let’s call her Molly) stood in the arena next to my grey mare and confessed, “I’m really nervous.” Molly hadn’t been around horses much and as she stood as far away from Mercy as she could while still making contact with the brush, I couldn’t help but smile. I knew my horse and I knew the power of this program. Molly slowly worked side-by-side with the horse she had just met and little by little, she gained confidence. I explained that the number one thing a horse needs to feel is safe and to feel safe, we must earn their trust as leaders who will do that for them. As we came closer to the end of our session, tears began to well up in Molly’s eyes. It was like a dam broke and she spoke about her fear and trauma from childhood that was impacting her own parenting. It came rushing out like a flood and through it all, Mercy stood right next to her and held the space for her. This was something Molly had never been able to say out loud, but here, next to a horse, she was able to release it. Molly could identify where her fear and guilt came from and she now had an opportunity to make some positive changes in her life and her approach to parenting.

The thing is, I never asked her about her past or her trauma. That was all there under the surface. It was the interaction and connection with my horse Mercy that brought it to light. Horses reveal our true selves by asking us to step into personal alignment and harmony within ourselves and with each other. Their natural instincts and intuition help humans heal, find internal balance, and move forward towards wholeness. These powerful internal revelations give us a choice to find a way forward in our personal lives and create harmony.

Surprisingly, this work isn’t a therapy program. It’s called Equine Assisted Learning. EAL is a hands-on learning experience in partnership with horses. Think of it as having a horse for a life coach. Instead of riding, you work together in a small herd that consists of a horse and one or two other women. Your herd will work together to navigate different obstacles and activities. Each program will have an overall focus such as communication, boundaries, leadership, listening and more.

Contributing Author: Sarah Rivera

Sarah started Take the Lead to create a space for women to come as themselves and have a meaningful connection and experience with horses for a positive impact in their lives. She wants to invite women who are supporting someone else or have lost a sense of self in the daily chaos of life. You don’t need to bring any horse experience with you; just yourself.

Come join her herd and let a horse help you find your next step forward in life. Visit Sarah at for upcoming workshop dates and information. She would love to meet you!

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