Creative Awakenings Through the Wisdom of Horses
I sat on my first horse at age 3 (photo right), and quickly fell in love. It was actually in my childhood years that I learned first hand about the power and intuitive connection between horses and their human partners. I lived for Sunday’s when my father would take me to the stables for my riding lessons with my Irish instructor Jimbo.
My family could not afford to give me a horse of my own, so I rode and showed other peoples horses, until I was a teenager. It was at that time, I realized that I the only reason I was continuing to ride was to BE with the horses and that horse shows, really wasn’t how I wanted to do that. And so my horse crazy years, came to an end…or so I thought.
In 2008, a friend was getting certified in EAGALA. She needed someone to practice with, so I volunteered. I had the most profound experience and felt in my heart that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. “That’s CRAZY,” the Venomous Toad Committee of my mind shouted. “How on earth is that going to happen, you have no horse, no herd, no ranch!”, they chided. And so the passion and the feelings were buried once again…or so I thought.
Somewhere around 2010, horses began to show up in my intuitive paintings. They came out of nowhere, the images weren’t conscious on my part. It didn’t really mean much to me at the time, as I allow the collective energy to run through my paintings, and don’t analyze them, so I never know what will show up. I don’t begin my Soul Session Paintings, with an “idea.” Little did I know that the Horse Ancestors were calling.
Through many twists and turns and a whole lot of Divine synchronicity, horses returned to my life. The story is much too long to share in this writing, but suffice it
to say that I now know, that the paintings opened the door to my heart and that the horses came to carry me through the death of my mother, and many intense life transitions after that-divorce, selling my home, leaving my community of 25 years and moving to a new state.
This is what happens when we let our souls speak to us. This is what I mean when I ask, “What is calling you?” We may not understand it at the time, but if we listen, we can hear the answer to that question, even if initially, it’s a tiny whisper. That’s the start, I beg of you, just LISTEN.
I have a Book of Dreams intention journal that chronicles 3 years of my life, from the day I got my book contract, to the day I found my studio in Colorado. Each intention on those pages, reminds me that when we create intention and follow that with action, the Universe steps forward to meet us.
When I gave up horses as a teenager, I would never have predicted that this long lost passion would return to my life. It seems a miracle to me that I’ve had the good fortune of partnering with two amazing horses who have been integral to my healing journey; Annie Two Moons, who I leased from my friend and mentor Susan Gibbs, and my mare, Dreamweaver Sunday, who I rescued and adopted during my graduation week from Eponaquest and who teaches me on a daily basis to “Mare-up!”
Learning to separate our true selves from the masks we wear, and the masks we expect others to wear-those sometimes beautiful, sometimes frightening sculptures we create, initially to understand ourselves and later to define and predict others-is the challenge of a lifetime. In this effort, horses can be effective teachers. They’re not only attracted to authenticity, they can help people shift out of ego orientation and into and experience of pure Presence. Linda Kohanov, Way of The Horse
The Creative Awakenings and Eponaquest® Process
How it works
Horses have been an integral part of the human experience since their domestication more than 5,000 years ago. They have shouldered our burdens, shared our history and shaped our mythology. We invite you to experience the long-standing connection between humans and horses through an equine facilitated learning experience.
Considering these metaphors will help you to gain insight into unconscious patterns and ways of relating. As awareness surfaces within the equine setting, the horses, present opportunities for participants to work toward integration, personal growth and healing. The Creative Awakenings with Horses workshops and programs offer unique opportunities for clients and organizations to experience this powerful and unique healing modality.
As an Eponaquest Instructor, I weave the alchemy of creativity with the wisdom and power of horses. Through the power of horse wisdom and wholistic practices such as body scanning, mindfulness, creative expression, equine facilitated coaching supports you in deepening your relationship with yourself and your emotions. The horse as muse and mentor supports you to uncover powerful metaphors for your life and relationships, deepening your connection to your authentic spirit.
This work is appropriate for individuals or groups and anyone seeking to experience increased connection to authentic ways of being and healthier relationships with others. Working with the horse as partner, builds trust and confidence – confidence in yourself and in your connection to these wise and intuitive animal teachers. The sessions will support you in feeling positive about the possibilities in your life.
You will be guided to use the Creative Awakenings Process: visual journaling, writing, breathwork, guided imagery, to help you process the powerful language of the unconscious.
Coaching with the herd will teach you to:
- Enhance your skills as a natural leader
- Use emotion as information
- Access a more authentic, creative presence
- Recognize and move beyond conditioned behaviors and thought patterns
- Set Boundaries: establishing and maintaining clear and consistent personal space
- Body Scan: using the body as a sensing device
- Hands-on activities with horses as guides
- Developing essential skills for building Authentic Community
- Support you in learning new ways of relating to yourself and others
- Build confidence and self-esteem
Selecting the Equine Experience Right For You:
Individual Session: Sessions will be designed for specific client needs and include equine facilitated learning and creative process.
- Determine where you are now and where you want to be
- Help you access unconscious patterns and behaviors
- Support you in learning new ways of relating to yourself and others (effective communication, emotional wisdom)
- Build confidence and self-esteem
- Reflect aspects of the False Self
- Increase connection to your Authentic Self
- Enhance your skills as a natural leader
Group/Team Building/Semi-Private Gather your friends or bring your staff. Group work with the herd is a powerful way to learn new ways of relating to self or others.
- Distinguish your current style of leadership
- Uncover and identify strengths and challenges within your group dynamic
- Clarify and enhance communication skills
- Build and deepen trust within the group
- Develop effective leadership and co-creation
- Emerge stronger with a new level of confidence as individuals and as a group
Creative Awakenings Equine Retreats
Imagine a place where you could unwind and let go of the demands and of daily life. Experience the power and wisdom of the herd and replenish your well. A private Creative Awakenings equine retreat will allow you to choose from the following menu; mix, match or experience them all. Let’s co-create a unique, intimate, healing retreat for you, your family or your group that will nourish your soul and open the door to new awakenings.
- Creativity and Expressive Arts Modalities
- Experience the dynamic power and wisdom of the herd
- Yoga, movement, massage and other therapeutic healing modalities
- Organic meals
- Beautiful lodging
Equine Background and Training
- 2011 Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) Level I and 2
- 2012 Epona Advanced Study Experience (EASE)
- 2013 Eponaquest Instructor, Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP – State of Colorado)*
- 2001 Registered Expressive Arts Therapist
- 1989 Licensed Clinical Social Worker in State of Colorado
- *During her Epona apprenticeship, Sheri was selected to intern at the Eponaquest ranch with Linda and her herd of 14 horses.