The Healing Power of Horses

After years of not knowing how to help my precious dog, Ellie, with her fear agression and being told by trainers that I might only be able to manage it, I was given hope. A friend referred me to Wendy Wilkerson at The Ee Ranch in Anderson for dog behavioral training. Wendy is very in tune with her Native American roots and works with energy, nature and natural pack and herd order to train dogs and horses. 

The training has been so profound for both Ellie and myself that I have been taking Ellie weekly to train for the last six months. From the very first day, I learned how my energy affected her and that she was confused as to whom is pack leader at home. I also was reminded to take deep breaths and relax so she would, too {yes, even as a yoga teacher I still hold my breath sometimes}.

I already knew in my heart that Ellie came into my life for a reason as she's taught me so much about the effects of trauma, but I've learned just how much we are interconnected during these trainings. Both of our anxieties have subsided some and her paws have cleared up {turns out it wasn't allergies as much as anxiety contributing to this} and I know the more I take time to heal and ground myself, the better off she is and less she feels she has to protect me. And it hasn't been easy trying to change my soft energy into strong energy and I'm still working on it every day, but the change in Ellie's behavior is so profound that even my family notices it. 

A few weeks into dog {and human} training, I invited my niece, Angelica, to join us. She was suffering from a bit of depression and I wanted to get her out of the house and into nature since I know how uplifting that could be. However, I never would have guessed how the energy would shift by bringing her. Ellie wouldn't cooperate at all and was freaking out when she was introduced to the horses. My niece was closed off, tense, basically you could see how uncomfortable she was in her own body. It was eye opening.

The Powerful Energy of Horses
I knew right away that Angelica needed to come back with me, even just to be out of the house and in nature. Wendy suggested that Angelica return and work with the horses. Luckily, my niece agreed and I have seen her blossom into a young, confident woman over the last few months. Plus, we get to spend two hours roundtrip in the car having girl talk {love this!}.

Wendy started her off slowly as there was some natural fear of being near such powerful creatures. She showed her a few things and then had her put hands on the horses and brush them. After a few sessions Angelica would go up to the horse she felt most comfortable with, Cali, with no fear and on her own while Wendy and I would work with Ellie in another area of the ranch. Angelica learned how to turn a horse with her elbow and now has even sat on Cali bareback a couple times and walked forward and back.

Watching my niece transform has been so powerful. She was assisting my friend with painting in the new studio space the other day and was talking up a storm {even when I had to leave for a bit}. This is a complete 180 from a few months ago. As her energy grows stronger, her confidence does, too. And it's a perfect time because she's about to enter junior high {and we all remember those awkward years}.

Of course, I just love having both of my hands on the horses we get to work with as I can feel their energy and it's so calming to me. My aunt and uncle had a horse that I used to ride while growing up so I'm not fearful at all. Yesterday, one of the horses had tummy trouble, so Wendy had to call the vet. While she fetched water for him, he came up to me and Angelica for some love. I was able to massage the horse's chest and side to keep him calm, just like a mama horse would. 

The powerful energy of these horses is drawing me in. In fact, it's so strong that I want to go out west to see wild horses and work to protect them. So, who knows what will transpire in my life next, but I've learned to pay attention to those energetic forces at play. I wouldn't have opened up Embarque if I had not listened to what I was being called to do. When you listen to your heart, incredible things can happen. 

Click here to learn more about The Ee Ranch, equine therapy and dog behavioral training.

“Horses lend us the wings we lack.” 
–Unknown

Alyssa Pfennig