In the Autumn of 2016, Equus Ferus had the pleasure of hosting and facilitating a weekend with Trish, Tessa and Nigel Dickinson. It was a real pleasure and privilege to work with such open-hearted individuals, so willing to dive into the unknown. As therapists, we gained a lot from from the weekend and enjoyed sharing the opportunity to grow with them.
Here is what they had to say about their experiences:
Dear Alex & Jackie
I have taken a few days to assimilate our week-end together because you both [and the horses] have given me such a wealth of experience to digest! I feel grateful for the knowledge and skills you shared and for your sensitivity in so doing.
I feel gratitude for learning to observe and respect the non-verbal communication from the horses. Grateful for your encouragement to focus upon my own non-verbal thoughts and communication with the animals -the language of DANCE not HERD!
I feel your program encapsulates the essence of nonviolence using protective strength not punitive force. This fills me with hope as I see you also offer a service of restoration to traumatised animals and this can enable restoration in traumatised humans. A subject very close to my heart as an earth trustee for eradicating ecocide – with the premise of “first do no harm !”
“What a rich and beautiful experience! I can’t overstate how much I enjoyed the time I spent with Alex and Jackie and the horses. Not only did they (yes, the horses too!) make me feel welcome and safe from the outset, they expanded my sense of who I am in relation to both humans and horses. I have never experienced a horse asking to be fussed before – in the past I have always approached horses wanted to touch them, to ride them, to control them; but also feeling apprehensive. I see why now. What a joy to exchange affection with these wonderful animals and to learn how to ask them to follow my directions and thoughts. And then to work as a group asking the horses to respond and be directed … that really wasn’t what I expected to do, and to be honest not even what I wanted to do: until I tried it (with my mum and brother) – it was funny and moving and instructive and bonding. Thank you! Can’t wait to come back.”
It was a really wonderful experience, passing a weekend retreat, with my family chez Alex and Jackie at Equus Ferus. A previous few days spent learning about equine leadership with Alex, had made me enthusiastic to have another go, and to invite my family along. The first afternoon we did yoga together and had a very welcome meal with everyone. I slept in a lovely caravan, the others indoors. The second day we each had a few hours activity communicating with the horses, and it was as beautiful an experience ever, in bright wintry sunlight, with views of the sea and hills. It reinforced my wish to go deeper into this activity, and it was so nice to share this experience with people I love, talking about it and sharing fun meals with Alex and her family; and later walking in the fields around her house with her dogs, cats, sheep, goats and horses all around.
The second day was really quite amazing, I was lead through some meditation exercises with Jackie, and just asked to stand relaxed in the corral with a horse. The horse reacted in an extraordinary way, just to how I was thinking and meditating; this was an unexpectedly profound experience for me, which made me think about myself and how I could be with others.
The weekend ended with a joint session, horses and humans working in harmony!
We look forward to welcoming you back in 2017