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Volume 16 Issue 4
November/Dec 2010

Embrace the Future
Organic Connections Conference & Trade Show. November 21—23, 2010, Saskatoon

The Gift of Fat

The Rediscovered Vitamin © 2010

Parish Nurse Ministry
Reconnecting the Physical and Spiritual Healing Circle!

What In The World Are They Spraying?

Lessons From Windwalker

You Are That Which You Seek!


Lessons From Windwalker
by Cathy Thomas
Cathy Thomas

Andrea and Windwalker’s last few lessons have included time for Windwalker to lie down in the arena. It’s their spa time and Andrea really enjoys it.

Andrea is from Germany. As a young person living in Germany, she had a horse and learned all the traditional horse ways. Now, this is not because she’s from Germany. Traditional horse ways are learned all over the world. It’s just that since coming to Canada, Andrea has had a new start in many ways—thanks in part to her horse, Windwalker.

After acquiring Windwalker and taking lessons and workshops here and there, Andrea found her way to Liberty Stables where Dessa Hockley, author of Is Your Horse a Rock Star? Understanding Your Horse’s Personality, lives and teaches. Andrea signed up for a horse personality workshop in November, 2007. One of my more vivid memories of that weekend was Andrea and Windwalker looking and feeling a little overwhelmed. At times, they alternated between walking very quickly, and a head-in-the-air “OMG” trot.

After that workshop, Andrea decided to trailer in for weekly lessons with Dessa.

She changed saddles (to treeless), got rid of the bridle (rides with a halter), found a chiropractor (for the horse, of course), and a new farrier. She discovered herbal remedies (for her and Windwalker), got a new horse trailer (for Windwalker), and I think even a new truck to pull the new horse trailer. In her German accent, we often hear Andrea saying, “Everything for Windwalker!” We’ve adopted this saying around the barn as people arrive with new stuff.

Andrea says that Windwalker is so much like her. According to Dessa’s horse personalities, Windwalker is a Perfectionist (Submissive, Energetic, Afraid, and Aloof) which in humans translates into worried, expressive, and let’s just say not easy-going. So the combination of the two nervous worriers has resulted in some ups and downs. To her credit, Andrea has been unwavering in her efforts. Some weeks, Andrea couldn’t get the horse loaded into the new trailer to come for lessons. She reported anxiety in her belly just thinking about trying to get her to lessons. Sometimes, she’d have to bring the pony along to keep Windwalker company.

We started to notice a real change in Andrea and Windwalker last September (2009) when they came to Liberty Stable’s Women’s Retreat. There were lots of moments when you could see a real friendship emerging. Then, in the winter, Windwalker offered a lovely, relaxed canter which surprised Andrea, but gave her an exhilarating and hopeful feeling.

About a month ago, Windwalker, upon entering the arena, just laid down. This is not entirely unusual for her, but this day, she did it right away and didn’t seem interested in getting up for anything. In fact, another horse and rider came into the arena and while they were going around, that horse observed Windwalker with a most perplexing look.

But it gave Andrea a chance to just sit with her horse. Windwalker didn’t move. Dessa left them there to be with each other, commenting that this is another example of the mysterious and mystical things the horses are offering.

Andrea reported later that she has always wanted to do this—sit on the ground by her horse and relax beside her. She thought it was the ultimate experience. Tears come to her eyes when she recounts the feelings she had. Finally, something for Andrea.

Andrea and Windwalker’s last few lessons have included time for Windwalker to lie down in the arena. It’s their spa time and Andrea really enjoys it.

As students have noted, where else can you go for lessons where the horse—and human—are allowed to follow up with whatever presents itself. As Dessa says, “It’s peeling away the layers to an awakened state and a profound relationship with yourself and your horse.” The journey is a little bit different for everyone. When people come to Liberty now, we often wonder what will be in store for them. What will their journey be like, as it unfolds? We do know that once you start down the path, you can’t go back. “Resistance is futile,” as they say in Star Trek. But unlike Star Trek, the outcome isn’t assimilation. Quite the opposite! It’s awakening. Welcome to the possibilities.

Cathy spends most of her time working at Liberty Stables west of Calgary, Alberta, with business partner Dessa Hockley. To say Cathy loves horses is an understatement. She has discovered a way of being with them that has become an inspiration. Life coaching is something she started while working with the smaller animals at the Calgary Humane Society. Today, through her company, Driftwood Communications, she is able to combine horses and life coaching to provide a unique experience of self discovery. She loves to journey a short while with her clients as they tackle those things that cause them to be stuck. The horses add their wisdom to the mix in ways we can never predict, gently pushing, nurturing, and teaching. To find out more about Cathy and her work, see the following: www.driftwoodcommunications.com, www.horsepersonalities.com, and www.animalphilosopher.blogspot.com.


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