I’ll be at the Equine Affaire in Springfield, MA from Thursday, November 12 to Sunday, November 15. I’m “Black Horse Consulting” in the Pampered Equestrian area. Please stop by and say hello!
“ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching is a distinct service and differs greatly from therapy, consulting, mentoring or training. Individuals who engage in a coaching relationship can expect to experience fresh perspectives on personal challenges and opportunities, enhanced thinking and decision-making skills, enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out their chosen work and life roles.” – ICF Global Coaching Client Study
I am subscribed to Tips from realage.com, and this one struck me as being extremely helpful for my clients, so I’m sharing (click on the link below).
I believe in balanced nutrition and integrated healing methods for both people and equines. This can sometimes involve a lot of herbal suggestions. Herbs can take a bit longer than a pill from the pharmacy to become effective because they are whole and natural and work with the body systems. Often, people understand that they may have to take an herb for a month or so before they begin to see results. And while people will put a nasty-tasting herb or mineral in a capsule and swallow it, or put it in a taste-disguising foodstuff and choke it down because they know it will eventually help them, horses are another story. Horses need to be convinced that something is good for them, especially if it isn’t coated with molasses. And the convincing can take some time!
Unfortunately, I have seen horse owners (many of whom will take their *own* supplements like clockwork) that just don’t seem committed enough to doing things for their horse in a natural way, and they are reluctant to allow the time it takes for the horse to adjust, both physically and mentally. Oh, they start out like gangbusters, but about two to three weeks into a new herbal regimen, they suddenly realize, “Hey, this is work.” Well, they didn’t want to have any extra work, and now they’re mixing and measuring and trying to get stuff loaded into a dose syringe and down the throat of a resistant horse. “I thought the horse would just eat it all in his feed tub…” is the frequent lament.
Well, some horses do. Other horses are extremely finicky and *never* do, requiring more innovative methods from the owner. Eventually, the horse will probably adjust, but it takes a lot of effort and tweaking of the foodstuffs to get just the right flavor to entice your horse to eat. After all, like almost all horses in this country, s/he grew up on molasses-covered sweeties – like recent humans grew up on sugar. Why eat broccoli when you can have candy? Your horse feels very much the same way. But, just like humans, candy isn’t good for horses, as evidenced by the metabolic issues that are running rampant in both species. Molasses-coated oats and corn, however fortified it may be, is just like you or me eating dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That can’t be good for anybody!
It is the rare horse who comprehends that this new, foreign stuff in his feed tub is going to help him feel better. Most of them only realize that they aren’t getting sweeties anymore. He’s like a child in that way. That’s when the owner has to be the “parent” in the relationship and make sure he gets what’s good for him. Your horse will do whatever he can to make you feel sorry for him and give him back his sweet feed. Your horse will do whatever he can to avoid that weird-tasting spirulina or jiaogulan or whatever it is that you’re trying to get down him. After all, not many horses ever get the opportunity to eat blue-green algae or Chinese herbs. They are certainly an acquired taste. You have to be firm and matter-of-fact about the whole business. And whatever you do, DON’T apologize for trying to help him.
The good news is, a horse who is being helped by the herb WILL acquire a taste for it, but the owner has to be consistent – first, to give the herb a chance to actually work the way it’s supposed to, and second, to give the horse a chance to realize that THIS is what’s helping him feel better. How can either of these things happen if you don’t give the minerals or herbs consistently? As a certain veterinarian I know is fond of saying, “Half-way measures get half-way results.” You have to be willing to make your horse’s health part of your daily routine, because you aren’t going to be able to give your horse an herb or mineral haphazardly. I can guarantee that you won’t get good results that way.
So be honest with yourself. If you aren’t willing or able (for whatever reason) to make that daily commitment to your horse’s health and well-being, if you can’t guarantee that you will give your horse what he needs as frequently as he needs it, every day without fail, then you probably shouldn’t waste your money on herbal remedies, nutritional consultations, or custom vitamin/mineral mixes. If, on the other hand, you are committed to seeing your horse happy and healthy in all aspects of his being, you might want to give balanced basic nutrition and integrated healing a try.
“So, you work with horses..?”
I hear that a lot from people who are confused about what I do for a living. So maybe it’s important to clarify this here.
First, I am a Professional Health Coach. I work with people. I work specifically with horse people to help them attain their health and wellness goals. If an equestrian wants to quit smoking, for instance, I’m there to help. I was a smoker for 30 years, and quit almost 5 years ago, so I know what that’s like. If a horse owner wants to manage his Type II Diabetes, I can help. I have my own blood sugar issues, so I know what that’s like. If a stable manager or riding instructor needs to reduce her stress level, I can help. I’ve been doing both of those things for 25 years, I know what pressures can come with those jobs, and I’ve learn a few techniques to ease the tension along the way. If a rider wants to lose a few pounds so she looks better in her britches, I can help. I’ve been there, more than once. If a horse owner wants to simply find the joy in life again, be happy and have fun, I’m here to help him/her attain that.
You see, I work with horse people, not just because I know horses, but because I know and relate to horse people. I am a whole person, a well-rounded person who just happens to have lived a lifetime around horses. I am a horse person, like you, but with a lot of miles on me. 🙂
As a Coach who practices the Co-Active model, I also believe you, as the client, are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. So the coaching agenda comes from you. We are active collaborators in the coaching relationship for the purpose of meeting your needs. Sometimes the answers come from me, but most times, they come from you. I just help you dig deep and find them.
I am also a trained shamanic practitioner, so my connection to Spirit is a big part of my coaching practice. It may not be something that is always readily apparent to the client, but it’s interwoven into everything I do. For instance, before every session, I cleanse the space I’ll be working in of any negative energy by burning sage and saying simple prayers, usually asking the spirits who remain to help me help the client in the best way I can during the session. I will often light an appropriate incense and some candles. I listen to “nudges” I may get from Spirit during our session, intuition or inspiration to ask the right questions or suggest just the right “baby step” to help move the client forward. Sometimes, Spirit does not interject, and that’s okay, too. (That usually means we’re on the right track.) I go with the flow, and I trust.
There are times when I may feel the need to take the client on a guided meditation or journey. Or I may journey between sessions to get answers to questions that have come up in our session. Or I may do a lot of wellness research, finding articles and studies that pertain to the client’s particular set of circumstances and emailing my findings along to the client. I dance in the moment, trusting to my extensive training as a coach, shaman, and teacher to know what to do next. Many times, the best thing I can do is just listen as the client works on discovery. I never lose sight of the fact that this is all about you and what YOU need to achieve your goals. That doesn’t mean I am always easy on you, though. One should never get the idea that being coached will always be easy, but the results will certainly will be rewarding!
Sometimes you also need a consultant who knows horses, because, being an equestrian, horses demand a great deal of your attention. As one who lives the equestrian lifestyle and has been trained in Equine Science, I can be of service with your equine needs as well. You and your horse(s) are a package, a partnership. I *get* that. I am a Coach with a unique insight into the particular challenges that both you and your horse face. I can help you find the right diet for your horse. I can discuss tack-fitting issues or stable management with you. I can help you talk to your vet or refer you to a specialist. Chances are, if I can’t answer whatever question you may have about your horse, I can certainly find the person who can. After all, consultants don’t ever have all the answers. They simply know where to go to find them!
So, that is what I do as Black Horse Consulting. As an Equine Wellness Specialist and Shamanic Health Coach, I help enhance well-being for both horse & human. I help both equine and owner live a more balanced life by helping you address and fully integrate the three aspects of being: body, mind, and spirit.
I’ll stop here for now. 🙂