UAE-based Kelly L. Eide, who is an Equus trainer, also known as Horse Whisperer, initiated healing practices as an effort to respond to the corona-virus pandemic. Horses are known to be very sentimental and spiritual. Kelly who works with horses around the world believes that horses and nature help us a lot. “They help us keep a coherent heart rhythm, they set down our nervous system, they make us tap into our inner sense of being linked to all things,” said Kelly, who is also the CEO of Experience TRUE Leadership.
‘I partner with horses to help human herds’
Even Kelly was gripped with fear of the uncertainty when COVID 19 hit the market early this year. Being a master Equus coach, Kelly partners with horses to help humans explore the concepts of leadership, communication, building culture, and teams. “But since March the traditional way that I work, hosting experiential development sessions for teams and CEOs has been on hold. In that time we have all stayed apart, we were locked down for a time and even quarantined in our own homes. And the uncertainty of what would happen next was full of fear, stress, and pressure.
‘People were short-tempered, frustrated’
She also noticed the constraints and restrictions were getting to people in large and small ways, herself included. “People were short-tempered, frustrated, many people I knew began to have physical injuries and ailments from the way they were living. So my design challenge as a coach and mentor was how can I create something in my unique way that will relieve some of this pressure.” She looked for every small way she could decrease the pressure, first for herself and then for others, “The two activities I came up with are real medicine for these times.”
Medicine Walk with a horse
She started with a new concept called Medicine Walk with a horse which began as a self-care practice. “I would take the horse out to the desert for a walk. Together we would find our pace and our rhythm. The movement in the clip-clop of our feet was both meditative and soothing and became mirrored in our breath. Some days we met gazelle or herds of sheep and there were always flocks of birds to accompany us. Held by nature’s rhythm, I found both time and space to reflect, to feel my feelings, and to release anything that I no longer need to carry.”
‘A horse in between two people is a perfect way to ensure that we are socially distanced’
After quarantine, Kelly and her horse began taking other individuals along with them for a 5 km Medicine Walk. “As you can imagine, a horse between two people is a perfect way to ensure that we are socially distanced. The activity is outside under the UV light of the sun which science shows is one of the safest physical locations to be rather than indoors. The desert, Mother Nature, is a living model of resilience and self-regulation and I am trained to be an excellent listener.”
Medicine walk offered her clients a place to walk in silence, or to speak out what they are going through or cry or scream into the gentle winds of the desert. “It’s a place where all your feelings are welcome, where it’s safe to express them and where Mother Nature knows what to do with them once you have released that pressure into the world. When we return from our walk and sit in the grass, the horse would let out this beautiful sigh of contentment, pppbbbuuhhhhhhh and I would always think to myself ‘ahhhh me too!’ That’s why I call it medicine; It’s exactly what our fragile, stressed-out nervous systems need in these trying times,” said Kelly.
‘Medicine is for everyone’
She also offered these sessions keeping in mind that many have lost their jobs and may not have access to income for a while. She asked her clients to ‘Pay from the Heart.’ “100 Dhs if you’re feeling stressed about money, 200 Dhs if you’re still ok with money and 400 Dhs if money is not an issue for you and you are willing to pay it forward to help someone else.” She also invited people to reach out and come even if they couldn’t pay anything, “Because this medicine is for everyone.”
‘Equus meditation circles’
Post Ramadan when the lockdown restrictions eased, she started a new activity called Equus Meditation Circles. “This nature-based meditation allows you to come as you are into nature and to sit with her; to allow nature’s rhythm to be the alchemist entraining your internal body rhythms to her infinite, powerful beat. When I add horses to this experience, they amplify Mother Nature’s rhythm with their peaceful power. Think of it this way: Mother Nature is the plug to recharge our human organism and then the horses are the superconductor amplifying the benefits!”
The secret that I learned from horses
They say horses are extremely spiritual and caring. So what secrets did she learn after coming in close contact with the horses over the years? “The rich secret of connection. Each one of us matters and is important. The language I often use with my clients is ‘you are not neutral’ in a herd. It makes a difference that you are here. How you choose to behave, the actions you take, and even the thoughts you think and the feelings you feel make a difference. You are an integral part of the tapestry. Sometimes your impact is subtle, sometimes dramatic, but in every moment, you are included, you are considered and you are responsible. I find that this understanding guides me to live and be more aware and conscious in the world, whether alone or amongst my human herds.”
Kelly has been hosting Equus meditation circles at sunset from 5:30-7 PM and the cost is 100 Dhs per person. Get in touch with Kelly HERE
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