By: Deb Kitchenmaster

Have any of you read or remember the book, Water For Elephants? Isn’t it amazing when you see an elephant with a rope, or a measly chain, around one of its huge legs stay imprisoned or engulfed in confinement that they could easily escape, if they had the mind to do so? What keeps them stuck? Programming! Programming is the chains of BELIEVING lies linked with painful, traumatic experiences. What we choose to believe reflects how we live our lives and make our choices. When patterns of degrading thoughts marinate in negativity, over time they become a lifestyle. Once DESIRE (longing) for life, freedom, love, joy becomes greater than the programming, the program is broken and the individual will not return to this programmed lifestyle. In the book, a fire breaks out in the big tent. The elephants stay while the other animals are fleeing the flames until something INSIDE (the desire to LIVE) becomes stronger than the program, and they run for their lives. You will no longer see these elephants inside the big tent (not because it burnt, but because the conditioning to stay was broken); however, you will see them in a zoo. OH! Happy day!

Recreational horse therapy is taught by a non-therapist instructor. This therapy is used to improve sensory and motor skills for coordination, balance, and posture. Research has confirmed the effectiveness of equine therapy, showing that it lowers blood pressure and heart rate, alleviates stress, and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. Equine therapy also helps people struggling with addictions and mental health disorders develop skills for healthy living.

Presence/Programming In The Arena Of Our Feelings
I have met those, and have been one, who believes feeling is painful. Once you identify the pain you will come in contact with a lie. Exchange the lie for TRUTH about GRACE and you will overcome the lie and the addiction will lose its power over you. When you are present in the presence of a horse, this connection challenges you to learn how to identify, experience, and cope with emotions without trying to escape. Presence detonates programming.

Presence/Programming In The Arena Of Setting Boundaries

I was one that desperately needed to learn how to set boundaries and enforce them; however, (for me) I needed to start at ground zero, giving myself permission to have boundaries. My personal boundaries were so violated as a young person that the word boundary meant absolutely nothing to me. I believed if I set boundaries, I would be fake or phony. What a lie! The Truth about Grace came into my belief system, and I overcame that lie. Next it was setting and enforcing. Horses are excellent at helping us in this area because when we are present in a horse’s presence, we learn how much physical space the horse needs to feel comfortable. By body language, the horse makes it clear when someone has crossed their boundaries. Trying to control or dominate will not work with a horse. Being detached or passive can make it difficult to lead a horse. This can interfere with the horse being willing to comply with your request because of the energy in which you are functioning. Presence detonates programming.

Presence/Programming In The Arena Of Overcoming Fear

Fear has a scent that comes through the pores of your skin. Horses know this instinctively. Horses are non-judgmental because they are not “mental,” they are present. Because horses are large animals, being in their presence can bring up fears, past trauma, feelings of inadequacy, unmet needs, or lack of control. But, do you know the most common fears people have about horses? They fear that the horse won’t like them, won’t pick them, or could hurt them physically or emotionally. Being present with a horse facilitates you to choose what you will do with the fear(s). Escape. Get defensive. Replace lie with the Truth about Grace and enjoy deeper breathing, relaxation, and that OVERCOMER sensation. Presence detonates programming. Programming is always attached to a lie. The lie is what brings the pain and bondage.

Good News! You do not have to love horses or have experience working with animals in order to benefit from equine therapy. You simply need to be willing to show up and willing to move in a different direction than you have in the past.

Be present in LOVE’s Presence as you spend time with your equine friend and ENJOY presence detonating programming.