My mind & spirit are buzzing with so many new and exciting experiences and the wealth of information from a 2-day Straightness Training (ST) Open Clinic I attended over the weekend, hosted at the Holistic Equitation Centre near Daventry and led by Marijke de Jong, founder and coach of Straightness Training and The Academic Art of Riding.
Where do I begin? To set the scene: 8 rider/horse combo’s of varying abilities and stages on their ST journey and around 60-70 spectators attended the clinic. Some of us were new to ST and some were ‘old hats’. But the one thing we all shared, regardless, was our love for horses and the desire to learn how to improve the quality of the relationship with our horses by developing a physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually balanced ‘straight’ horse – and rider.
The abundance of knowledge, experience, skill – and not to forget the passion and love – that Marijke brings to the table – delivered with humour and bags of positive energy – is simply infectious and inspiring! It was a great privilege to observe the horses, their riders & trainers, feel the changes in energy and witness the sometimes very subtle and sometimes very obvious, but always significant transformations in behaviour, attitude, mental or emotional state of them throughout the lessons and different exercises. Each horse/rider combo was totally unique, and so were the lessons they taught us and the insights into their relationship and learning journey we gained as observers. Invaluable, thought provoking, emotional, moving, exciting – all of the above and more…
I believe that ST has to offer so much more than that! ST not only strikes a chord with me as a horse woman in my professional capacity as an Equestrian Coach, but also as a mother and Leadership & Management Coaching Consultant because the lessons to be learned are vital if we are to build successful, meaningful and healthy relationships and so reach far beyond the equestrian horizon: it teaches us Self Awareness, Self Regulation/Control, Empathy, Motivation & Social Skills (including Communication skills) – all of which are Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills. And the higher developed these skills are in us, the better quality relationships we will be able to build, grow and develop with those around us – humans, and in this case horses, alike.
As Marijke put it so well: when we look for IMPROVEMENT rather than excellence, we will find POTENTIAL & OPPORTUNITIES. And if something doesn’t go to plan, let’s not think of it as ‘failure’ or a ‘mistake’ but rather look at it as an ‘interesting outcome’ and see what we can learn from that outcome and perhaps change/do something different next time.
So I’m firing on all cylinders as they say and I am excited about getting stuck in, applying those newly gained skills and sharing the knowledge with you, my clients and all the amazing horses I’m blessed to work with. So – if you want a slice of the cake…don’t just take my word for it, see for yourself and contact us for more information and a coaching session (www.spiritinstirrups.co.uk).
An open, renewed & transformed mind and spirit will bring a transformed body. Invest in yourself, your horse, your relationships – you are so worth it 😉