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Belief in Magic: The Grown-up Version

Belief in Magic: The Grown-up Version

By Bettina Shultz-Jobe

In 2018 when I was pregnant with Mabel, our second child, I began watching This Is Us during the last trimester when I was on bedrest.  I was already a little late in the game on this series at that time, and now I’m even later. So is life as a business owner and Mama. . . 

So, I recently watched the last episode of season 4. If you’re a This Is Us fan you might remember when Gerald McRaney, the actor who plays Dr. Nathan Katowski, shared some words of wisdom that he supposedly pulled out of thin air in the moment. Maybe you also cried (or wept) like I did. He said: 

“I think the trick is, not trying to keep the joys and the tragedies apart. But you kinda gotta let ’em cozy up to one another. You know, let ‘em co-exist. And I think that if you can do that, if you can manage to forge ahead with all that joy and heartache mixed up together inside of you, never knowing which one’s gonna get the upper hand. . . well, life does have a way of shaking out to being more beautiful than tragic.” 

At our home, our Christmas tree tells our life story. Memories of people who are no longer with us, homes and lives in which we no longer live, moments we will never get back. Each year tears fill my eyes as we unpack and hang ornaments that take me back to younger love, younger children, and seasons I thought would never end. Each year I remember, reminisce, and grieve.

When we decorate the tree I also feel the joy, magic, and mystery that is all around during the holiday season. Sometimes this comes easy, but more often than not I find that it is a practice.  It’s a discipline, because life is hard. It’s hard for everybody. Even when it looks kinda easy. . . it’s still hard. It’s gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking, and for many of us these feelings are profoundly worse during the holidays – in juxtaposition to all the Christmas Spirit and the implication around every corner that we should feel joy. I call this grinch pain, and it is all too real for many of us.

Some of us were blessed (or lucky) enough to remember a time in childhood when magic seemed easy. Ya know, it just happened (mostly because we had parents who really loved us! But that’s another conversation). The awe and wonder of the Christmas season was simple. I was one of those lucky children.  

As life happens, the magic of this season can become less. . . well magical, if we let it. It’s so easy to lose sight of the magic of twinkle lights because they take so damn long to put up. It’s a lot of work. It’s terribly easy to lose sight of the beauty of just about anything worth working for, especially when we’re in the thick of it. 

During my childhood, Christmas traditions, twinkle lights, trees, and Santa Claus all just happened – the innocence of this kind of magic is something I cherish. It has brought me great joy to be part of creating this kind of magic for our children, because I believe this helps to set the foundation for something even more miraculous and magical to occur. . . 

To find awe and wonder and magic and joy even amidst all the work it takes to create it. Even during the very real pain that life often brings. This is a miracle. I do believe that to recognize and accept a miracle takes great work and oftentimes even greater risk.  Very seldom do miracles just happen.  

For me, the entire Christmas season, especially tree decorating day, is a perfect time to practice letting the joys and tragedies “cozy up to one another”.  Deeply holding and feeling both.  The risk is huge, because there is no way of knowing “which one’s gonna get the upper hand” moment by moment. At times, I have been overcome by grief when unwrapping and hanging ornaments, but it’s mind-blowing what those lights look like through tears. When we just stay in it, keep feeling all the things, the reward is great.  It’s a high risk, high reward venture.  

The belief in magic we experience in our youth is innocent and beautiful. . . and fragile, but the magic found at the end of a pilgrimage and a voyage  – the grown-up version of believing in magic, in miracles, is worth dying for.   

My wish for you this holiday, however you may celebrate, is that “you can manage to forge ahead with all that joy and heartache mixed up together inside of you, never knowing which one’s gonna get the upper hand.”  Because this is brave, and this is what prepares the way for things to be “more beautiful than tragic.”  

This is the miracle of Christmas.  

Waiting on the Drive

Waiting on the Drive

If you’re not familiar with the term Waiting on the Drive it’s probably because you have never helped gather cattle in a very large, very rough pasture. It is a term I learned in my early teens. In just four words, it encompasses some of the best characteristics of a good cowboy or even just a good person.

There is so much of the unwritten, unspoken code of being a cowboy wrapped up in this term. It was never explained to me – only modeled by countless good cowboys (the word cowboy is certainly not gender specific) that I have had the good fortune to get to work with in the course of my life.

Let’s start with the literal meaning. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was running a very large cow ranch in New Mexico. One of the pastures on that ranch was around 8,000 acres.  There was only me and two other men working on the ranch.

Many of the ranches in that area were large, with only a few men working each one. When it came time to gather and work the cattle, none of the ranches had enough men or women to do that on their own so all of the cowboys on the neighboring ranches would help each other.  It was called “neighboring”.

Neighboring

Usually when we were gathering and working the 8,000 acre pasture there would be me and my two guys plus 10-15 neighbors. We would meet at the working pens and get our horses saddled and ready for the day. We would ride out before sunup to make the two mile ride to the start of the 8,000 acre pasture.  Then we’d ride to the backside of that pasture to start gathering the cattle about the time the sun came up.

As we were heading to the back of the pasture I would drop cowboys off at strategically planned out places to make sure the entire pasture was covered. The cowboys that were dropped off first, and each one after that, did not start gathering cattle immediately. They had to wait until everyone was in position to start the “drive.”

In an 8,000 acre pasture with 15 cowboys there is no way to see what anyone else is doing because they are so far apart.  So the first ones dropped off had to wait until they judged that everyone had time to get in position to start the drive.  Usually if everything was timed right, the drive would start about the time it got light enough to see.  The first ones dropped off would spend more time waiting on the drive than the ones dropped off further along in the pasture.

Good timing doesn’t happen by chance

The goal of the drive was to arrive at the gate out of the pasture with all of the cattle that were in that pasture and all of the cowboys accounted for.  Timing was critical. If one cowboy got his cattle to the gate ahead of the herd it was almost impossible to just hold them there until the others arrived.

These were not gentle cattle that were regularly handled.  On these large ranches they were only gathered twice a year, once in the spring to work the calves and once in the fall to wean the calves.  They were usually pretty wild and not easily handled. They were easiest to handle when they could be in one big herd.  So anyone that didn’t merge their cattle with the other cattle as they were moving in the direction of the gate would cause problems for everyone.  Ideally all of the cattle would come together simultaneously in the vicinity of the gate. None of this happened by chance.

When you are waiting on the drive, you have several responsibilities that contribute to the success or failure of the drive.  It is a time when you can relax a little and take in the wonder of a new day beginning and the world starting to wake up. This was always my favorite part of the work, alone with just my horse, watching the sun start its fight to drive away the darkness, completely devoid of any man-made sights or sounds.

But that feeling of peace didn’t exist in a vacuum.  You had to be keenly aware of any sign that the drive had started.  You didn’t want to be ahead of the drive but you also didn’t want to be behind it.  That sign might be the first hint of a cow bawling for its calf, or a herd of deer moving out in front of the moving herd of cattle.  It might be a slim wisp of dust circling above a distant hill.  Sometimes it was just a gentle nudge coming from somewhere inside, saying “It’s time now”.

If you are not fully attuned to yourself and all that is around you it is easy to miss the sign.  If you miss the sign it makes everything harder for you and for everyone in the drive.  It makes things harder for your horse and for the cattle.  It makes everyone have to work harder.

The time that you spend waiting on the drive can be the most rewarding part of the day, but it is also the most critical.  Great, important things are about to happen but you have to be prepared and ready to do your part.

It’s nearly time

Our upcoming online conference, Sunrise Summit, reminds me of Waiting on the Drive in so many ways. It’s an opportunity to get in the right position and settle in for the magic that’s about to happen. It reminds me that being in the moment and enjoying what’s happening right now is just as important as anticipating what’s to come at Sacred Landscapes, our in-person conference that will be happening in November.

Waiting on the Drive isn’t passive. It’s not something that happens to you – it’s a condition you create by attuning to the present moment and focusing on what’s to come while connecting with other cowboys who are preparing for the journey, too.

We invite you to join us for Sunrise Summit October 13-14 and do some neighboring with us. Grab your ticket here: www.naturallifemanship.com/sunrise-summit.

 

 

 

What Services Do Your Equines Assist?

What Services Do Your Equines Assist?

By Bettina Shultz-Jobe with Kate Naylor

In a recent webinar we discussed the importance of having a clear understanding of the service you provide when offering *Equine Assisted Services in your community.

When communicating with clients, collaborative partners, or funding sources it is imperative that we can speak to how our service helps others, who it helps, if there is any research on this service, and last but certainly not least, how does incorporating horses into that modality make that service a richer, deeper, more embodied and effective experience for the participant?    

While this  blog will not focus on the “Why Horses?” part of the conversation, (admittedly, the part that most of us love to talk about!) how we answer this question IS super important, and was discussed during this webinar if you’re interested.  It’s also a conversation for another day.

So then, let’s talk about the first part of our communication about what we do, which is also very important – the services your equines assist. . .

*Learn more about our terminology here.

 

Foundations of Service

It is crucial that we understand how we would serve our clients without horses present before we can ethically and effectively incorporate horses into our work.  Yes, horses are such powerful partners, but they aren’t the only part of the process….AND there is just so much more to hold when they are part of your services.  

In this field we offer what is called Equine Assisted Services – an umbrella term that encompasses things like:

  • Equine Assisted Mental Health and Counseling or Equine Assisted Psychotherapy which is facilitated by a licensed mental health professional.
  • Equine Assisted Coaching facilitated by a certified coach.
  • Equine Assisted Energy Work
  • Equine Assisted Health and Wellness
  • Equine Assisted Spiritual Direction
  • Equine Assisted Reading Support (yes, even this is a thing!  I discussed it in the webinar I mentioned at the beginning of this blog.)
  • The list can go on and on. . .

NL teaches you how to incorporate horses into the service you provide in a trauma informed manner.  This approach is based in the relational sciences and is attachment focused. 

In order to use the Natural Lifemanship approach ethically and effectively, you must know what services you provide separate from the inclusion of horses. You can explore this idea further by asking yourself…what have I learned about how humans heal, and what do I believe about how humans heal? What skills do I offer people to support their healing? What are my goals when I work with a client? If I couldn’t work with the horses today, would I still be offering competent services to my clients?

Several of you have asked that we provide some suggestions of places you can get more support, guidance, and education as you hone the services you provide.

There simply is no way for us to give you an exhaustive list, so I have narrowed this list down the following ways:

    1. The list below includes only trainings that do not require participants to have a Master’s level education or license in the therapy field.  Mental health, occupational, and physical therapists often find it easier to describe the service they provide, so I wanted this blog to offer support, or a starting point for those who are outside of the “therapy” box.
    2. I shared several trainings that I have personally completed and have found to be very helpful in the work I do with people and horses.  Many licensed professionals will find these trainings beneficial, but a professional license is not a requirement to attend.   Again, all of the trainings below can help build a skill-set and refine the service someone outside of the therapy field is offering.
    3. I have also included some trainings that NL  trainers or certification students have completed, but I, personally, have not.  We have over 300 certification students that come from various backgrounds and I spend a lot of time with most of them  – during the certification process it is often clear to me when a person has trained in a way that better prepares them to integrate NL into their practice.
    4. Lastly, I have chosen services in which the integration of horses as partners seems natural and organic.  Horses do a beautiful job of assisting these services, if you will.

I hope you find this list helpful as a starting point.  I also included a few links to some NL content if you are interested in exploring a certain category of services with us.

By the way, more learning for NL Members is coming soon in every single one of these categories!   To be notified when we release new trainings and resources in these categories, sign up for our newsletter.

 

Trauma Informed Care

Trauma informed care is for everyone!  This is why it is the backbone of the Natural Lifemanship trainings, and informs many of the services that follow in this list.  NL offers a detailed overview, however there is plenty more to learn if this is to be a service you choose to offer.

Trauma informed care simply means that one is working from a place of 1)understanding the neurobiology of humans and how trauma affects that neurobiology, 2) understanding the value of rhythm and how to offer it, both literally and figuratively, and 3) is relationship first focused (relationship before task – this is easier said than done in day to day life).

Trauma Informed Care is a perspective, an ethos, a philosophy, as well as an approach, and can therefore be utilized in literally any service.

The Neurosequential Model:  Dr. Bruce Perry.  Tracks offered for clinicians, educators, caregivers, sports coaches and trainers, clinical supervisors, and clinicians who work with young children.

Nurturing the Heart with the Brain in Mind:  Bonnie Badenoch

The Mindsight Institute:  Interpersonal Neurobiology with Dr. Dan Siegel

 

NL content available if you are interested in exploring this direction:

The Fundamentals of NL teaches many of these foundational concepts.

Conversation with Bonnie Badenoch for NL Members

Trauma Informed and Developmentally Sensitive Schools for NL Members

Trauma Informed Care and Trauma Informed Relationships are for Everyone for NL Members

NL Connection Kits to support bottom-up regulation

 

Somatic Work

“Somatic” means “relating to the body”.  As our understanding of human beings has evolved and deepened, one thing has become clear no matter the theory or perspective…the body is not simply a machine executing the brain’s wishes, it is alive with its own way of thinking and feeling and it informs all that we do.

If we wish to support humans in a healing process, at the very least, a basic awareness of how the body is involved in developing a person’s lived experience is necessary.  Not only will somatic training aid you in supporting humans, it will deepen your relationship with yourself and your horses as well.  All of this learning will complement what NL teaches.  Horses are natural partners for somatic, body-based, and movement practices.

Somatic Experiencing

The Center for BodyMindMovement

Uzazu Embodied Intelligence

Body-Mind Centering

 

NL Member content available if you are interested in exploring  this direction:

Healing Attachment Wounds Through Movement with Bettina Shultz-Jobe

Orientation:  Moving into Presence with Mark Taylor

Somatic Experiencing®, Attachment and Touch with Sarah Schlote

NL Intensive and Personal Immersion delve into this much more.

 

Coaching

Coaches typically assist people in identifying, pursuing and achieving specific goals and objectives.  When working with humans to support their growth and development, no matter the modality, it is necessary for providing ethical services that the provider have a basic rationale for why and how they will approach a session, as well as develop goals to guide the work.

Coaching trainings will support you in learning how to provide that structure for your clients. Horses tend to give very genuine and honest feedback so their interactions with humans can help clarify patterns of behavior, relating, and communication that may be contributing to a client feeling stuck or blocked from moving forward in their life.

International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaching

Neuro Somatic Intelligence Coaching

Ontological Coaching

 

Experiential Facilitator Training

The human nervous system needs experiential learning to turn information into embodied knowledge. Purely cognitive approaches to healing take us only so far – in order to promote lasting change in a client, we must include the whole experience – not just thoughts, but emotions, sensations, perceptions, relationships, etc.

Facilitating a client experientially can be quite different from traditional talk approaches and requires a separate skill set. Learning to support your clients in having a healing experience takes training and practice.

Facilitation 101

We!  With Chad Littlefield

Mark Collard – based in Australia, but has super valuable online learning

 

NL Member Content available if you are interested in exploring this direction:

Rainy Day Activities: Trauma informed, experiential activities that can be done without horses AND that blend well with EAS programming

 

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation practices focus on bringing the mind into the present moment, which can include noticing our surroundings with our senses, observing our internal experience, and tracking the body’s experience as well.  Often some breathwork is involved. These practices support clients in grounding and regulation which are the foundation of any future healing, and can be utilized anytime, making them incredibly approachable practices.

Both mindfulness and meditation trainings are a great entry point for those wishing to provide healing services – often trainings offer a protocol or specific skill set that can be implemented immediately.  Of course, fine tuning one’s offering takes time.

The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Little Flower Yoga:  Mindfulness and Yoga for Children

 

Content available to NL members if you are interested in exploring this direction:

Mindfulness Practices to Build Connection with Shannon Knapp

 

Therapeutic Drumming

The research that supports drumming keeps rolling in.  The individual or group connection that occurs through rhythmic music making can be a powerful offering in the support or healing of clients. It is also playful, creative, and engaging! (AND so amazing when the horses are part of this!)

Upbeat Drum Circles with Christine Stevens

Health Rhythms

Village Music Circles with Arthur Hull

 

NL Content available if you are interested in exploring this direction:

Finding Your Rhythm:  Therapeutic Drumming with Mary Oliver and Reccia Jobe for NL Members

NL Rhythm Resources

Rhythmic Riding and Personal Immersion both integrate therapeutic drumming

Rhythmic Passages for Wellbeing with Mary Oliver  for NL Members

The NL Drum Connection Kit

 

Breathwork

Everyone breathes, it happens automatically.  And, everyone can control their breath, with practice.  Our breath is linked to our nervous system in intricate ways and the one influences the other.  Learning to aide clients in breathwork is a simple and effective way to support them in regulating themselves, staying connected to their own internal and external experiences, and begin healing from the inside out. The breath is a tool everyone has access to, regardless of circumstance, making it a highly approachable service to offer.

Heart Math Institute

Online Breathwork Teacher Training

 

NL Member content available if you are interested in exploring  this direction:

I recently did some teaching for NL members about ways we have integrated the HeartMath emwave into our work here and here.   

Breathing Practices for Nervous System Awareness and Regulation with Jennifer Cohen Harper.

 

Energy Work

So much of our human experience occurs in the unseen exchange of energy between ourselves and the world around us. Training in energy work can support a practitioner in honing in on this exchange of energy and facilitate energetic movement that fosters healing in a variety of populations.

The language of horses is largely energy based.  Horses communicate with their bodies and provide rich opportunities for people to learn how to tap into this deeper knowing of the rhythm and flow of the energy of their own bodies.

Reiki – Many of our certification students are trained in Reiki.  Mary Oliver, our Rhythm and Art Education Coordinator, recommends that you find a qualified Reiki Master for Usui Reiki (teachings of Mikao Usui) that has good reviews.  Some of our students recommend Torsten A. Lange,  The International House of Reiki, and Simply Reiki. 

Eden Energy Medicine

Emotional Freedom Techniques:  EFT Tapping Training Institute

 

NL Content available if you are interested in exploring this direction:

Personal Immersion and NL Intensive touches some of these concepts

Tapping into Peace:  Percussive Tapping Techniques for Self-Regulation and Soothing for NL Members

Chakra Balancing with Michelle Holling-Brooks

 

Yoga

Yoga is an excellent way to support connection to one’s own body and internal experience – it offers rhythmic and intentional movements that explore, soothe, and strengthen.  When conducted in a trauma informed manner, yoga can be very healing for the body and cultivate growth that is beyond or beneath words.

The Trauma Conscious Yoga Institute

Little Flower Yoga:  Mindfulness and Yoga for Children

 

Parts Work

“Parts work” is the idea that every individual is multi-faceted, or contains multiple sides or parts of self.  These parts come alive for different reasons, to serve different purposes, and make up the beautiful and complex nature of being human.  Supporting clients in working with their “parts” destigmatizes and expands the range of human experience, which often allows clients to experience less shame and a more integrated, central sense of self.

Jungian Archetypes also address a similar concept – that the human experience is both collective and individual, we all experience a wide variety of ways of being in the world and identifying too strongly with parts, or rejecting parts, can lead to suffering.

In archetypal work and parts work, the practitioner supports the client in seeking balance, and feeling whole – this is a perspective anyone can operate from to support healing in self and others.

IFS Institute

Life Architect

Pacifica (This one is an M.A. or Ph.D program)

Jungian Archetypes Diploma Course

 

Content available through NL membership if you are interested in exploring this direction:

A journey from Parts to Self with Jenn Pagone

 

Psychodrama

Psychodrama is an experiential way of facilitating clients that involves making what is internal become external. Psychodrama supports the processing of memories, intentional acknowledgement of the present, exploration of dreams, engagement with parts and unavailable others, and practicing for the future – which makes it a suitable facilitation approach for a variety of practitioners, and blends well with a variety of other methods. This approach can be done with individuals and groups and involves constructing figurative and literal representations of an image, experience, place, etc so that the “director” and client can walk through the experience together.  

American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy

American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama

Federation of European Psychodrama Training Organizations

 

Polyvagal Theory

Polyvagal theory is an emerging approach that addresses the experience of the nervous system in response to social and environmental cues.  Techniques developed from the theory support practitioners and clients in noticing and regulating nervous system functioning in order to find safety and calm within the body. This groundbreaking theory and its ongoing development will no doubt continue to be cutting edge in the field of health and wellness.


EQUUSOMA

Deb Dana’s Rhythm of Regulation

 

Content available through NL membership if you are interested in exploring this direction:

Doing Attachment-Based Work (in-person and through telehealth)

 

Working with Children and Parents

Children and their parents make up a significant portion of the clientele seeking equine assisted services. Learning to support families in cultivating their own health can be an incredibly satisfying endeavor, with a wide ripple effect. When we understand how the relationship is the vehicle for change, we can positively impact children and their parents no matter our background.

Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)

Being With with Robyn Gobbel

 

Content available through NL if you are interested in exploring this direction:

NL for Young Children and Parents

 

Spiritual Direction

Healing often requires engagement with mind, body, and spirit/soul. There are many ways to become a spiritual mentor to anyone who feels called to the role.

Spiritual Direction International

The Living School is considered a wisdom school so it doesn’t fully fit under this category, but I am placing it here because of the profound manner in which its students seem equipped to guide people in contemplative spirituality.

The Sacred Art of Living A school offering many learning paths in the art of both living and dying.

 

Content available through NL if you are interested in exploring this direction:

Natural Lifemanship for Spiritual Connection

 

Enneagram

The Enneagram is a powerful tool for inner work.  It helps us and our clients understand why we do what we do – the subconscious drives that motivate us and shape our patterns of relating in the world.  The enneagram begins with self- awareness and empowers individuals to take responsibility for their own growth and development, offering choice and leading to healing and greater freedom and integration.

The Enneagram Institute

The Narrative Enneagram

Chestnut Paes Enneagram Academy

Integrative 9 Enneagram Solutions

The Enneagram Prison Project

Unbridled Change Enneagram Series

 

Master the Fundamentals

The Fundamentals of NL is the best place to start for those who have a clear sense of the service they provide, and for those who are still refining their service or scope of practice.  This training provides foundational knowledge, skills and hands-on experience to help you take the next step.  If you’re ready to incorporate horses into your work in a trauma-informed and relationally focused way, NL will meet you where you are on your journey.

The Fundamentals of NL is the first step on the NL Certification path and is only offered a couple times a year.  Our final cohort for 2023 begins in September. Join us!

 

 

 

Just Released: Integrating Horses into Healing – edited by Cheryl Meola

Just Released: Integrating Horses into Healing – edited by Cheryl Meola

We are beyond thrilled to share an amazing new resource for the field edited by Cheryl Meola. We had the honor of contributing severals chapters to this book. When she approached us about contributing chapters, Cheryl said she wanted this book to be a resource for people newly entering the field of equine-assisted services. We were asked to write in a “newbie”-friendly way. That said, we believe this book is equally valuable for seasoned professionals and for those new to the field.

You can purchase Integrating Horses into Healing now on Amazon!

Here is a list of the book’s chapters with the titles we contributed in blue:

    1. Natural therapeutic aspects of horses by Cheryl Meola and Malaika King Albrecht
    2. The evolution of equine-assisted services (EAS): horses are good for people by Lorrie Renker, Octavia Brown and Pebbles Turbeville
    3. Horse Speak and Partnership by Sharon Wilsie and Laura Wilsie
    4. Relational Equine-Partnered Counseling (REPC) by Hallie Sheade
    5. An in-depth approach to relational work with equines: Natural Lifemanship by Bettina Shultz-Jobe and Kathleen Choe
    6. Breathing into relationships: the HERD Institute approach to equine-facilitated psychotherapy by Veronica Lac
    7. Side-to-side astride: the benefits and challenges of equine mounted work in trauma processing by Susanne Haseman
    8. Blended therapy modalities in equine-assisted psychotherapy: integrating equine-engaged internal family systems (EE-IFS) and equine-connected eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EC-EMDR) by Jenn Pagone and Kathleen Choe
    9. Medical therapy (OT, PT, SLP) enhanced with hippotherapy by Joann Benjamin, Ruth Dismuke-Blakely and Karen Gardner
    10. The Equus Effect: a road to regulation through equine-assisted learning by Jane Strong, David Sonatore and Elizabeth E. Lloyd-Richardson
    11. Serving those who served…and still serve by Tara Mahoney
    12. Beyond mind and body: spiritual connections in equine-assisted services by Kathleen Choe and Laura McFarland
    13. Be the Horse’s Advocate by C. Mike Tomlinson
    14. Enhancing the horses voice: incorporating Horse Speak into psychotherapy by Susanne Haseman, Sharon Wilsie and Laura Wilsie
    15. Exploring socio-emotional and cognitive development in horses by Tim Jobe, Tanner Jobe and Rebecca J. Hubbard
    16. Not just horsing around: an equine professional’s guiding principles by Malaika King Albrecht
    17. The role of the equine professional in equine-assisted services by Tim Jobe, Tanner Jobe and Reccia Jobe
    18. Heart centered horsemanship: the horse trainer’s perspective in EAS by Stacey Carter
    19. A holistic perspective: My transformative journey through Natural Lifemanship by Sarah Willeman Doran
    20. Are we there yet? The ongoing journey of healing for the healers by Kathleen Choe
    21. Interventions and strategies toward mental health and wellbeing for professionals by Aviva Vincent and Joanna Robson
    22. Starting or restarting an equine-assisted services organization: Don’t put the cart before the horse by Nancy Paschall
    23. The key to a successful non-profit board by John Matthew Kundtz
    24. How do you know it works: Evaluating equine-assisted service programs by Maureen MacNamara
    25. Bridging research and practice in equine-assisted services by Kimberly I. Tumlin
    26. Conclusions and future directions

Each chapter in this book is contributed by an expert in the field and provides an overview of the topic plus concrete examples and helpful resources. We are so proud to have been a part of this effort and cannot recommend this book strongly enough!

Get your copy of Integrating Horses Into Healing today!

Psst…when you order the book through the links in this article, we earn a small affiliate commission. This transparency is important to us, but since we contributed to the book, you know we recommend it whole-heartedly!

 

Tim Jobe’s Story of Personal Transformation

Tim Jobe’s Story of Personal Transformation

This week, we opened registration for the NL Intensive. One of the big questions we always get from our community is how the NL Intensive is different from the Fundamentals of NL.

 

The simple answer: Fundamentals teaches you a new way of thinking about your relationship with horses, people and yourself. The Intensive teaches you a new way of being. 

 

The Intensive is the point in your learning that represents a complete and total paradigm shift. It’s when the old ways of doing, being and showing up are set aside and the new ways of being take root. 

 

So, how did we come about this way of teaching and embodying the principles of Natural Lifemanship? It all began with my partner in life and in this business, Tim Jobe, in 1986 at  West Texas Boys Ranch. Here is  a snippet of Tim’s story.

 


 

In 1986, Tim  was running a 40,000 cattle ranch when he decided to take a new job. There was a 5,000 acre farming ranch in West Texas that needed an experienced horse trainer to work with not only the horses, but also 75 displaced boys who lived and worked on the property.

 

“The horses were really well trained, but the boys couldn’t ride them at all,” Tim said. “Pretty soon, I realized it wasn’t the kids’ fault.” 

 

Growing up, Tim experienced domination, control, and severe abuse in his family of origin. And like all of us, the nature of our earliest relationships extend to our way of thinking and being in our relationships with others, including those with horses.

 

“These boys didn’t know how to intimidate the horses the way I could,” Tim said. “But I decided that if I was going to be able to get those boys to ride, I had to find another way to interact with my horses – without power, domination and control.  I had to help them learn to do the right thing because it was the right thing to do.”

 

Change your principles, change your techniques

 

Working at a boys’ ranch, Tim often went to staff meetings with child psychologists and other specialists.  As he listened to the principles the psychologists used when working with the boys, he started to wonder why we don’t use these same human relationship principles when we work with horses.

 

“We have these patterns in our brain for what works when training horses,” Tim said. “We can consciously think about what would work better, but our bodies fall into old patterns so easily in practice. We can’t just destroy everything we knew before – we have to use all the techniques we know work, but with different underlying principles and a different body state.” 

 

“Before starting on this journey, I would ask a horse to do something and just kept increasing the pressure until they did it,” Tim said. “But to do that, they had to quit thinking, quit feeling and just submit to everything I asked them to do.”

 

“Now, I understand that resistance is just a search for an answer, so when a horse resists, I keep my energy and my intention the same.  I offer more connection.” Tim said. “I don’t want to remove my request because then I teach that the way to get your needs met is to resist.  I have to maintain my request in a way that makes it safe for the horse to continue to search for answers, because if I increase my energy or the pressure they will submit, appease, or increase the resistance.   This is one example of a small change that has made a big difference. . . and took a ton of personal work.” 

 

Embodying the principles of Natural Lifemanship

 

This new way of being that Tim pioneered back in 1986 was the foundation for the principles Natural Lifemanship is known for today. Along the way, we have met people like you, who want to live in a world where connection and healthy relationships are seen and felt in everything we do. 

 

To live in that world, we have to build it. 

 

When our relationship with horses and people are built on trust, mutual respect, attunement and connection, the healing principles can transfer seamlessly to healthy human relationships with yourself and your clients. 

 

On Thursday, March 9th, Tim Jobe will be in conversation with Kate Naylor about his discovery nearly 40 years ago, the transformation that took root for him during that season, and the personal journey he took to  truly embody the principles of Natural Lifemanship – a journey he’s still on today. We hope you’ll join us for that conversation

 

If you’re ready to join us on your own journey of personal transformation – and build the world we want to live in – join us for the NL Intensive

The Impact of Rhythm in Trauma Informed Care

The Impact of Rhythm in Trauma Informed Care

By Kate Naylor and Bettina Shultz-Jobe

 

A heartbeat. Waves rolling in and out on a sandy beach. The rising and setting of the sun. 

The aroma of your favorite meal. A long walk to clear your head. That sense of joy that comes from swinging on a swing. 

Your partner walking in the door at 5 o’clock every day and offering that same greeting they always do. The connection that follows a relational repair. The sound of horses munching on grass. 

This is rhythm.

Our bodies and minds crave rhythm. It exists both figuratively and literally in our daily lives, and offers us repeated experiences of predictability in our environments, our relationships, and in our bodies. 

Not surprising then, rhythm is one of the three necessary components of trauma informed care as outlined by Dr. Bruce Perry and many other experts in the field of trauma and attachment.  Others like Bonnie Badenoch, Dan Siegel, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Pat Ogden, and Bessel van der Kolk emphasize the importance of rhythm in our lives. 

Without rhythm, we miss an integral part of the healing puzzle. In fact, we cannot offer Trauma Informed Care without it. 

We also experience plenty of moments that are filled with a lack of rhythm, a lack of predictability – times of sensory, environmental, or relational chaos. These moments have an impact on us too. 

 

The practice of creating rhythm in relationships

Recognizing literal and figurative rhythms allows us to use them to enhance our programs, our work with clients, and our own healing work. 

Join us for the Fundamentals of Natural Lifemanship to:

  • Better understand how sensory rhythm is always affecting us, even in the very beginnings of life
  • Rhythmically connect with our bodies and the world around us to regulate the nervous system 
  • Experience how much the rhythm of our movements matter (especially around horses!)
  • Learn the components of rhythmic environments 
  • Feel how to BE in rhythmic relationships with humans, horses, and other animals 

… and how to creatively bring more intentional rhythm into your sessions for effective (and fun!) therapeutic work.

 

The benefits of rhythm

With more rhythm, you can expect a more regulated mind and body – setting you up for more client progress and less professional burnout. 

Pssst…in the Fundamentals, you will also come to understand the other two necessary components of effective trauma informed care!

Improve professional competency, enhance your work, and engage clients in lasting change – with the Fundamentals of Natural Lifemanship.