These boots are made for workin’ and that’s just what they’ll do. . . 🎶

You can learn so much about a person by the shoes they wear.  Really. . . think about it.

I, for example, spend a lot of my time in crocs, Haflinger clogs. . . and round toed, rubber soled, Ariat or Justin cowboy boots (Fat babies or Gypsies to be exact).  Each of these need to be replaced about once a year because I wear holes into the soles.  My shoes tell you a bit about my willingness to greatly sacrifice style for comfort, my heritage, and my trade, among other things, I’m sure.  They tell you about the lifestyle choices I’ve made.

I have a pair of running shoes that I bought almost 20 years ago.  I wear them occasionally.  There was a time in life I had every kind of flip flop imaginable.  I remember wearing a very professional skirt and suit jacket with flip flops. . . and it was appropriate in that situation during that season.  I have some heels that I literally have to dust off each time I wear them.  I bought a pair of red boots with turquoise tops 20 years ago that are still one of my most prized possessions.

Wouldn’t it be fun to tell our life story through our shoes – just pictures of our shoes on a timeline?  I think I’d love that.

People.  Horses.  And Healing.

I remember the day I realized that I had found what I was going to dedicate my life to.

People.  Horses.  And Healing.

The light was shining through the sliding glass doors that created one wall of our ground floor living room apartment.  There was this little wicker couch with heavy boucle cream colored upholstery from the 80’s and a sage colored papasan chair I’d bought at Pier 1.  We had gotten most of our furniture from Thrift stores and my roommate’s artwork was hung on the walls.  Even today, the print of Beth’s clay pots hangs in my office.

I had just gotten back from a 6 month break from Denver Seminary.  Due to a complete faith crisis coupled with a nasty break-up, I had decided to move to Massachusetts with my sister to live in a primarily Buddhist community and learn about a cancer diet my mother had dedicated herself to after a bout with ovarian cancer. (But this is a story for another time). I had just returned to Denver Seminary to finish my Masters in Counseling when I stumbled upon this career that has become my life’s work.


10-year-old Bettina with Mr. Ed

Coming Back to Horses

I am one of the lucky girls whose first love was my Dad.  He loved horses, so I am also one of the lucky girls whose second love was my horse, Mr. Ed.  I loved that horse and I have always believed that he loved me – he at least went to great lengths to keep me safe.

When I was 15 years old he and his pasture mate, Babydoll, were both hit by cars on a foggy Florida morning. (This too is a story for another day)  For me, this was the beginning of a long hiatus from horses.  My father tried to get me the palomino I had always wanted but we couldn’t really afford it, and I was far too heartbroken to build a relationship with another horse.

Anyway, as the sun came through those glass doors in that little apartment, on the heels of a renewed commitment to finish the path I had begun at Seminary, I felt myself drawn back into relationship with my second love.  I have heard many stories about the thin moments people in this field experience when they realize they can help people with the help of horses.

They can get a new office among the animals and nature they love.

They can wear their boots to work!

I’ve also heard many stories about people who “came back to horses” through this field.  I often hear bits of my story in the stories of others.  For many of us, this is a dream and a coming home.

Buy the Boots

The first person I called when I’d found my calling was my Dad.  He was so excited for me and with me.  One of the first things he said was, “We have to get you some new boots!”  There is certainly more to the story, but the brown boots with the yellow tulips you see at the top of this blog are the boots he got me at the very beginning of this transformative journey I have been so blessed to have found.  I have been honored to watch many, many new practitioners come into this field to find their calling and their passion.  Almost always, one of the first things they do is buy the boots.  Seriously, I’ve seen it over and over again.  We all wear different boots for very specific reasons.

Y’all this field is much harder to get started in than more typical office therapy, coaching, etc.  We have to do quite a bit more than hang out a shingle, but it’s simpler to get started than most people think. Yeah, you need a horse.  Yeah, you need some sort of space to be in with a horse and person.  Yeah, you need some education, but I am here to tell you that none of these things need to be perfect for you to start.  Lots has happened over the last 20 years, but first I bought the boots, and I’m so glad I did.  Wearing my boots to work most days is a lifestyle choice I will never be sorry I made.

Walk with us

If it is your desire to come to horses or to come back to horses and help people heal and grow through the powerful connection that can be formed between horse and person, I say buy the boots! That’s the first step to getting started. If you want to know the next steps, we’re going to be diving into exactly what you need to do to get started in this business in our upcoming webinar on January 18th at 5:00 pm Central. Register here!

Building a strong foundation, from the boots up, is the best place to begin. If you’re eager to make 2024 the year you really dig deep into this work, I want to personally invite you to join us for our upcoming Fundamentals of NL. Registration happens to be open right now and there is no better time to begin than right now. Learn more about Fundamentals and join us.

Maybe one day you can tell the story about how you found your way into the coolest niche field ever simply by showing us the shoes you wore to work in 2023 and shoes you wore to work in 2024.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?!

P.S. These boots are made for workin’ and that’s just what they’ll do . . . 🎶

I hope this song is now stuck in your head because, 1. It’s been stuck in mine for weeks and I need some company, and 2.  It’s a great beatem’ up song to sing on the days you need some serious power to get through, because even dreams and miracles require a lot of work, and some days will be hard.  Sometimes you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, so the boots you wear are super important!  Buy the Boots!