So, the whole reason I got into the horseriding was because I wanted to Reiki horses.

I’ve been studying/practicing Reiki — an energetic, complementary healing modality — since 1999, but haven’t been drawn to working on people. People: they ask all kinds of questions, expect you to fix them… to be honest, I’ve haven’t had much success with humans. I kept seeing this advert, though, in one of my holistic-y mags, about a place where you could do a workshop for horses…

Not that I’d been around a horse ever, in my life. I’ve mentioned before [or have I?] that I just woke up one day, or so it felt, and decided that I had to be around them. I started reading books, and half-heartedly looked up riding schools, but never got any closer. Then came my big ride out— I can’t find the post, I’ve written about it before— in which I fell off the horse backwards and bruised my bum [two weeks limping around, thanks], and between the jigs and the reels and a marital break-up, didn’t do anything more.

But then I couldn’t take it, that course kept calling to me, and I signed up. Just me, a day’s work, and I learned about how to align the horses anatomy with that of a human, how to start the treatment, what parts were effected by the placement of hands, and I went to work on the horses that were at the centre. The couple who run it have since emigrated, which is too bad, and I had tried over the intervening years to find other like-minded types, to no avail.

Happily, I met a woman called Maria, a colleague of my godmother’s, back in the States, and the couple of times we’ve met, I’ve been able to give some Reiki to horses that she knew. I got results. I remembered why I’d started this horse thing in the first place. On the last trip, I’d worked on a lovely lad called Jo Jo, who got a big release after a short session.

It stayed with me. And, as I often, happily, find myself doing, I found myself emailing a place in Bray that offers equine assisted learning, and I offered my services on a voluntary basis. They accepted.

Festina Lente is a busy, beautiful, sprawling yard, with a super-enormous indoor and over 30 horses and ponies. Several of their animals work in a life learning capacity, and they are, I hope, to be amongst my first clients. I had the best feeling, being there, following my Thursday private lesson. It’s amazing, really, how things happen in the perfect sequence. I wouldn’t have known what to do without all the time I’ve put in, on horseback. Not from a mounted standpoint, but from an on-the-ground familiarity. Sure, I was wearing the right clothes, but more than that, I knew what to do, how to be. Had I pursued this without having gained my experience as a rider, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere, and possibly would have given the whole thing up.

I worked on Splash a bit, a youngish skewbald, who was lame. I was warned he was a little ADD, and sure enough, he wanted to see who was coming, who was going, whether or not there was any hay left from his lunch, and I whilst I only got him to be still for no more than five minutes, I did feel there was an exchange. He wouldn’t let me go near his off side, which was interesting. All I can do is observe and not make judgments, and certainly not make diagnoses. I’m just there to do whatever I can, to the degree that they’ll let me, and the rest is up to the horse.

This is liberating. I think what’s held me back with people was trying so hard to be effective. The horses give immediate, no nonsense, incontrovertible feedback, and that’s a very good thing for me.

So Thursdays are officially Thorsedays! There’s no pressure to be there every week, it’s very manageable and loose, and I’m keen to see how I get on. This also means that in order to get from my lesson to there, I add on a half hour that I can spend grooming the school horses before I get the forst bus. I’ll tell you about my new journey after I do it — it promises to be incredibly ornate!

Despite my ‘branding’ of myself as being slightly cynical — and I am — I’ve still got space for this energetic thang. I’ll be happy to balance my skepticism and credulity better, and if anything’ll do it, this just might.

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