Hoofbeats help healing

A new program for cancer survivors uses relationships with horses to help ease struggles that may come with transitioning back into normalized life.

Linda-Ann Bowling, master coach of Unbridling Your Brilliance in Aldergrove, says the strength of horses can be used to heal people in ways that conventional medicine cannot.

Her latest program, “Hoof Beats Back to Power — let the healing continue,” is designed specifically for cancer survivors, and uses the growing art of equine guided training to overcome emotional barriers within an individual.

Bowling describes the method as a partnership using horses for “self discovery and self learning,” by utilizing the natural behavioral traits of a horse, rather than physical riding abilities.

“One of the most predominant things that we have found in our relationships with horses is they can always get to the root of some of those emotions that are often buried or confused,” said Bowling.

Through what she calls emotional congruency, coaches monitor a horse’s body language to reflect how honest a person is with their own emotions inside.

As Bowling explains: “a horse will only feel comfortable with a human if a human recognizes that they’re stressed or fearful or anxious. Where a horse doesn’t feel comfortable with a human is when a human pretends that they’re feeling fine. So it can be very healing for a human to be with a horse who is much more accepting that there may be more going on than they may be aware of themselves.”

All of the work in the program is done on the ground beside the horse. It is not equestrian based, so there are no riding skills needed.

Instead, methods such as meditation, breath work, yoga, and heart connection are used to engage the horses.

Bowling says that this new workshop places an emphasis on learning to take back control of your own life, and to move forward into a new beginning.

“Really the metaphor is that cancer has taken over your life so now, are you going to lead it, or is it going to lead you?” she said.

Bowling describes the process as “quite an emotional experience,” and says it’s best for “people who are searching for something that’s non-conventional — they’ve tried all the rest and they want  to be part of a community.”

“Hoof Beats Back to Power let the healing continue” will be held on Friday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Healing Heart Sanctuary- 25027 Robertson Crescent in Aldergrove.

Pre-registration is required.

For more information call Linda Ann-Bowling 604-626-4806, or e-mail linda-ann@unbridlingyourbrilliance.com.