“Changing your life starts with changing your mind:
Who you think you are is who you will become.
True Transformation begins when you understand
that you alone are in charge of your reactions,
even in the most difficult circumstance.”
Words cannot describe the feeling of just being in the presence of a horse; often you will feel calmer, be able to breathe deeply and just relax.
Everyone has the capacity to heal themselves though sometimes we need outside guidance to help us get us on the right track.
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My name is Leigh Hodgins and I am a certified facilitator of equine experiential learning and owner of Willow Spirit Path Holistic Services. My horses and I help people find their flow and live their best life through the wisdom of horses!
What is Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning® (“FEEL”)?
Equine assisted therapy is a fairly new healing modality where a person is in the centre of an experience with a horse as the teacher. The facilitator provides observation and feedback. FEEL is based on an emotionally intimate partnership with a horse. This is where the potential is for you to look within yourself to improve your health, well-being and life!
Horses engage people in experiential learning – learning by doing. Using mindful activities, participants to learn to find their answers from within as horses reflect or mirror back to them what is going on within themselves. People gain knowledge and acquire skills from these activities. FEEL activities reinforce the perception of change and promote integration in their daily lives.
All FEEL activities are done only if the horse is willing and are usually done at liberty (meaning that the horse is loose within a confined area). There may be certain situations, such as working with young children, that the horse will have a halter and lead.
It is believed that working with horses can affect change within us more quickly than other mindful activities.
FEEL affects people by:
- Allowing us to get out of our head and more into our heart, allowing us to be more empathic and compassionate and thereby increasing our emotional intelligence;
- Allowing us to become more mindful, authentic and vulnerable;
- Assisting us with developing intuition, self-awareness, awareness of others and mindfulness;
- Helping relationship development, communication and leadership skills;
- Helping us to understand and regulate our emotions better;
- Expanding our self-awareness and awareness of other people;
- Helping us understand and set boundaries;
- Opening our heart to endless possibilities; and
- Increasing vitality and energy.
- Generally, horses help people re-connect with themselves and their lives.
- Working with horses allows a person to experience an authentic relationship; you will feel safe with a horse as they offer unconditional support and love without judgement. Horses will not reject someone who is authentic.
- Working with horses brings feelings to the surface which allows people to understand and work with their emotions to become emotionally agile providing emotional growth.
- Partnering with a horse allows safe physical interaction; there is nothing better than a horse hug!
- We understand our behaviour better when we see it mirrored back by the horse as this helps us to self-regulate.
- The large physical presence of a horse provides people to confront their fear and gain more courage and confidence.
- It has been determined that less than 10% of communication is verbal. Horses help us to understand body language, unconscious behaviour patterns and intent of words and actions.
- Horses have survived through the ages as they have highly sensitive observational skills and intuitive responses to their environment. Most people mainly rely on intellect while horses rely on their entire bodies allowing them to read and respond to the energy around them.
- Horses listen at a different and deeper level and this resonance is a sense of connection. Horses respond to this connection and we interact with the horses’ insightful reflections, change our behaviour and experience a positive impact of such change.
- One way we connect with each other and other beings is through energy, mostly electromagnetic, consciously or unconsciously.
- The strongest source of electromagnetic energy is produced by the heart, then our gut.
- The Institute of Heart Math in California has conducted research into energy radiating from and being received by the heart and how it affects our feelings and behavioural responses.
- The magnetic field of a heart is 100 times stronger than the field generated by the brain and the heart carries important information.
- The institute of Heart Math discovered that the electromagnetic field of a horse is 5 times stronger than that of a human heart and that a horses’ heart rate is about 3 times slower than a human.
- People and horses have a need for personal space and each one is different.
Given this information, horses have a lot to teach us how to live a better life!
All FEEL activities are done on the ground and there is no riding involved. Previous horse experience is not required.
Willow Spirit Path Holistic Services offers private, couple, group FEEL sessions as well as workshops.
Come out to Whonnock (Maple Ridge) and meet the horses in a beautiful location in nature with an open mind and heart and experience the magic of horses!
Amazing. Deep. Profound. Life Changing.
I connected with Jack and Reba today who are adopted by the incredible intuitive facilitator, Leigh Hodgins. We connected and communicated through our hearts and I was lucky to experience their medicine, magic & wisdom today. We tend to oversee their true values by just seeing them is “riding”/ racing/show animals. What they taught me today was how to be connected to source by fully staying in my heart space and by being grounded and calm in the present. They taught me to become more aware of my energy field and feel the frequencies embody each multidimensional cell of my body. They taught me teamwork and companionship in union and communion. They helped me to release and let go of the “manure” in my life and in my hearts pericardium. Their downloads keep coming and I’m truly humbled. Their wisdom is beyond time and I’ll be forever grateful to have their energies infuse with mine. Thank you horse people I’m honored to be received by you. May we all learn to be in our heart space at all times and bless the lands we walk on just like you.
I had the opportunity to take a one day FEEL equine healing workshop with Leigh and Nicole last month and was blown away by the value of this experience. The workshop was beautifully facilitated allowing each participant time with the horses, encouraging us each to go inward and connect with ourselves, and creating a safe place for us to learn what horses teach us best; how to feel, receive the message and let it go. We are low in numbers of beings on this planet that can non-judgmentally hold space for us and love us just as we are. This is what horses do and the gift of the experience the FEEL facilitators provide us - to have a re-set within ourselves and know what it feels like to be safe just to BE. To feel loved and complete exactly as we are in the moment. Thank you both for providing this profound experience.
- House Office
- Children (3-12yrs)
- Youth (13-18yrs)
- Special Needs