Reflection, Repose and Release

My life has been more than a little chaotic lately but a recent experience is one that I absolutely must share.

My time in therapy has tought me that my emotions are not only to be listened to; but embraced, encouraged and enveloped.  This new found realization has led me to see things for the technicolour wonder that they really are instead of the dark shadows that had cast their cloak over me for years.

My beloved and I have resolved to go on a “Date Day” each week.  When ever possible, these dates are to be experiences that neither of us have had and more importantly are new for us as a couple.  On Saturday, we had been invited to take part in a “Grow Shop” at an amazing facility called Horse Drawn Insights.  The facilitator, Kristi Rockley is a friend that we met during the a Mindfulness Experience with Ned Burwell.

This “Grow Shop”  called “BE”coming! is, as the website describes it:

Choose to “BE” an active participant in your personal and professional life by immersing yourself within an experiential afternoon of Horse Guided Learning. Connect and engage with our HDI Herd through awareness of body, mind and spirit.

Clarify your goals; Focus your intention; Deepen your intuition; and Experience an energetically compassionate space created to encourage healing, growth and transformation.

Explore life’s gifts and challenges along side a horse partner, as you re-connect to your authentic self and dispel and break free of life’s illusions.

So off we went to a Horse Ranch about 20 minutes from our home in Aylmer, ON.  Driving into the facility we noticed that there was no separation between where Kristi lives and where the herd does.  This little fact became all the more apparent as we walked in and took our seats to experience what it is to really “BE”.

Kristi led us through some guided meditation and a couple of activities before we had the honour of meeting the herd in its own environment.  Walking out into the cold and damp Saturday afternoon air was transformative.  I didn’t know what I was expecting to get from meeting the mixed herd of Quarter Horses, Clydesdales, Belgians and Arabians.  These horses are masters at just Being.  They have come together to heal.  They do not judge, they do not plan, they do not dwell on the past they simply exist in the moment.

Walking into the pasture and wandering about for the better part of 30 minutes, I could feel that there was something bigger than me at play here.

During the guided meditation, I found myself being drawn to the word “Release” and when we came back in from meeting the herd, Kristi revealed that to truly connect with the animals that reside at the ranch…we need to let go of all the “baggage” that holds us back from experiencing what life has to offer.  We took some time to really put this into perspective and wrote down all the things that we wanted to release.  The pen moved at a furious pace as I wrote down the emotions and challenges that I face each and every day and always knew that I needed to let go of.

When we had finished releasing on paper, we gathered around and set these things ablaze.  The cathartic release of seeing the pain, the suffering, the doubt and the challenges of my own barriers go up in flame brought real tears to my eyes.  I could not explain it in the moment but just as I was sparking the match to my paper a truly impressive Clydesdale named Nial came to the window that brings the indoor arena and the “living room” together.

When we each had committed our Release to flame, we went back out to the herd.

Nial was there waiting for me.  This 2,000 lbs beast greeted me as I entered the arena.  He pushed away other horses that came near me and for the next 30 minutes followed me around the arena and the pasture imparting what I can only call wisdom upon me.

It was a strange feeling being able to understand what this animal was trying to tell me, and I still am at a loss for words to actually communicate the beauty and tranquility that I felt while we were together.

To anyone who is lost.  To anyone who is challenged.  To anyone who is looking for an answer.  This is the place to lose yourself, challenge yourself and at the same time…find the way and the path to enlightenment.  The answers that I found did not and have not come easily to me but as Kristi said…I am now part of the herd…and even now days after the experience I feel that Nial is by my side, guiding me to find what was hidden to me.

Thank you to all that made that day possible.




  1. Ned Burwell

    That’s just wonderful!

  2. kristi rockley

    My heart overflows with gratitude and love! Thank You for sharing your experience Chris!

Comments are closed.