Claire is a successful business woman who has had a high flying career in Australia and the US. She has been operating a very successful consultancy in conjunction with leaders in her field. Not everything had run smoothly however in her personal context and she was aware of other people’s energy pushing her to live a life they thought she should rather than allowing her to lead her own. Knowing she is a strong woman that has made her way by being a bit of a rebel and backing her choices she was feeling uncertain as to how to handle this pressure. She had concerns about how to be assertive about her needs and rights without the situation becoming confrontational and volatile.
Claire was immediately drawn to Dior, a majestic and sensitive black and white gelding. He appealed to her eye for beauty but he also rather represented “forbidden fruit” as horses of his colour had been deemed unsuitable in her youth. He was again the choice of the rebel. Claire was asked to groom Dior in a very mindful way, to be aware of her own responses and feelings and of his. What were his brush preferences, how did he react, when did he move away and how did she respond internally to his reactions? To pay attention to her breath and the rate of her heart beat. Claire entered in to the task with great enjoyment and obviously was engrossed in the task, very comfortable with the contact. Whilst she was brushing his tail one of the observers asked “Are you aware of where your leadrope is?” Claire looked down to see she had dropped the rope on the ground and was almost standing on it. She quickly picked up her rope and continued with the grooming. In a later experiment Claire was asked to back Dior a few steps using her energy. He backed a couple of steps but then stopped, his rump quite close to the fence behind him. Claire continued to ask him to backup with increasing energy. “Claire, stop for a moment. Where is Dior standing. What might happen if you keep putting pressure on him to move backwards?” asked one of the observers. Claire realised Dior had no way to go backwards and therefore could potentially jump forward if she kept trying to “back him into a corner” . She repositioned him with clear room behind him and was easily able to back him up with just a little energy.
Later discussing her experiences and what she had learned Claire said “ When I have an idea I back myself and I just jump in an push ahead. I trust that everything will be alright. It is the same with needing to stand up for myself. I have a clear idea of what I want and I just go for it. What I am not doing is taking that little extra bit of time and using my awareness to see what else might be impacting the system. I make it all about me and my energy and ability to make things happen. I realised today that no matter what the system is I am in, there will always be other things impacting it that I must be aware of and adjust for if I am to be successful. I will be aware that a situation need not be volatile if I use that awareness and don’t back people into a corner they have to fight to get out of.