"You must whip your horse Lee Ann!" I will never forget those words that the horseback riding instructor often shouted at middle-school aged me. On my horse, I was decked out in knit riding pants (with sugar cubes in the pocket), boots, a helmet, and of course, a whip. I was scolded so often with those accented words that even my family teased me about them and won’t ever forget them either. But this was an early experience I remember having with horses, and clearly, it didn’t sit well with me. I love animals, why on earth would I want to whip them? Continue reading for free right now on Daring Discoveries Substack.
As part of the final in-person module to get certified in Equine-Facilitated Learning by The HERD Institute, you are required to lead a mock session. I already knew after I was certified that I was going to want to combine EFL and the work I had been doing as a Daring Way™ Facilitator, so I decided to be brave and just give it a try. Having run courses on Brené Brown’s 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living many times, I chose one that I am always working on: Cultivating play and rest: Letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth. Keep reading for free at Daring Discoveries' Substack now.
After I had my first hit of Equine-Facilitated Learning (EFL) at Brené Brown’s Courage Camp in 2017, I was hooked. So much so that I was willing to drive five hours away in 2018 to attend a Texas gathering of Certified Daring Way™ Facilitators that was going to include more EFL. When I learned that only one or two of us would actually be going in with a horse, I felt my anxiety and scarcity rise. Keep reading for free at Daring Discoveries' substack now.
On February 18th, 2023, the first Daring HERD® Courage Workshop was held at Braving Star Farms. It was amazing! My very first personal experience with equine-facilitated learning in 2017 was actually all about courage, so I wanted to share it here, along with the four components of ordinary courage (as defined by Brené Brown's research).
1. Rumbling with vulnerability
I entered the arena with the side of my chest aching. I had shingles there when I was in High School, and often when I get anxious, I feel the nerve endings where the huge, painful blisters once were. We hadn’t been given instructions for what to do in the arena, and not knowing what is expected of me is a panic inducer. Later I would find out the vagueness had been on purpose because we were meant to be rumbling with vulnerability, but all I had in that moment was the shitty first draft I had written before going in: People are watching me. I will cry. I won’t know what to do and will second guess myself. I will step in shit.
Lee Ann Hilbrich (she/her) is an author of three books, a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator of Brené Brown's work, a Qi Gong and Yoga Teacher, and a SoulCollage® Facilitator. She is also certified in Equine-Facilitated Learning. Learning.
Lee Ann Hilbrich, MA, LPC, CDWF, RYT 200
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