The Healing Voice Within
By Nancy Addison, H.H.C.

When I was 8 years old my parents purchased my first horse for me.  He was a cute bay gelding pony, already 16 years old.  It was a remarkable time in my life.  “Champ” was well trained and incredibly wise.  He was actually larger than most people imagine a pony to be.  Standing 52 inches at the withers, he was a cross between a Welch pony (known for being wonderful children’s mounts) and a Hackney (known for their high-stepping spirit and show presence).  Although many horses have come and gone throughout my life, I still attribute most of my “horse sense” to Champ’s teachings in those early years.  He was a wonderful companion and a good friend.  Being “horse crazy” as young girls, my other best friend, Laura, and I spent the summers through our teens riding and playing with horses.

Many years later, I am now realizing how Healing Horses have been so meaningful in every aspect of the many transitions I have made throughout my life.  Other horses have come and gone, but none had the impact on me as that first experience so long ago. 

My life has gone many different directions.  In fun, I’m known to friends and family members as someone they’re never sure what I’ll be “up to next”.  Until about eight years ago, I always had a horse in my life.  At one time, I owned a breeding and training facility, which averaged about 20 horses at any given time.  Those days have passed and my last horse, now retired at age 22, is residing comfortably at my daughter’s place in Maryland; a beautiful rolling acreage and wildlife sanctuary surrounded on three sides by the popular Gun Powder River. 

I spent a weekend alone at my daughter’s in March to care for her animals while she was out of town.   It was a weekend that led me to an incredible healing and spiritual experience in which I was able to tap into my own inner wisdom.  Out of that experience, came another life transition for me.  I don’t know whether it was the location, the peacefulness, the fact that it was my 55th birthday, or that I was simply ready for the message when it came. However, I am following that message today.  My weekend in Maryland prompted me to explore my inner self and trust that my feelings were, once again, guiding me toward the Healing Horses. 

My passion has been to educate both myself and others on alternative and holistic methods of healing.  My health counseling services allow me to follow that path.  That weekend, I realized that I could easily combine my passion for healing with my love and experience with horses to an even further extent than I had previously imagined.  A realization that my life has unfolded exactly as it was meant to, was profound.  Now, the universe is unfolding all the options available to me in the field of equine therapy.

Horses are used in many ways to heal. Since the early 1950’s horses have been used for therapeutic riding both in Europe and the United States. If you go far back through history, there are many documents and legends about the healing nature of horses.  The fact that horses are large and powerful creates a natural opportunity for someone to overcome fear and develop confidence.  Horses are honest which makes them powerful messengers and, much like humans, they are very social beings.  They have distinct personalities, attitudes and moods. It has been proven, time and time again, that horses can improve the lives of individuals with physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities.

My story is two-fold: I wanted to share my own story of how, by trusting my own inner guidance, I found yet another transition taking place in my life;  also I wanted readers to understand that my experience is not unique. It can, and will, happen to anyone who so desires and turns toward their own inner awareness.  Clients have expressed to me their desire to become more intuitive.  If you want to strengthen your inner wisdom and guidance, I hope some of my suggestions below may help. Lately, on a personal level, I’ve been developing a much keener relationship with my own inner wisdom.  It takes practice and patience.  You will discover that when you listen to your inner sense, you are following your natural way of living – that which is fulfilling and more meaningful for you.  You become calmer, have more patience and respect for all beings and events in your life. Our inner wisdom is always there, inside us, guiding us.  It is always loving, wise and correct.  We may misinterpret it at times and we may lose touch, get off track a little, or push ourselves too hard.  But we are never alone. 

Unfortunately, we have all been trained through our socialization to automatically deny, ignore or discount our intuitive feelings to the point where many of us don’t even think we have them.  It is important that we take time each day to retrain ourselves to pay attention to those inner promptings we so many times overlook.

My suggestions are to relax and allow your awareness to move inward through some form of mediation process.  (There are many ways to meditate.  Make it part of your daily routine.   If you can’t do 20 or 30 minutes, you can simply quiet yourself for 10 minutes.  Even 3 or 5 minutes can be helpful.)  Relax, make yourself still, quiet yourself, and trust your inner wisdom.  During this stillness, ask yourself questions.  For example, “What do I need to know (or remember)?” or “What direction do I need to take in life right now?”  Ask any question you are pondering or ask for a direction in which you need guidance.  Instead of questions, you can also use affirmations.  Perhaps, say an affirmation to improve your health.  For example, “I will take better care of myself.”  Then, just let go of the thought and relax. 

Be receptive and open.  Notice thoughts, feelings or images.  Each day, simply be more aware of your “gut feelings”.  Or, notice a song on the radio or a conversation in the background while standing in line.  Our inner wisdom is being sent in many forms, if we only take notice.  You may want to begin a journal.  Daily journaling can be a remarkable experience where reflections of your true inner voice become more obvious on paper.

It was just this sort of exercise and experience that led me to my own personal healing experiences during that special quiet weekend in March.  It opened up a new exciting life adventure for me which I am now pursuing – a time to include Healing Horses again in my life.  My pony Champ was there with me that day, I am sure.

Nancy Addison, HHC is a graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City.  She sees clients for private wellness services and teaches health education classes through her company called Directions For Health. For more information on her services and classes, visit her website at www.directions4health.com or call 614-395-8353.