Today is a special day in a long standing journey, today is Spirit Horse’s first year anniversary...
Spirit Horse had been a dream and vision of mine for over 15 years. It all started with a little red horse named Rubi, who I leased a decade and a half ago. Rubi was a firecracker of a little mare with a long list of issues that would put her in the category with most equestrians of dangerous and unsuitable. Needless to say, she wasn’t responding well to the more “conventional” methods of horsemanship and so my first set of questions were born; why do we train horses the way we train? What is our goal when we work with horses? It is to give us pride? Give us worth? To connect? To have fun? Through working with trust and connection with Rubi, I started working on trust and connection in other places in my life. As I watched my peers bully and tease one another to gain self importance, I saw riders bully and tease their horse for the same reasons. I also started to see a different way, a quieter way that wasn’t so obvious. I saw people who were at peace with themselves, living for bettering humanity. They weren’t the ones bragging or being critical of others, they were the ones riding their horse at dusk in the shadows of the sun looking connected and in sync with their horses at every moment. They weren’t living for pride but for true harmony and you could see it in their eyes, in the way they handled interactions, how their horses responded to them, and in just about every gesture they made.
These questions, these observations, sent me on a spiritual and psychological quest to understand the answers. What is it that helps people be in harmony? What do some people understand that helps them live in health? What are these secrets that allow us to live physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in a better place?
Using these questions and starting with a curiosity of our horse and human relationship, I wanted to understand the role of healing through counseling psychology. I added eight years of college, mixing in spiritual principles from Aikido, Tai Chi, Buddhism, the mystics, theories of the perennial concept with the framework and discipline of psychology. I was kindly given a job at a horse farm training and teaching while I also was able to work with an array of horse trainers that were considered some of the best in their fields. It was almost like having three seemingly separate paths; the journey to human wisdom, the knowledge of psychotherapy, and the art of horse whispering, begin to merge and Spirit Horse was born.
I want to thank the countless mentors and teachers that helped me combine these roads to offer a different way of working with ourselves, our horses, and our world. I have been so blessed to have the wisdom holders of these different paths teach me their art and I am so honored to be able to pass it on. I want to thank those who have supported the starting and first year of Spirit Horse, those who have lent horses, offered rides, made space, and got involved. Most of all, I want to thank those who have come to learn, to process, to discover, and to heal. Every one of you have inspired me, whether our journey’s crossed for an hour or I am blessed to see you multiple times a week, I appreciate deeply having been a part of your process.
I truly hope that this path that brought me to start Spirit Horse, these questions, the knowledge, the wisdom, the heart opening quality of this work is contagious enough that it spreads quietly and changes lives for the better, and that it puts seeds in our minds that we can decide to grow when the time is right. Thank you all again for being part of the community!
Kaia Livingstone is a psychotherapist who runs a private practice outside of Boulder, CO. She specializes in helping horses and humans bond in order to help them relate and connect on a deeper level.