Horses Know the Way Home: Tapping Animal Wisdom for Human Success
Apr 30, 2012 10:08PM
● By Kim Childs
As founder and owner of Horses Know the Way Home, a personal development company in Jamestown, Rhode Island, Brian Reid fuses his passion for helping people with his love of horses. Reid worked as a personal trainer and remodeler for several years before his own life crashed under the weight of addiction, an event that sent him on a steadfast path of recovery and personal growth. Reid became a life coach to share the lessons he’d learned and, eventually, added his horse Brenda Lee to the coaching team. Natural Awakenings asked Reid to explain how he chose such an unusual business partner.
Why did you think that a horse could help your coaching clients?
I bought my wife a horse for her 40th birthday and realized that it needed a companion. So I bought my own horse, a Shire mare named Brenda Lee, and fell in love with her instantly. I started bringing my coaching clients by to see Brenda Lee and I’d put them up on top of her. And that’s when the magic happened. Because, in a coaching relationship, the client’s success is totally dependent on his or her ability trust himself or herself, which can normally take six months to a year. When I put people on Brenda Lee, they would achieve that state in six minutes.
How does that happen?
Clients usually come to me stuck or confused about some area of life that’s not working. When I put them on top of Brenda Lee, they’re immediately outside the box of the story that’s got them stuck. They’re in a position where, if they go into their heads and try to control the situation, they’re going to lose balance and fall off the horse. If they exhale and surrender, they feel control, and they have the physiological and mental knowing that surrender equals control. And then I ask them, “Now what was your story?” And for the first time they can look at the issue from a non-judgmental point of view, feel their personal power and create something beautiful out of the thing that had them stuck. I’ve never had anyone do more than three sessions because I get incredible results.
Can you cite a specific success story?
I had one client who looked extremely wealthy and powerful on the outside. But on the inside he was petrified by “what if?” questions. I put him on Brenda Lee and he initially kept sliding off because he was desperately trying to maintain control. But the only way for him to succeed up there was to relax; specifically, to relax the base of his spine between the pubic bone and coccyx where safety, trust and faith are held emotionally and energetically. My client was bypassing faith and trust and trying to think his way to success. We interrupted that pattern and, when he surrendered to Brenda Lee, he had a “light bulb” moment. I asked him to tell his same story from a relaxed, trusting state of mind and he was able to solve his problems. We met a few times after that before he said, “Brian, I can’t go back to being uptight. It hurts to even think about it.” Today his banking business is booming, even though he started it at the beginning of this recession.
What else can horses teach us?
The horse is the most domesticated animal we have that maintains a connection to its wild side, so it creates a window for us into the natural laws. For example, we’ve all heard that it’s important to live in the moment. Well, horses are always in the moment. We’ve also heard “To thine own self be true.” If you are present and true, a horse can connect with you. So they help people to tell the truth and trust themselves. I developed my workshops by taking all the personal development principles I know and looking at them through the eye of the horse.