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  • Donna Carlson

THE HEALING HORSE

Recently, I had the honor of working with a new client who found me through an article written in the Saturday Evening Post titled “The Horse Listeners”. The article was about one of my ‘herdmates’, i.e., a fellow graduate of the program where I received my first coaching certificate in Equine Gestalt Coaching by Touched by a Horse (TBAH). This method is based on gestalt principles, is experiential in nature and offers lasting results. The horse is considered as an active partner in the coaching process and the method has been studied with proven efficacy.

In 2010, before my second husband passed, I opened my dog grooming business but was still interested in creating a new career with my horses—other than giving lessons—which I did for years. I completed a few equine related judging programs which I loved but found that it wasn’t feasible to consistently travel and take care of my farm and four-legged friends. In 2012, I received an email from TBAH offering the program. I did my research and was thoroughly intrigued. I signed on and began the amazing journey of learning about how I could partner with my horses while helping humanity.


I always had an interest in the social sciences and psychology. I had taken many Psych classes in both my undergrad and graduate studies. The thought of combining my interest in psychology and my true passion of working with my horses was a perfect route to take. So, for the next few years I did the intensive coursework and required travel around the country to do the on-site-hands-on ‘Core’ work…where the beautiful healing takes place.


Every student must do their ‘own work’. You need explore your healing, your past wounds, your pain and begin to really understand yourself better before you can help others. As the student, you go through the same self-discovery and path that I now, as a coach, walk my clients through. Although I had been through a lot of therapy with my first husband and on my own, this process helped me to unravel and heal some unfinished business.


I was able to process more about the enormous loss in my life; the loss of both of my parents, my eldest brother, a dear friend, and both of my husbands. I have since lost another brother and several in-laws. I was able to work through the heaviness and fear of being alone again at the age of 51 and the struggle of being a caretaker with my second husband through his battle with cancer. I was able to revisit my enormous struggle of being a wife and mother of my young daughter while also caring for my mother, working full-time, and attending law school at night all while watching and being in the horror of my first husband’s five year demise from an addiction. I was able to walk back to my childhood and clear up any disappointment that was hanging on. I was able to process some of the post-traumatic stress that I felt after my daughter’s critical car accident when she was 16. I am sure there was more but so much of this was cleared for me.


This was not traditional ‘talk’ therapy. This is where I was able to witness and feel the power and profound healing from the majestic equine. This is where gestalt takes you to feel the intense somatic emotions in your body, the release, and the beginning of feeling whole again.


I will never forget the first ‘core’ I attended in Arizona. I was not clear what would be happening but went with a bit of skepticism, an open mind and heart. The first time I watched the horse do his incredibly intuitive work on an individual, the tears ran down my face and continue to do so, each and every time I sit in witness of the healing process. I was stunned and amazed and began to understand the beauty of what was happening and the enormous release of that student’s ‘manure’. And, I was beginning to see, respect, honor and connect with the horse on a new and deeper level.


Horses are so highly intuitive, reflective, and are able to stay in a non-judgement state. They are not neurotic like humans in that they live in the moment. They really do not worry about the past (guilt or depression) nor do they look to the future (anxiety). Yes, of course they know when it’s dinner time and they certainly remember when a human has treated them poorly, but they do not sit in ‘worry’ like humans. The equine does not judge the client they are supporting. They do know, however, when the client is genuine and walking in their truth; and they know when and where in the body and soul that the client may be blocked.

Since receiving my certificate from TBAH in 2016, I have worked on creating a program to help heal the body, mind, and soul. To round out my program of healing, I have also studied and received other certifications in integrative nutrition, applied functional medicine, building personal resiliency, relationship training, as well as being a hormonal and weight loss specialist.


I have now witnessed the wonder of this work in so many of my clients. My clients have changed careers to realize a dream, lost weight and kept it off, balanced their hormones and feel great again, went through deep healing from past trauma whether from sexual predators or other forms of abuse, learned about personal development, learned things about themselves and their horses that were once unknown and now have a much stronger and connected relationship, created new and brighter visions for themselves, and so much more. These clients each received what they needed from their own courage and bravery, the healing process and reinforcement from the horses, and from the support of me--their coach.

Through my programs, women, equestrians, and veterinarians can find their joy, possibility, hope, and health again (or for some) for the first time. I can support you via phone, zoom or in person. If you have your own horse, we can do some virtual work where I can walk you through some of the work.


I am here to support and help you to transform your body, mind, and soul!

You deserve to feel whole and happy!!


To learn more or sign up for monthly helpful information, please visit my website @ donnacarlsoncoaching.com or you can reach me via email at donna@4healinghoofs.com.

Please also join my private FB group where you will find useful information and be in a place of support and love: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LevelUpYourLifeForWomen


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Helping Humanity Through the Gift of Healing | Coaching for Women, Equestrians, and Veterinarians

© 2020 by Donna Carlson. Proudly created by Catherine Respess of RedMareEnterprises.com

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