These comments are from participants in special Horse Ibachakali sessions that were held for healing purposes between 2012 and 2015. Some participants preferred their name not be used due to the private nature of this experience. One participant wrote an extraordinary essay about her experience that was published in a literary magazine and nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. You can read her essay here, thanks to her generosity.
“I felt it was very calming and very grounding for me. I think I will take a lot from this. I definitely will think a lot about reciprocity.” – Brooke
“I think everyone should come do this no matter what it is they have experienced in life. I think it’s just important. You don’t know what you’re going to learn from the experience. As long as you’re open to it, there is something to be learned…It teaches you something about yourself that you didn’t know and you can’t learn in any other way. You’re learning from the energy that is within yourself, and that’s something that, it just happens. It brings something out from inside of you that you didn’t know existed in there…I know I have learned things about myself that I am going to take throughout the rest of my life.” – Rachel
“I found the experience to be very grounding and powerful. I had been around horses as a kid through riding lessons, and my sense is that my childhood lessons were a bit more about mastery and learning a skill. This program is really about being present, and how much this ability actually affects the horses. I really felt so lucky to have such a gentle and meaningful experience. There was no real feeling of overwhelm or worrying about whether I could do any part of the program. It really was an opportunity for me to focus on my breathing and be present with these magnificent horses.
I really felt like I gained a re- opening of my heart for horses that I have always had, but put on hold. I could really see that as I got into a more relaxed state, breathed more deeply, walked with more intention, the horse would be calmer. I realized a little later that this is probably the case with all living creatures. If I am more relaxed and present, the people around me will be more so as well. This is such a great experiential realization. I could probably say that I already believed it, but to see it in action is pretty powerful.
I would recommend this course to anyone who would like to work on being more present. It is an especially great program for someone, like me, who has always loved horses, wanted to be around them more, but may feel a little intimidated by them. This is a beautiful introduction or reintroduction to being with horses in a much gentler, compassionate way. This is also a great opportunity to appreciate a more nature-based, indigenous view of life.” – Heather Fliege, MD
“I cannot say enough about how this experience was profoundly insightful and edifying on myriad levels.”
“I will take what I learned here into the world — the importance of breath, intention, reciprocity, and confidence, which I think most people would benefit from paying attention to.”
“I just wanted to thank you for what you provided WINGS folks on Saturday! I have heard several women talk about how powerful and amazing it was for them, and I am just feeling very appreciative and grateful for the work you do, and your willingness to open this up to our clients. I hope we can continue to grow this partnership — clearly it is a huge blessing for folks, and I want to be able to offer it to as many as we can. Thank you so much for everything you do!” – Stacy Sheridan, Former Program Director and Clinical Supervisor of the WINGS Foundation
“I can’t say enough about what a fantastic experience I had this past Saturday. What especially impressed me, were the women running the program, Jo and Dawn, as well as the women whose ranch it was held on and the handlers who were on hand to help. I learned so much and felt incredibly supported. I am so grateful for the scholarship. I hope to participate in future events with them. It was a very healing modality. I never would have expected it…I was very nervous. The horses were beautiful and loving. I did have some rough spots and was able to get through them thanks to the intuitive support of the women.”