this is a page for

Category: The Magic is YOU

Dealing With Change

And why you have more control than you think.

I believe there is always a bit of good news in the midst of every experience.

And today's tidbit is all about CHANGE!

Because of the undeniable and un-ignorable threat, the Oregon wildfires brought to us these last two weeks...

I had no choice but to change...

And choose something other than what I knew.

Options like:
"the same"
"the safe option"
"the familiar"

Where not up for picking! 

If there's one thing I've learned this season of life (and all of 2020 to be real) it's to *EMBRACE* the unfamiliar.

Not only embrace, but welcome it inward, and roll with it.

A lot has happened in 2020.

Back to the future meme: don't travel to 2020

It's been a wild, wild ride.

And you may have felt stretched thin at times. 

Challenged beyond where you currently are right now.

This can bring up emotions like frustration, the drain of "meh" and exhaustion, or even racing thoughts of panic, sadness, and pain.

It's alright (and normal) to feel these lower emotions and energies. Never see them as "bad", because I promise you they have a purpose.

Also, they aren't something that "needs to be fixed," because nothing about you is broken. xo

As these emotions and energies surface, we have the magical opportunity to identify any destructive narratives we might be living in.

Then, we have the power within us (yes we all do) to replace them with more productive and focused narratives that help you align with where you want to go. Ones that serve us, not destroy us. 

This is so powerful when it comes to working with our horses!

Your body language and emotions change how the horse behaves

Your body language, emotions, energy and perspective have the power to change how the horse behaves

On my journey of becoming the best version of my horsewoman-self I've come to realize it's not about improving my training skills, but much more about understanding my thoughts and emotions and how to build 'mental resilience'. 

Which plays a lead role in how to stay calm when things go sideways, upside down, or flop flat. Or how to work beyond frustration when your horse seems to just "not get it"... or when you catch yourself in a cycle of blaming the horse...and much more.

Here's a story to sum it all together.

Fire + Horses can get a little 'HOT'

The day finally came, when the horses arrived home after nearly 8 days living in an evacuation center due to the imminent danger of the forest fires.

GIF of horse rolling

Libby- upon arrival back home!

To say the least, a mega swirl of emotions and energies consumed me that day. I woke up groggy and sluggish because of my building anxiety from the days leading up.

My job was to greet the horses at our barn, help unload, and make sure everyone was guided back to their correct stall or pasture.

So, a lot of this process up until they got there, was out of my control. I accepted this. But, where I met resistance was when the horses arrived. 

And even in this situation, despite my desire to control...things didn't go according to *my* plan.

P.S. can you relate to my deep desire to control this situation?

But more surprisingly, was the destructive narrative that played out in my head when the woman, who graciously hauled the first trailer, quickly and assertively took the lead rope out of my hands right after I backed the horse out of the trailer. And to top it off, the horse was my horse, Libby.

Want to know what my reactive, "self-talk" was to this situation?

"WTF, she must think I'm not skilled enough to walk this horse into the barn! Crap, do I come across as not capable or weak? Maybe it's because I was telling Libby good girl as she backed down?"

This "self-talk" doesn't sound too glamorous does it?

Yes, I too struggle with the feeling of "not-enoughness" 🙌

This was a situation (it can be any situation) and it doesn't directly create your reaction to that's the thoughts that do this. When two different people live the same situation, their ability to handle that situation does not come down to the situation itself, it comes down to the thoughts they have in regards to their experience.
- Dr. Shannon Irvine, Neuropsychology 

What's key here to take away is that these thoughts limit my scope of vision. And if I was to stick with it, it would prevent me from acting in a way that's true to who I really, honestly am. 

I genuinely believe that when you are acting in a way that's NOT true to who you are, your horse senses this and this inhibits the depth of your connection to them. 

Connection with a horse is about being vulnerable

Look honestly within at your level of vulnerability... here you'll discover a path to a deeper connection with your horse. 

Author and speaker, Brené Brown shares that the personal (I) belief of; "I am enough" is THE MOST IMPORTANT thought we can think. 

She says in her 2011 TED Talk, 

"When we believe, I am enough, we stop screaming and start listening. We are kinder and gentler to the people around us. We are kinder and gentler to ourselves."

Link to her TED Talk "The Power of Vulnerability"

These personal, internal narratives, are a reflection of what you truly believe, and what you ultimately act matter what you say. A script on auto-play loop, becoming embedded beliefs about who we are, our role in the world, and ultimately how we view our capabilities and limitations. 

Our brain tells us these stories, often as a 'safety release' to keep us safe, help us cope with the possibility of failure, or deal with pressures. Hence why they are called "limiting".

But, remember, good news in the midst of this all...

You have the power to rewrite these narratives! Replace them with what you want to believe, what will ultimately serve you, and aligns with where you want to go.

As it is a continuous practice...I've been hard at work rewriting my "not-enoughness" to that of strength, value, confidence and worth.

Try to remember that even when chaos swirls around us...

We can STILL thrive.

We can STILL shine.

We can STILL deeply love; ourselves and others.

After all, that IS where the truth lies at the core of who we are.

Fire + horses + chaos taught me this: 

We are never at the mercy of circumstances because we always have a choice on how we interpret and view everything. (Thoughts about situation) 

Even when things don't go according to plan.

Even when things don't go according to our preference.

So, yeah, 2020 may not have been what any of us would have anticipated, preferred, or planned...

Quote about dealing with change

Now I'd love to hear from you:

1. Did you experience any ‘aha’ moments from this conversation? 

2. Which part of our conversation resonated most and why?

Leave a comment below and let me know. Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible horse-lovers come here for insight and motivation, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.

Have trust in that my friend.

xo Erica

P.S. Here is a fabulous interview I recommend with Todd Herman and Marie Forleo. You'll discover even more ways we can change in life and the very fascinating, physiologically what's happening during this process. 

Downlowd Everyone's Fave Guide!

"My Top 5 - 5 min. Exercises to Strengthen the Bond With Your Horse"

Discover my top 5 exercises to begin strenghtening the bond with your horse. Short on time? No problem! These only take a few minutes each time, so fit them in as you can. They are straight forward, and effective strategies you can take TODAY to begin improving the bond you have with your horse. 

The Secret to Building (& Keeping) Progress With Your Horse

In 2016 I worked with horses in a very clear pattern of start-stop – start-stop (oh hey, confused horse.) I had no clear progress towards my horse specific training goals.

It all balanced out in the end (with plenty of great lessons), but it was exhausting and a bit too hype-y for my taste.

While free-lunging my mare Tilly the other day I had a *mega* Ah-Ha moment that helped me understand what I was doing all those years ago – helping me see why it is SO important to just slow down and keep movin’.

Basically, slow it way on down and get my turtle race on. Leaving the hare in the dust.

Spoiler Alert: run the turtle race because that guy wins!

If you’ve had a hard time keeping steady with your horse lately, you’re gonna like this one.

In this blog, you’ll learn:

  • How achieving the goals with your horse is like being a loose horse in the arena- fresh out of the stall
  • What I did to get my productive mojo back after numerous “stops” along the way
  • How to come to terms with your own seasons of life (without losing progress with your horse)
  • That our horses always look the happiest when they are able to be free and buck as they please

Click below to watch (or take a listen):

To Unsaddle this lesson:

There’s no denying it: Progress feels GOOD. Momentum feels GOOD

When we don’t take steps forward toward something we want- we deflate.

We feel directionless and disoriented because we ARE directionless.

When we pause and remind ourselves where we’re headed (i.e. look forward!), it’s SO much easier to keep moving forward.

If you’ve lost your momentum ( & that progress-productive feelin’), on your horse training goals…

Here’s how to get back in the saddle and on the track runnin’

  1. Choose ONE task you’d like to complete (or one goal you’d like to meet) in the next week (or month)
  2. Break that DOWN into teeny-bite-sized action items (steps). We’re talkin’ tiny steps, like little ears on a baby mini tiny!
  3. Commit to doing at least ONE of those items/steps the next time you see your horse. (And have the list ready of next steps in case you’re on a roll.)

Example: In the video above, I share how hard it was (mentally, physically and spiritually) to get back into a productive mojo with my horses after taking so much time away. I challenged myself to spend time with each horse every day for 10 days. I didn’t start with tacking up and riding. Literally- day one all I did was walk into the space of each horse, said “Hi”, and offered some scratches. BOOM.

Get the point here, friend?

THIS is being the turtle. And the turtle WINS.

Stick your head out of the shell.

Start. Walk, run (or trot!) your race.

Stay focused. You’ve got this.

Your Barn-Homework

I’d love for you to share:

1. What is ONE totally achievable tiny-step you will take next with your horse to start (or keep) building progress & momentum?



Here’s to productive turtles.