"I've been gifted some pretty neat experiences in my life, and this morning I had another. Yes, this will be a long post, but I want to share the details because it was so cool and definitely helped me be more honest with myself! I've been around horses very briefly a couple times, but Grant and Randa invited me (and Alan) to do a little equine therapy with Randa's beautiful horse Rende. Randa did a quick intro on the way horses see through any facade and expertly cut through to the truth, responding to your innate, genuine energy of the moment. Randa was amazing guiding me as I felt my hesitation to walk towards Rende (about 30 ft away) and I had immediately teared up with my awareness of fear that this gentle horse will reject my request to connect. She told me to put my hands over where in my body I felt it (my gut), and just ask myself what it's about, and when I was ready, to start walking towards the horse. Rende looked at me and I took it as an invitation to approach. He sniffed me a little and I stood there wondering whether to pet him or if he didn't want me to. He started to lower his head closer to me, and as I stroked him, felt like he was connected with me but I was worried I was just making him sad with the intense inner sadness I've been dealing with lately. And as I was feeling grateful for the connection and thanking him in my head, he puts his head directly on my gut where I had been feeling that fear of rejection. The best part was I had 3 people observing me communicate with this horse and therefore 3 perspectives to learn from as they shared what they saw after each interaction. Randa noted right away the assumptions I put on this horse of him not wanting me in his space, and the assumption that I was making him sad just being next to him, but how everything she observed was him actually wanting to be with me and him letting down his guard and showing vulnerability to me. They then decided to take Rende off his lead and see how he did. Alan took his turn approaching Rende off lead. When it came to my turn, I was again thinking he would have no interest in connecting with me now that he was free (ohhhh boy do I do this with people which was Randa's whole point about the power of working with horses to learn about ourselves and being careful about the assumptions we make). At first he just wanted to walk back and forth along the ring on his own and was more interested in all the noise outside the barn. But I squatted down in the area he was walking, and he noticed. Inside me I was talking to him saying, you have to choose this too. Connecting is something we both have to choose. I stood up, and after a little bit he walks towards me... then past me again... then he comes back towards me and stops next to me. Success! So I start walking the same path he kept walking, with him. Randa later noted how I joined with him first in his activity to then get him to join with me, which was beneficial for her to see, and we talked about that being my strength. We walked up and down a few times, him tending to go just a little ahead of me (shown in the video). After a few laps he seemed to lose interest so I walked back towards Randa and said I felt him disconnect. But she pointed out that yes he had hesitated continuing with me, but when I walked away he turned his head to show there was still interest. She talked me through reconnecting with him... and wow was it a whole new level of connection after that. We continued the same lap, but I was more leading the way knowing his hesitations would only be short, and he walked my pace with his head at my arm rather than a little ahead. And when I changed the path we had been walking, he came with me. It's hard to say how long we walked around for, but it was a good 10 minutes at least I think. By the end he was starting to direct where I was going by nudging my arm with his head. I had to stop walking at one point because he was pushing me into a jump. Randa said not letting him do this is what we will work on later, haha ... I'm a pushover and need to stand up in my power more - it's true. There's my weakness (one of many). So all of this is a loooong way of saying, what a cool and enlightening experience. I'm so grateful for the opportunity. And thank you Alan for the video and photo!!!"