In an ongoing series, Keren Weinstein, our Guest Life-Balance Editor, took a much needed trip. More than the need to go on vacation to a new locale, she wanted to find her own sense of balance and thus Project Detox began. Last week, we realized stopped and truly enjoyed the power of the perfect bite! Today, Keren shows us why we need to horse around.
You order the signature dish at a world renowned chef owned restaurant. You buy vintage Chanel when traveling to Paris.
So too, at Miraval® Arizona Resort & Spa, their signature activity and much talked about ‘Equine Experience’ was Not to be missed.
<i>One order of Horse-Whisperer-experience for me please.
Extra sun block with a side of cowboy boots!</i>
After roll call, we were released into the expert hands of Wyatt Web, the legendary bestselling-author-creator-and-director-Equine Programs-and-resident-human-therapist at Miraval. One look at him and I had this dizzying sensation that we were in for more than just a horse ride.
Although the ranch was a short drive from the resort grounds it felt like we were secluded from the world. There was no traffic, the desert scenery was vast and organic, and the most man-made action consisted of abandoned-looking desert mailboxes (pictured above).
Dimensions away from New York City.
As with Swing & Prayer, we first sat in a circle and, guided by Wyatt, introduced ourselves, shared why we signed up for this activity, & what we were expecting.
What a scene!! I recall literally needing to step outside myself to view what was happening and take a mental picture. The large rustic wood chairs in circular formation. The wise-looking ‘cowboy’ sitting back, oozing inner peace and speaking to us as if he knows something we have yet to know. The magnificent backdrop of raw desert surrounded by the Catalina Mountains. The midday desert heat beating on us. The scent & sound of the Sanoran desert.
This was a scene from a Western flick. And I had a starring role.
The Good, the Bad and the [ultra chic]
Wyatt’s instructions: Go out in groups of two and groom the horse.
Eyeing each other’s reactions like in the Brady Bunch theme song we were all thinking the same thing.… shouldn’t I, on my spa vacation, be getting the pedicure and hairstyle - not the horse?! Before we could finish our thoughts, as clearly Wyatt knew what we were thinking, he proceeds to say…”this is not about the horse, it is about you”!
Horses (like babies) are very intuitive. Mindful. They have a supernatural ability to respond instantly to whatever they experience in the moment. This includes what you may be feeling, thinking or even planning to do next.
They have a Horse Sense.
This sense forces us to be honest with ourselves when working with the horse. To use our instincts. Our emotional energy.
When in this raw state we can learn a lot about who we are and how we are perceived by others. How effective we are in communicating, relationships, tasks, etc.
Like a mirror into ourselves.
The trick Wyatt says is to go in with clear Intention. “Your body is your oracle” Stay focused on your present task. Follow-through. If you do not succeed in getting the hoof up. Try again using a different method. If you still cannot do it. Ask for help.
And with that we go out into the corral. Grooming buckets and curiosities at hand. For 15 minutes I struggle with that horse. I do exactly what I thought Wyatt said to do. I walk up to the horse and I focus on my intention.
The horse does not budge.
I step back and try again & again using different methods. I attempt to force the leg up (as if they don’t measure strength in Horse Power!!). I pet the horse (what a stunning horse). I focus from my mothering skills onto this adorable creature “c’mon sweet thing, I am doing this for your sake! You need to have a clean hoof! Just lift up for me. Just try to enjoy your pedicure. It’s for your own good. now…Lift!.”
Then, like a cross between simple matter-of-fact and a bit of scolding Wyatt says to me “Would you stop taking care of everyone else and focus on yourself. (Isn’t this why I am even on a Project Detox?!) This is for you! It is not for the horse’s sake. You have a task to finish and he is not assisting.
Intention. Focus. Follow-through.”
(This rancher was not horsin’ around!)
I go back in and this time the horse begins to bring up his hoof to my hand before I even touch him. As if he senses my next move. Like we were connected. Like I was a magician. The Oracle.
This was my Aha moment.
Looking around at my “Brady Bunch family’, I spot a few more I-just-had-an-Aha-moment faces & I instantly learn the deeper meaning behind ‘Horse Power’.
The next tasks from point of self discovery and on were not only simple but empowering. We each got a turn to walk the horse and then to guide him in a round pen. With a bullwhip in hand (that would Never be used on the animal!) I had that horse going in whatever direction I chose. I got him to start, stop, walk, canter, run, turn. I can feel and almost see my energy at work.
This was the same for each of us there that day.
We were all in the same movie.
Keren Weinstein is a seasoned professional in Fashion & Beauty with over 12 years in Integrated Marketing, Advertising and Celebrity Fashion Styling