Life, Loss & the Healing Power of Horses
In a recent episode on 30 Days of Intent, Iman and Natalie visit Silver Horse Healing Ranch. Sara Fancy practices horse therapy at her therapeutic and educational facility, and she leads Iman and Natalie each through a session. We interviewed Sara on her former body building career and why horse therapy is such a powerful healing practice.
The Chopra Well: We have to ask…It says in your intro card that you are a former body builder! Can you tell us about that?
Sara Fancy: I quit competitive bodybuilding in 1996 after focusing on it for 10 years. I came to the realization that a professional bodybuilding career for women did not really exist, meaning there was no potential for making any money even though I was competing for my pro card. Bodybuilding takes a tremendous amount of discipline and focus. After quitting I was at a loss as to what to do with my life. I started boxing and had a trainer but when I realized the health risks involved I decided against pursuing this as a profession. I enjoyed the intense training involved in boxing. I have always been athletic and am not the type of person to sit behind a desk indoors all day.
Needless to say I became very depressed and could not see any light at the end of the tunnel. I asked a friend how I could move out of how I was feeling and he suggested I meditate. Desperate, I followed his instructions, sitting for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before going to bed. At this time in my life I had no concept of myself as a spiritual being.
After two weeks of meditating I noticed a difference in how I felt, and I realized it was because of the meditating. I was astounded that something as simple as counting my breaths could have such a profound effect upon my life.
CW: That’s amazing! How did you go from there to practicing equine therapy?
SF: Around the time I started meditating, I began meeting new people who were not associated with the gym and someone introduced me to Topanga [Canyon outside of Los Angeles,CA]. I was living in Venice at the time and longed for somewhere where I could walk outside at night and feel safe. After going on a hike in Topanga I decided to move here. I was introduced to energy healing and enrolled in the Polarity Healing arts school. I took horse riding lessons from a neighbor and realized I wanted to spend my days in the company of these wonderful beings. So I landed a job at a nearby equine therapy ranch, and ended up managing this place for seven years. After adopting several horses of my own, I started a business called Silver Horse Healing Ranch.
I trained with Francesca Boring and graduated as a Family Constellation facilitator in 2008. It occurred to me to combine this work with the horses, Horse Constellations, which proved to be successful. I also designed a way of interacting with horses to gain information about ourselves called “Rapport with Horses.” This is the work we did with Iman and Natalie.
CW: Why is this form of therapy effective? Why horses?
SF: I feel that we have all had relationships with horses in the past. Either through our ancestry or past lives as we relied on horses for our survival, i.e., growing food, transportation, or fighting wars. So there is a memory of horses within us that when activated does something extraordinary for our sense of well-being. It’s like being connected to something that makes us feel complete. I know this might be hard to understand, but I especially see this with children as young as two or three years old. They absolutely love horses and get so much joy from just being in the horse’s presence.
Regarding using horses for therapy, horses see who we really are; we can’t hide anything from them. It is much easier for someone to access and speak about how they really feel in front of a horse than in front of a person.
CW: What do you think made Natalie’s session especially difficult?
SF: I don’t know if “difficult” is the right word, challenging is probably more appropriate. Iman’s session was super easy and I didn’t have to do much at all, Diva did most of the work! I think there was this expectation in the air that Natalie’s session would be similar. But it was very different. I was concerned that extremely private information might come forward and was not sure how to handle this if indeed it did. I have no control on how these sessions turn out, and memories that have been buried for years or even forgotten events that have happened in our ancestry can be revealed. As it turned out, as you can see in the video, it was a part of Natalie that needed to be “seen” and integrated.
CW: Can you share one particularly amazing/uncanny story from your experience as an equine therapist?
SF: I feel so blessed to do this work and I feel that every time I work with the horses something amazing happens! Recently, Jackie was in a private session and totally surprised the client and me. Jackie was representing the client’s higher self while I was representing the client’s life purpose. There was a moment when as the “purpose” I was able to define who I was, I said to the client “You are a joy master” at this point Jackie stepped up and elevated herself on top of a tire platform with both of her front feet as if to validate what had just been stated. Jackie had never done this before; I had never taught her how to do this and she did this on her own initiative. I took a photo of the moment. My client has graciously given me permission to show this photo.
Have you ever had a healing experience with horses or other non-human animals? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
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