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“The Powerful Energy of Horses”

By Margaret Nash

Find out what I learned in a morning in Mexico in my introduction to Equine Assisted Learning and a close encounter with a pint-sized heartthrob. Read on.

“The Profound and Powerful Energy of Horses”
By Marti McGinnis, Equine Guided Education Specialist, and
Margaret Nash, Certified Life Coach.
Sat, Aug 19, 9–4pm
Save US$75: use promo password POWERHORSES75
Transportation from San Miguel, lunch, snacks, and beverages included.

“Marti! This isn’t working!” I bleated. “He’s trying to bite me! Help!”

“Well make him stop!” she called out, laughing.

It was a hot and dusty May morning in the mountains of Mexico. I was participating in an outdoor workshop of “horse assisted learning.” My friend Marti had really encouraged me to take part. Marti is a horsewoman and equine-guided education specialist.


“You’ll love it,” she promised. I was a little skeptical. So far, my only task was to get a miniature horse named Iota to go with me from his corral down to a paddock about 50 feet away. He had on a halter, I had a lead, and so it should have been easy. I don’t ever remember being so terrified.


“Marti, he’s trying to nip me, I swear!” I called out again. “Take over please!” I was literally rigid with fear.


Now, Iota was not very big. He looked like the pony in My Little Pony. He barely came to my hips and was impossibly, heartbreakingly cute, with a charming and determined air—a tough little Pit Pony. I moaned as Iota firmly took us both over to the side of the road to eat grass. When I tried to get him to move, he showed me his teeth. I let him eat.


“You’re not enforcing your boundaries” Marti chided me. “He’s had to take over and run things.” She came over and patiently showed me how to enforce my boundaries with the little guy. She twirled a rope, cowgirl style, in front of herself. Nipper, her horse, backed off. “He won’t come near me when the rope is being twirled,” she pointed out. “He respects my boundaries, as defined by the rope. Now you try.” Hesitantly, I took the rope and began to twirl. Miraculously, Iota stopped moving in on me and stood still. “Now he’s waiting for you to show leadership,” she said.

“Oh, I guess I have to show him who’s boss?” I was beginning to get the idea.

“No, you just have to show him your boundaries and then what you expect him to do. It’s not about control. It’s about respect.” Whoa. Lesson received. I was exhausted, but strangely exhilarated when it was over. I felt like I had overcome something important that I couldn’t quite identify.

What did I learn? Being assertive is not about controlling others. It is about controlling your own energy, being sure of your boundaries, and communicating your expectations to others. People are no different from horses. If you don’t show leadership, then others will lead you. It’s your choice. Just make sure you’re not being led to the side of the road to eat grass.


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