Horses are prepared and trained, workbooks are printed, powerpoints are updated, tech checked, food thought of, materials packed, schedule written- the workshop can begin!
It amazes me how much preparation goes into a well developed workshop that is meant to succeed. My adrenaline always goes for days to make it the best workshop yet, with the most effectiveness I can deliver. People are too busy to waste their time on mediocre, they need tools, knowledge, inspiration and they need it delivered in a highly efficient, engaging, and impactful way.
The message we have to convey is too important to make it mediocre and make it disappear in an ocean of resources and an average of ordinary professional development. This is suppose to be good and support our volunteers to feel confident that they have the right understanding and tools to support our children and families.
Sheryl and I knew the volunteers who signed up and we were honored to train people that were already so knowledgeable and involved.
We started on time with the technology giving up on us- so, we huddled around a small computer screen rather than a big screen advanced technology thingy- yay, what a blessing,we were moving closer physically and personally…
The folks in the room had a huge wealth of experiences to share, and still, they were willing to open their mind to new ideas, new findings, and new inspiration for their work. This is what makes perfect workshop conditions.
In a perfect cozy learning environment, we learned about the science behind the method and the theory of our work. Five horses were patiently waiting for us to get to the ‘hands on’ part, and soon enough we started moving- teach it like you preach it!
There were cuddles and connection building all around be it through human or animal connection- some were better with one or the other or both- all were welcome! Sensory work is always a favorite of many and also the scariest for some. When I first experienced it during a workshop with Rupert, I was probably the most tense in the entire state. Five ladies were standing around, while I was on a horse, with Rupert demonstrating the positions and hand positions for me to supposedly relax, and all I could think of “oh my goodness, these ladies paid as much as I did, waiting for me to finally finish this thing and get off for them to have a turn and get their learning going…” No need to say- the sensory work did not go so well for me, and I was close to tears for slowing everybody down in their workshop- only when Rupert continued to actually teach and I became the ‘sideshow’ rather than the main attraction, was I able to let go a bit and experience the power of the work. I shared this experience with some of the hesitant participants and it seemed to have hit a note and help them to realize what this exercise was about. Everybody went on either Zima or Mackenzie and truly enjoyed the experience.
We had to be flexible and move some activities around because from our lovely picnic in 68 degrees Fahrenheit, it was supposed to turn into a blizzard the next day- yeah right; such beautiful warmth and sunshine could not just disappear in a day…(good thing we listened to the meteorologist…)
The next morning we were worried the Air Force Academy would be closed because of ice and snow. But boy, we had some real troopers show up- no matter what! In the icy cold and with snow up our boots, we were long lining, lunging, and giggling at Clue’s tricks and Spanish steps when not ask…
The neatest discussion that ended it all was the Dream Whisperers- heartwarming, inspiring, humbling. With very personal stories, visions, and dreams, we realized, we were all connected in a certain way and were all heading into a direction that would help others but also make our dreams come true. We realized, it does not matter how old you are and what experiences you had, what matters is your vision and your believe in what you can achieve.
This was a very special group, and I am proud to call them volunteers for our Colorado mission for Horse Boy. You do not find a lot of folks who are horse people, people people, and willing to give up their time.
And while we had fun jousting, playing “broken telephone” , taking Freddy on the most beautiful trails through whispering creeks, we also worked hard on discovering where we wanted to be as people, how we could support our military families the most, and where our talents would fit in. This group of trainees will do amazing things!