“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” Buck Brannaman

The first time I read this quote, which was about three years ago, I was just beginning my journey into Touched by a Horse. I had signed up for this program, received my textbooks and started my weekly class calls. I have always loved horses, but little did I know that this quote would represent my mission and passion in life.

I never really thought about my soul. I looked the word up in the dictionary and found this definition: Soul can be the spiritual or immaterial part of a human or animal; it is regarded as immortal.

Now what was I supposed to do? How was I going meet my soul? And when I did, then what? Does my soul need me to thrive or to get excited about who I am and how I’m living my life?

So, then, next question: how can a horse be a mirror to my soul?

First, I came to believe that a horse has a soul that is free of the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. We humans, not being perfect, carry all these “sins” around in us. In order to connect with the horse’s pure soul means that we have to connect to our own spiritual side within. We must connect to our souls, listen to our hearts, and clear our minds of all that keeps us stuck in our lives.

I was watching my teacher, Melisa Pearce, coaching a fellow student. Her mother had passed away and Melisa asked her to imagine that her mother’s soul was with her, sitting in a chair across from her. Her mother’s soul was cleared of all the hurtful actions and words that she had said and done in the past, so that only the love remained. Melisa asked my peer what her soul would say to her mom’s soul?

It was a very powerful session, giving this woman a chance to connect with all the beauty of her mother and to Let Go of the past. The horse was standing completely still behind her in a round pen, resting his head just a few inches above her head, offering her his powerful healing strength for support.

I am learning to look at myself in the mirror and like what I see. This will be a lifelong process, that today, I realize is a necessary part of my healing journey. The opposite of love is fear and facing one’s fear is painful, scary and important. I had to dig through the muck I created by drinking. I had to push aside bits and pieces of my sins in order to uncover the purity hidden within my soul. Daily I consciously give myself permission to accept my mistakes as just that — mistakes.

This process has allowed me to see the goodness that was always a part of my being. My body was so infused with alcohol that my soul was drowning, heavy in the muck. In my recovery, having a horse as a guide to mirror my soul is powerful and I am so grateful to have horses supporting me through my discovery journey to health. I am excited to offer others the deep and meaningful opportunity to see their souls through the heart of a horse.