Reporter Michelle Blade travelled to High Bentham to experience Meditate with Horses, a new business that well, does what it says on the tin.
Horses have never been my favourite animal and I can’t say I have an affinity with them really, ever since a wild horse bit my mother on the leg near Kirkby Lonsdale.
I have never even done meditation, so when I heard about a new business called Meditate with Horses I was keen to give it a go and conquer my fears about the huge beasts.
Katherine Beaumont, who has three horses called Yogi, Duke and Eddie, discovered her animals gravitated towards her whilst she was meditating. The horses would even lay next to her whilst she was meditating, seeming to tune in to her relaxing thoughts. Katherine said: “ I started off doing meditating with horses with friends and they said ‘that was amazing’ and people were really enjoying it.”
Katherine has also introduced her horses to refugees, some of whom grew up with horses, and the young men who came found it a very enjoyable experience and one they would like to repeat.
Set in beautiful acres of land with a stream running through it, paddocks, and a large Victorian house, The Wenning in High Bentham, where Katherine , 41, lives with husband Phillip, 48, step daughter Lottie aged 12, son Luka, 14 and daughter Persephone, aged three, is a perfect place to be at one with nature and horses.
Before we started my session, I learnt a bit more about Katherine and how Meditate with Horses came about.
Katherine said: “Three years ago I had an accident on a horse. I was really busy up from 5am until 8pm with three kids. I was just rushing from one thing to the next.
“You don’t spend any time with your horse apart from riding, grooming and so on.
“You are trained to show the horse who is boss. The horse I was riding reared and fell back and sat on me. My pelvis was broken in four places and I had a new baby as well.
“It taught me a lesson that I had to stop. and that is when I realised I did need to stop. There is no need to race round from one thing to another.I needed to learn how to be with horses . I ditched everything and started studying yoga and meditating.
“I started meditating with my horses and they were very interested in it. They were making funny noises and doing a lot of yawning. It improved my relationship with them and I started to notice them in a different light. They started lying down and going to sleep with me. “Our thinking is always based in the past or in the future, never in the present. Horses are always in the present, just enjoying the lifeforce and the nature around them, aware of sounds and feelings. That is what they are after.
“We have to come into the present moment. Horses communicate viscerally with each other, they can feel emotions like energy. Horses are herd animals and have very defined roles and hierachies. Horses have very strong central nervous systems and we have very chaotic nervous systems.
“The stronger central nervous systems a horse has can sync with ours, and brings us to an intense sense of wellbeing.
“Meditation is observing what is going on in your mind. and sending your thoughts away to the present. It’s a very simple way of controlling your thoughts. It is really good for your emotional health. Meditating with horses lowers your heart rate, blood pressure and helps all your biological system. Anything that does this is very good for you physically.”
Katherine and I headed over to the paddock where I would be meditating, hopefully with one of the horses in tow.
She chose Eddie the white horse because, she said: “He is the best at meditating and likes it a lot.”
Feeling a little nervous inside but trying not to show it, we went into the paddock with Katherine leading Eddie.
I sat down on a small stool and Katherine let Eddie come with us. She started the session by asking me to concentrate on a particular sound and push all thoughts from my head. As I concentrated I could hear the rythmic, slow breathing of Eddie as he loomed over me , I could almost feel myself breathing slower to bring my breaths in sync with his.
Katherine went through various stages of meditation, including breathing out any grey negativity or anxiety as grey smoke. Then taking a few deep breaths and feeling the warm yellow glow getting stronger.
I felt extremely relaxed and surprisingly unafraid of Eddie the horse who stayed with me the whole time. His presence seemed to calm me further, which I didn’t expect. At one stage he nuzzled my knee meaning, according to Katherine, that he accepted me and did not see me as a threat. I was keenly aware of the birds singing, the stream gurgling and again the rhythmic breathing of Eddie which almost hypnotised me into a deeper state of relaxation. He was relaxed which in turn relaxed me.
I was truly in the present, not worrying about the past or the future.
After the meditation which took around half an hour, Katherine said I should thank Eddie for meditating with me, which I did. She then taught me how to lead him round the paddock first with a rope and then simply my hand, which he followed willingly. I didn’t expect him to do this having only just been introduced to me.I felt privileged to have such a relaxing experience with a beautiful animal and even after just one session of meditation, I felt myself pushing all thoughts out of my head and just simply living in the present.
Katherine was so relaxed aroundher horses that that rubbed off on me and put me at ease.I went back to work feeling thoroughly chilled out, at one with nature and also a fan of horses.
About Meditate with Horses
Call Katherine on mobile 07557 768047, email firstname.lastname@example.org or like her Facebook page for updates and offers. She also does group sessions and children and full morning sessions for £65.
A four-hour session over four weeks takes you to a riding meditation level – where you can meditate and connect with the horse on its back.
She also visits people and teaches them how to meditate with their own animals and that is £30 plus travel.
A single session at The Wenning is £30.