woman embracing gently gray horse on beach

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The online dictionary defines marginalized as a person, group, or concept treated as insignificant or peripheral.

I have often felt like an outcast or a misfit in the world due to my weight at different times, my hidden sensory sensitivities, the way I think, my interests in natural holistic healing, my curiosity about the applications of science in energy work, and even exploring animal communication.

Interestingly, I’ve felt marginalized from many in the horse world but not by the horses themselves. For some reason horses trust me. Maybe it’s because I tend to be slower and more deliberate when I move. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived with chronic pain and I work hard to make life comfortable and pain free. Maybe it’s because I experience life with heightened sensitivity and so do they … they can sense a kindred spirit.

So why would I feel marginalized?

  • I trained my hippotherapy horses using natural methods and trail rides and hill work instead of using the industry standard of dressage like everyone else.
  • I saw a need for the everyday horse owner to learn about saddle fit so they could learn to evaluate their own saddle when the industry standard is to hire a saddle fitter for a one-time job or to rely on a saddle seller.
  • I don’t fit the “mold” for a horse professional. I feel judged and have even judged myself because I’m not “tall and thin,” and because I don’t want to have to put hours and hours into training a horse (I want it to be easy and fun and relaxing).
  • I don’t look elegant like others when riding a horse, riding does not come natural for me and I’ve had to work very hard to build balance in the saddle. But lifting weights, exercising and riding with physical strength doesn’t work for me like it does for others … I’ve worked on balance from a mind-body level using energetic exercises to get success.

And I thought about it and there are probably other people who have felt like I do, marginalized and feeling like they don’t fit in … whether it be for their weight, or for feeling afraid, or their choice of horse or equipment, or that they need to go slower and feel judged to hurry up, or maybe they are like me and don’t make a lot of progress in lessons and feel challenged with balance on the horse.

Feeling marginalized is stressful, there’s a need for connection and fitting in, nobody wants to feel excluded or like they don’t belong. What if being different was the normal way to be, your normal way to be? What if you embraced your differences, worked on the things that are bugging you about yourself in a supportive environment, and worked through the wisdom to know what is in your power to change and what areas you’d apply self-acceptance?

How different would that feel? If you’re a horse woman who’s felt marginalized by others because your body doesn’t always do what you want, you have secret fears, or you just don’t have the experience others have … I offer a compassionate, sensible and respectful learning path that will help you confidently find joy around horses (and other horse people), in a way your horse really notices and responds to with more connection without having to resort to methods of force or intimidation.

I want to start a group where we can all connect … should it be on MeWe or Facebook or another site? And what are some of your ideas for a name for our group? Please leave your comment below!

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