Recently I had an eye-opening experience using EFT with two horses, where I saw Borrowing Benefits in an entirely new light.
I’ve had great success with connecting with horses and calming them with EFT. But my session a few weeks ago went above and beyond just a one-on-one connection.
I was in a pasture trying to catch a horse I’ll call “Slick” who has anxiety issues, and with whom I've been working with tapping. He had a pasture buddy horse, “Mr. Gray,” who kept herding him away from me. Horses often pair up together according to herd status, and the higher status horse will use his head and body to make the other horse move, herding him where he wants him to go. Mr. Gray did not want me near Slick with the halter, and it didn’t’ take too many minutes of trudging around after them to realize this wasn’t going to work.
I decided to change my goal of taking Slick out of the pasture, and simply tap on him there in the field and possibly put a halter on him. When both horses were finally standing still, with Mr. Gray on the other side of Slick, I quietly approached Slick and began to tap gently on his chest. Slick didn't react much but I saw Mr. Gray’s head drop. He began licking and chewing with his mouth, which is the horse equivalent of yawning, a sign of relaxation.
I reached under Slick’s head and tapped on Mr. Gray’s chest too. Everyone was still standing calmly, so I slipped the halter on Slick and started off toward the gate, a football field away. Not only did Slick follow willingly, but Mr. Gray came right along.
Since I didn’t have time to take Slick out of the field and over to the pen where I normally do tapping. I decided to just walk him up to the gate and there, remove the halter. This would at least reinforce him for willingly coming with me in the future. I wasn’t too sure how Mr. Gray would respond as we neared the gate, though.
At one point, Slick stopped. Some horses will respond to a tug on the lead rope, but this triggers Slick’s anxiety and mistrust of humans. Mr. Gray, who was a bit ahead of us, circled back and started to make the “herding" move. Concerned that he’d overdo it and Slick would pull the rope out of my hand and run off, I intervened and tapped again on both Slick and Mr. Gray. We continued.
As we neared the gate, Slick planted his feet and refused to go closer. Normally if I change directions, circle him, and get his feet moving again, we can then walk the rest of the way to the gate. Not today, Slick was stuck in place.
I tapped on him, then turned to Mr. Gray and said out loud, “Look, I just want to get Slick to the gate and then we’re done.”
Without hesitation he lowered his head and bumped Slick gently in the shoulder to move him on. We walked to the gate, I removed the halter, and thanked both horses politely for their cooperation.
Now, that's Borrowing Benefits! A good reminder of how energy work radiates out to others and can align us in purpose.
Takeaways that I can apply to humans were:
1) My intention mattered a lot. When I had a “big” agenda, Mr. Gray had one too—to keep me away. When I decided to take things as they were and just see what we could get done, things worked better.
2) Pay close attention. I only had to tap a few times on each horse to bring us into partnership. Noticing that something had changed (Mr. Gray showed signs of relaxation) and going with it was key. Had I only been focused on getting that response from Slick, I might have missed my chance to take the next step.
3) Honor the interconnections. I was just hoping that Mr. Gray wouldn’t interfere with my interactions with Slick. It never occurred to me, until it happened, that he might actually help. We never work with just one client, even if only one person is in the room. We’re always working with that person’s family and social system, just as we can’t pluck one strand of the spider web without moving the whole web. We may never know the ways in which the social and family system will change through the work we do with one person.
Thanks to two horses, out in that muddy field I learned lessons I can take into any environment.
Ange Dickson Finn is an AAMET Accredited Certified EFT Advanced Practitioner. She is based in Houston, Texas, USA, and works with clients over the phone and via Skype. Ange has helped clients with issues including physical pain, health and well-being, work-related stress, equestrian sports and relationships. Visit her on the web at www.TapIntoYourself.com or www.RideWithoutFear.com.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of AAMET International.
Originally published on June 23, 2012.