Welcome to EquineBusinessBuilder.com
My guest today is Sarah Vadnais of www.healing-horses.com.
You and I met on the Horse Business Mastermind group on Facebook. I’m not sure that I know exactly what you do with horses. I know you have a personal coaching business. Do you have a horse business?
Yes I do.
Could you tell us a little bit about it?
I’ll start by asking you if you have heard about energetic bodies or auras. Or energetic fields?
What I do is a lot like Reiki. Because horses have those auras or energetic bodies sometimes they’ll have an injury or trauma that get locked up and that will manifest in their physical body. They will … I’ll just give you my personal example. My horse had a hoof injury. It was a legitimate injury. He got special shoes. And two weeks after he got the special shoes he should have been feeling better but he was still limping on grass!
It was kind of ridiculous. So I ran some energy processes on him and at that point in time I had no idea what I was doing. I had no formal training. But I just thought well, I’ll give it a shot. I went out there and I did it and I turned him out and he galloped out to his friends. Which is something he usually did because he was the boss man of the herd and he would always run out and kind of shake his head around and put them in their place and say hey I’m back and you guys have to knock it off? And he did that and I didn’t think any thing of it because that was normal for him. Except 2 weeks later it occurred to me that it wasn’t normal because 20 minutes earlier he had been lame
So what did you do for the energy fields? How did you correct his energy? And how would energy manifest as lameness?
So, what I was award of with him, after 2 weeks of having on the therapeutic shoes and you know and talking with the farrier and, you know he shouldn’t be limping anymore because it wasn’t really that bad. Oh it occurred to me oh what if he just think it hurts because it hurt for a while and it so it, somewhere he has decided, oh it hurts for me to walk and I have to be very careful. So what happens if he is locked in that mode and can’t unlock himself? So I just went in and I just, like I said, I had no formal training, and I put my hands on him, and I started asking questions, “What ever you’ve decided about your foot, that is no longer real can we let that go now. Can we move on now and have a different choice available.
And I would just ask that question over and over and then I would get an awareness about a different question. So I would move to a different question. You know it has been several years, so I don’t remember the exact questions I asked but, then I noticed without even thinking that my hands were stroking him. I wasn’t just standing with my hands on him. I was doing these long body strokes and asking these questions. What ever this is, can we move beyond this. And, what ever this is can we move beyond this.
So it was kind of an intuitive thing then? You relaxed and let the horse kind of speak through you.
You can’t see me right now but I am nodding my head. I can really understand that. If you kind of spend some time with your horse and get in tune with them they will let you know what is happening with them.
They do and so after the long strokes I did, well you know if you have some crumbs on your shirt you brush the crumbs off your shirt?
I get a lot of crumbs. I eat a lot of cookies and get a lot of crumbs and know that whisking movement. Yes
Well, I started doing that all over his body. And all the while, can we let it go. And I would continue to ask, what ever this is can we let it go, what ever this is can you let it go. And continue with the dusting off motion and then, as I said, I had no formal training, so I said, well I guess I’m done. I don’t know what else to do.
Then a week later trotting on gravel, completely sound no issues what-so-ever. I still didn’t make the connection that, Oh! Ya, I did that.
So you did it one time and cleared his energy.
Then once the light bulb went off I was like, Oh my gosh! I want to learn more and actually do this and have a clue of what’s going on a little bit. That’s how I got started moving in this direction working with horses.
Do you have a website for that?
Are there ‘how to’s’ there? Can you do it distance wise?
I can do it distance wise. I have done this with a couple of people. I will actually coach them through the process. So they will go out, one gal I work with, will go out to the barn, put me on speaker and I talk to her through, clearing her mind and allow her to connect with her horse. I told her to put a hand up on his chest and on his withers to start. And then just go where they go and I just talked her through everything and just do it on the horse so she just And the cool thing is I got a email from a gal, I think 2 years later, who said to me, oh my gosh I did it. I was having trouble with my horse and I remembered I had those notes from Sarah. She said she went back I listened to everything. I think I had sent her a recording of our telephone call so she could refresh herself and she said she listened to that and she went out to the barn and I did it. But Oh my gosh I did it!
Well that’s good that people can help their horses and make them comfortable. Have you ever met a horse that wasn’t able to clear? Or have a lot of baggage or is too tense and uncomfortable and doesn’t want to “let go”.
I had a horse that I worked with. I think he had a bone chip. He was a retired racehorse these people had bought for their little girl to do some hunter jumper on and shortly after getting him he came up lame and they discovered I think is was a bone chip. He was on stall rest for when I came, I think 5 months.
A thoroughbred on stall rest for 5 months? Nice!
Here is the crazy thing, he wasn’t nuts. He would literally stand in the back corner of his stall. He was so depressed. Went I went in to clean his stall, he would almost cower in the back. And I would just talk to him while I was cleaning his stall and I would say, Buddy, I won’t touch you if you unless you want to be touched. Other horses you would go in to clean their stall and you would walk in and pat them on the shoulder and whatever. He just sent out this huge signal, Oh gosh please don’t touch me. Just, I don’t even know what his baggage was.
Then they wanted him hand walked. So I helped with that. I would even halter him, without touching him. Which is very hard to do?
So you put the halter on him without touching him. So you stood there and put it over top.
Yes. I took the strap of the halter and strap on the buckle side and I put it on him so my hands never made contact with him. I just, I wanted him to know that I am very respectful that you don’t want to be touched. I wanted him to know that. And I made every effort to never have to touch him. After about 3 or 4 weeks. I approached his owner and said, I’ve learned this new energy stuff would you be willing to let me try it out and see what happens. So I won’t make any guarantees she said, sure – what ever. So I worked with him. By the time I left he had started to approach me and let me pat him.
So he started to trust you.
He got to trust you enough to allow you to touch him to touch him when you put the halter anyway.
So I did some work on him. With him I think with him it was four sessions before there was any kind of a difference in his demeanor and stuff. So I did two sessions one weekend and two sessions the next weekend. And the third weekend when I went into work there was a note on the board that said, we had to change his feed, he’s climbing the walls, don’t feed him any alfalfa, give him half the grain, all this stuff.
You got him out of his depression and started to feel better. Well that’s really good.
The next week they scheduled him to go back into training and he went back into training. They moved him to a training barn so I didn’t see him any more and in about a months time. With him it took him a little longer because clearly he had a lot of baggage.
That is really exciting.
Those are some of you really good successes. Do you have any flops? Do you have any flops you remember? Everyone likes to talk about their successes. Let’s talk about something that maybe didn’t work out for you.
I think my biggest flop was probably again my own horse, a different one of my own horses, but he’s a 4 year old and he hates the trailer. I am assuming that he grew up on a fancy thoroughbred farm where I don’t think he ever rode in anything smaller than a semi-truck. So when he sees my trailer he says, I’m sorry you want me to what? Because that’s not a horse trailer.
So I kind of joke.
Is it a ramp or a step up?
It’s a step up.
And it’s a straight load.
Oh a straight load step up – I’ve got one of those to!
And he’s like, you’re on crack or something ‘because that’s not a horse trailer. It was hot and I was frustrated. I know you’ve hauled before. Number 1 because you got from Florida to here so, I know you’ve done this before. I got so frustrated and I forgot that I have these tools in my toolbox. I think it was probably 3 or 4 hours of just really stressful attempts to get him on the trailer.
So all your healing, energy release work went straight out the window? You went for the bucket of grain and the … oh ya …
It culminated in him getting two injections of a sedative and him STILL not getting on the trailer. And my husband and the man who was had housed him for a few days locking arms and literally lifting him on to the trailer.
I think anybody who has owned a horse had to deal with that type of thing. I like to think we have to do that. I can just picture it to. Trying to get this dopey horse on the trailer.
I don’t even know how hot it was. It was in Kentucky and it was summer and it was hot. The other horse was standing in the trailer sweating like crazy.
Oh … You had a horse on the trailer already.
I totally threw everything out the window. Forgot all the stuff I know and was in panic mode basically. I flipped that switch from being able to think and use my brain to – oh my gosh I have a horse who is going to die from dehydration because he is stuck in this heat trap. Because we have no air moving cause this one won’t get on.
So business wise, what do you think the number one reason people succeed in their business when others don’t? It sounds like you have a successful business. Your horse energy business sounds like it is on the outside of what people normally think of as a horse business. What are some of the roadblocks you faced in your energy business?
The number one reason some people succeed and some people don’t is the people who are successful take action toward their target every single day. They don’t do it sometimes then take 3 weeks off. And then come back to it and then take a month off.
Taking a little bit of action every single day. You have a plan and you take action toward that plan. That’s a really good piece of advice. Because I know that some days I don’t really want to do stuff so I get on Facebook and I look at this and I look at that and it eats up your whole day.
I know I have to have a plan and I have to have a schedule. Between 10 and 11 I have to this and between 11 and 12 I have to do this. If I don’t do that then I just feel lost. That is a good piece of advice.
As far as road blocks. I think my biggest roadblock is myself. In every way possible. I don’t run into anybody else getting in my way. Only I get in my way.
Would that come under the Self Sabotage idea?
Very very much in that same family. Its either going to be I’m not taking the necessary actions every day. That maybe I have some negative self talk where I am telling myself oh well… I can’t do it or maybe people wouldn’t be interested. What ever you can come up with a million excuses of why you shouldn’t do something.
I think those are the only real thing that stops us in pretty much any endeavor is what we do to get in our own way.
I think I told you this the other night when you posted for your Sarah Vadnais coaching program you said, Are you waiting for your ship to come in? I don’t know what it was about that. It just kind of hit me. You know what I am waiting, and it’s like you said, it’s those self sabotaging things I am waiting until, I get a better microphone, people don’t want to talk to me, people will think it will be a stupid idea that I want to interview horse business people. When I saw that I thought, I’m just going to have to do it. I’m just going to have to do it and if it doesn’t work out then I will have to move on to something else.
That was a big Ah Ha moment for me when I read that. And I want to thank you for that for sure.
I’m glad that it touched you in that way because it’s kind of like you said, you know you think, well, I don’t know if anybody is going to listen, what ever. You have the same thing with any blog post you write anything you post on Facebook you don’t know if anyone ever stops to read it. So it’s good when I hear something like that.
You get a little bit of positive feed back right?
Positive feed back will help you carry on.
That’s right it does.
So let’s talk about equitation now. So equitation for all you horse riders.
Why is good equitation and riding well so important? Why do you think good riding is important?
I feel like when I say this that we’ve heard this a million times. Our body affects our horse’s body. So if weren’t not using our bodies well, if we’re not being effective in our communication then how can we expect the horse to give us the desired response?
How can we expect him to perform flawless movements if we are sitting up there like a sack of potatoes and we’re crooked, we are not paying attention to our own bodies?
I think riding well, if you’re not doing that, you are going to block him from performing every single time one way or another. Some horses they are trained well enough they can compensate for that to a degree but there comes a point where they can’t compensate for bad riding. They will begin to develop issues with soreness and stiffness because they are trying to compensate for bad equitation. It is so important for not only a competitor who wants the high marks and all of that but it is so important for the horse’s health. So that he’s not twisting himself to make up for our imbalances.
Right I totally agree. You have to ride in balance so your horse can perform better. And that is what good equitation is really isn’t it.
What do you see the biggest challenge you see people struggling with their horse?
I would say, the two biggest things that I would see is consistency in connection. You know you don’t get out to the barn as often as we’d like and something comes up and maybe we go out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. But on Monday I have a doctor’s appointment and then on Wednesday, one of the kids was sick. There are all these things and it is partly just life.
When you say connecting you don’t mean from quarters up through the bit to the hand while you’re riding. You mean make a connection with your horse while you are grooming it or leading it or letting it graze and having that relationship.
We get to the barn we are on a schedule, we have to hurry, and I only have 30 minutes to ride. I didn’t get out here yesterday like I planned so I have to make up for it and I have a check list of things I have to cover.
You don’t even check in with the horse to see where he is at.
As riders we just, as you say we are on a schedule and we don’t even… we think of it as an object we can pull out like a bicycle and get on and ride it then put it away.
And when the horse, maybe he can’t accommodate that. Maybe he twisted his leg and is a little sore. Or may he got in a little bit of rough-housing with a pasture mate and for some reason he can’t accommodate that and then for some reason we get frustrated because he’s not performing. Then he is confused because he doesn’t know why we’re frustrated.
What are some tips people can do right now to people who are listening to prevent or correct that problem you just talked about? About the connection.
I think, take a breath. Take a moment. And check in with your horse.
You can even ask them questions. I will give you a little tool that I actually give people when I’m coaching it’s called Light and Heavy.
If you can focus in on your gut and think how does.
I’ll give you a statement:
You are amazingly powerful beyond anything that you have ever possibly imagined or dreamed and you have the capacity to do intensely wonderful things.
So when you connect in with your gut how does that feel in your gut?
You are a worthless sack of nothingness…
I can’t even hear the rest of that.
I don’t even want to hear the rest of that.
So that is light and heavy. So the light is the truth of you and heavy thing is the lie.
You can use that with your horse. So you can go out to the barn and you can say, is my horse available to make a true connection here today? Is my horse okay to work today? Does my horse have any baggage he is dealing with today?
And you can check in with these questions and if when you ask if you say, can I make a connection here? And you get that light bouncy feeling in your gut then yes you can make a connection here today.
If you ask is my horse okay to do some light work today and you get that light airy feeling then yes, he’s okay.
If you say is my horse okay to do some grand pix schooling today and it feels like someone sucker punched you in the gut then he’s probably not up to that level of movement. Now something underneath that sure but maybe not that level. So you can check in and see where your horse is at by using that light and heavy. And you can also use it as you’re riding. If you are asking your horse to do something and it is not getting through you can ask, am I mis-communicating or is there a physical issue here that’s preventing this from going… you know you cue for a canter depart and he can’t do it. Well, is it because you are cueing wrong or is it because he’s hurting and he can’t physically do it.
Exactly, there is two parts to that. Is he able to do it and doesn’t understand or is he unable to do it because he is physically unable. Sometimes horses can’t do it because of their age or training or what-have-you.
Like you said, maybe he got kicked and he is just kind of sore and he’s not feeling a hundred percent.
Just under the weather the cold is getting to him or something.
Alright well, Sarah.
I want to thank you very much. That was really good. It was really interesting I learned a lot from our talk today. Could you send your thoughts and your energy out to encourage people to listen and to encourage people to take time with their horses and also your website?
Thank you Sarah
Thank you Laura -it was a pleasure talking with you today.