ArtsTalk Blog - The heART of Healing with Horses

By Fotini Chandrika Walton
Founder, The Big Red Barn Creativity and Wellness Centre & Horse Wisdom Yoga®

I had begun reconnecting with my love of horses, something I had dreamed since I was a little girl but had little opportunity to explore. The time had come and life, as I knew it, would never be the same.
Horses taught me about the many facets of my being. The darkness of my shadow, the light of my hopes, the beauty of my dreams and heart’s desires. On a physiological level, the horses and their non-predatory nature became guides to the right side of my brain where I would step away from the goal-oriented, analytical left brain which is more common to the predatory nature of humans, and connect with the depth of my intuition and creativity where the world of nature would come to life. My mind became quiet and my body began to speak, asking me to release tension I had held inside for so many years.

I was being invited to create. To make tangible, on the outside, the transformation that was taking place on the inside. I began working within a “low skill - high sensitivity” expressive arts model that allowed me to silence the need for my art to turn out “good” and instead worked within the frame of artistic freedom where my artwork was not judged as “good” or “bad” but was given a heartbeat and breath of its own, with the ability to share its voice through my reflection. I would escape into my studio to get lost in the world of art where my darkest shadows were given space to dance and my biggest dreams were inspired to come to life.

And they did.

In 2015, we became a registered non-profit organization, The Big Red Barn Creativity and Wellness Centre, where others walking the path of self-discovery and healing could quiet their minds and open their hearts to the horses’ guidance. A place where, they too, could feel safe to express themselves through art and hear the voice of their own soul through their artistic creations.

A place where the emphasis is on the embrace of creative process and the freedom it brings to the brave hearts who accept the invitation to explore the heART of healing.

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[Published in ArtsTalk September 2019]