Blog 16 ‘Self Growth…disguised as Horse Training?’

Rhett’s Journey – To Wholeness!

“Weaving The Story of Horse and Human”

Blog 16  July 19 2018


‘Self Growth… disguised as Horse Training ?’

           Self    self/

noun   a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action

         Growth     ɡrōTH/

noun    the process of increasing in development

“Self-growth or personal growth involves making improvements in all aspects of life, so that you get closer to realizing your true potential. It can be achieved through activities that give you better sense of awareness and individual identity. Improving your talents, expanding your knowledge, working on your weaknesses, and reinforcing your strengths are all a part of self-growth. For most people, external influences can prevent them from achieving their goals and self-growth can be a solution for them.”  (Learning Lesson)


So how does self growth relate to Rhett’s healing and training (or my own I came to learn)?

As Rhett was beginning to experience self growth and healing, he was learning through his own self reflection about his ‘learned behaviors’ and reactions.  As our instructional clarity, body language awareness, communication and trust began building, self growth and personal development happened autonomously!  I was finding those same areas changing for my own life.  (Learning, Language and Life Lesson)


I offered Rhett a safe place to let down his guard and defensiveness and experience a true authentic relationship with a human.  I did my best to remain free of judgement and criticism and provide Rhett with the space to move forward in a positive direction.   (Learning Lesson)


To the definition of self growth, I’d like to add my personal definition – cumulatively improving a tiny amount every single day.


I try to learn some type of new horse-related ‘improvement’ every day.  It sounds daunting, but the improvement doesn’t have to be huge, it can be really, really small, which gradually leads to huge change over time.

Think improving something with your horse just a fraction each day and build upon that daily.  Doing so has a dramatic effect on the relationship.    (Learning Lesson)


Short video of ‘sitting meditation’ with Rhett in roundpen June 2014.


Wake up every day and ask yourself what is the slightest improvement I can change to make myself better for my horse and our relationship?  Picture yourself making tiny changes every day that build and progress through all areas of your relationships.



I am a ‘research-a-holic’, ‘share-a-holic’, and ‘experiment-a-holic’.  Learning something new daily about horses is something I have always done.  So that part of changing wasn’t as challenging as other aspects of self growth.

It’s essential to me to continue to take responsibility for my own learning and actively pursue means to improve my education and relationships.





“A small change in the present will create a larger change in the future. Can you feel the power in that? You make a teeny tiny change in your life right here and right now, and you can expect a bigger change in the future. Guaranteed.”




Self transformation through self growth was allowing Rhett the ability to learn to ‘self control’ his impulsive nature.   Self growth was allowing him the ability to ‘be in’ the process of overcoming the blocks that have kept him from reaching his true potential. (Me too!)


Video of Rhett  eating in roundpen 


Self growth has allowed Rhett the ability of learning to let go of old behaviors, thinking and patterns while developing new perspective, better choices and a positive concept of himself is transforming and allows him to live a more trusting and authentic life.  (Me too!!)



In addition for me, this self growth journey [for Rhett] allowed me to learn true compassion and understanding as I learned to ‘lean’ towards creating the life I wanted.  I focused my attention on my own growth and development-emotionally, mentally and spiritually.   I identified patterns and began to change them or at least, acknowledge them.  Heal, grow, empower and change were the key to any transformations.  (Life Lesson)




We lived in the space of what I called “Intuitive Development”. This space helped us begin to heal and release both our outdated patterns of belief.  Developing our intuition meant learning about ourselves and following our ‘gut’ and inner wisdom and intuition.


           in·tu·i·tion      int(y)o͞oˈiSH(ə)n/

noun   the ability to understand something immediately,           without the need for conscious reasoning.

           de·vel·op·ment    dəˈveləpmənt/

noun   the process of developing or being developed.  To start to exist, experience, or possess.  Grow or cause to grow and become more mature, advanced, or elaborate.




Rhett and I were searching for a greater sense of purpose and passion than just learning to be a trained horse and a horse trainer.  Our ‘wish’ was to become more authentic, powerful and self-directed, first in ourselves, and to share our ‘wish’ with others.  To truly live authentically, we had to evolve spiritually…and find a deeper connection to self, others and nature.


“Karen, let me teach you to become emotionally, physically and mentally aware”, Rhett said.




“Without awareness of your unconscious habits of thought and behavior, it’s awfully hard to make changes! This is why, when it comes to personal growth, self-awareness is both your number one priority and your inevitable result.”


“Horses naturally bring you deeper into your-self and illuminate your ‘path’.  They allow us to explore the natural rhythm of an authentic life and heart-centered power.”


What if you knew exactly what to do and say when faced with a challenge or obstacle? Or how to identify an emotion and have clearer communication skills that pertained to your authentic self?

The further I go on this journey of horsemanship with Rhett, the further I go into my own journey of life-man-ship.

Next:   Building A “Trust Bank Account”

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