It was Winter 2017 when I had one of those moments. The kind that makes you spill tea on your lap as you can’t believe what you’re watching.
Happily sipping a cuppa and catching up on FB, I chanced upon a video of a man sitting in a field. Riveting stuff you may joke, however soon the man was joined by horses, who one by one, just came and laid down with him. He wasn’t doing anything to encourage them, in fact he seemingly wasn’t doing anything at all, just sitting! What appeared to be so remarkable about all these horses, was that they weren’t on the ground in a sitting up position, but rather flat out asleep. This wasn’t usual horsey behaviour. I was so intrigued that I had to watch more.
The man, it turned out, was called James French, founder of the ‘Trust Technique’. He illustrated through his videos how to become very quiet in mind and still in body – a technique that allowed animals to feel comfortable enough to come and join you.
I’m happy to confess, having never meditated in my life, I didn’t have much confidence in my ability to get my horses lying down in a field with me. So, for a few weeks I grabbed every opportunity I could to stand in the stables with the horses and get ‘present with them’ (keeping a quiet mind and remaining still).
There was an instant reaction from the horses, but I didn’t have the knowledge to work out what to do next. A chance conversation put me in touch with Katherine Beaumont who did know what to do. Katherine teaches meditation with horses locally, and a firm friendship soon began.
Over the long hot summer of 2018, we have had many ‘lying down in the field’ moments. I have to say that I can’t tell you how much my heart sang every time it occurred. The feeling of trust and connection is overwhelming. I started to realise that this experience was so special, so joyous that I wanted to share it and wondered how best to do it.
After one particular session, Katherine and I talked about it and the spark of an idea was formed – we could do retreat days from the farm here in Windermere. So we hosted a taster day to confirm this was a good idea. We were delighted when our 20 free places got snapped up in 2 days – “OK, so maybe this is of interest”!
We had a fabulous day. Our 20 guests gave us invaluable feedback including lots of suggestions about how they also would like to draw or photograph the horses too – in a way extending and reflecting the relationship that they had on the day. Why hadn’t I thought of that? A great idea.
So that’s how Full Circle Retreats was born. We offer the unique opportunity to meditate with the Clydesdale horses, do yoga in the hay field, have a foodie workshop in the barn, and get to draw, paint, photograph, do pottery or write about your experience here with the horses.
We are so excited to meet all you like-minded people and I hope you are excited about meeting our beautiful horses and sharing their gentle natures in the wonderful setting of the Lakeland fells. If you haven’t done so already, pop over to our retreats page to see what we’ve got planned.