Feeling "not good enough", feeling we have to do something extra to be accepted or loved, is common for many of us. Recently, a teenage client of mine had the wonderful experience of being fine as she is, no "extras" needed. While she was doing some reflective work with one of the horses I witnessed her need to continually pat and scratch the horse's neck, normally his favourite spot for scratches.
Yet, he kept turning his head and neck away each time she scratched or patted him, then resting his head on her shoulder when she stopped. This was repeated many times until I drew her attention to the possibility that the horses was trying to tell her something. When she eventually stopped the horse drew her into a horse hug - putting his head over her shoulder and holding her between his chest and his head. They stood like that for at least 10 minutes in total quiet. Then the horse changed over to her other shoulder! Further 10 minutes quiet!
When my client returned to me she immediately said: "He tried to tell me I didn't need to do anything for him to like me! I was worried he would just walk away if I didn't scratch him and make him like me!"
Sometimes it is really that simple. I feel it is such a priviledge to hold the space for my clients and witness such profound moments.
One of my trainers, Mike Delaney, talking about Equine Facilitated Learning