Mable Elliott with her herd. Photos Lionel Hughes
Serious injury more than a decade ago propelled Mable Elliott into helping people heal through relationships with horses. Re-injury and another long period of rehabilitation three years ago have created a whole new approach to horses and their role in human well-being.
After a hay bale rolled off the loader she was operating and crushed her, Elliott knew she had a choice to make: lie in bed or push herself back into a healthy state. “There were new lessons in that for me,” she says with a smile.
Her experience as a certified coach had confirmed for her that the relationship between horse and rider could bring deep healing for physical and emotional traumas.
She just didn’t expect to have to learn that lesson twice in her adult life.
Riding was out of the question after the accident so there was an opportunity to read and study. The discovery of psychosomatic therapy has given her new ideas for her clientele.
Psychosomatic therapy is based on the relationship between the mind and the body. The body, it is held, can be used to heal the mind and the mind can be used to heal the body. For Elliott, there can be no better context in which to experience this than with horses.
Elliott’s role is to “read” a person’s body language and coach them as their relationship with their horse evolves. Horses, she has long believed, are incredibly intuitive and respond quickly to the messages people send through body language. She has had a lifetime of reading horse body language so analysing both horse and rider is a natural fit.
“I can use the horse to illustrate how a client’s body language affects those around them,” she says. “It’s not me telling them how I think they effect people, it’s not a person. It’s a horse. Sometimes the rider has to take some time to process that.
“The whole goal is better relationships for the client, a better relationship with themselves and with others.”
The one aspect of psychosomatic therapy that is, “the icing on the cake,” says Elliott, is face reading. According to this approach, a person’s history of trauma gives shape to their face. Elliott follows a theory of analysis that allows her to help people identify where the emotional and physical traumas lie, where they intersect, and how to overcome them. She does this by matching a horse and rider and coaching that relationship.
To that end, Elliott has continued to build her guest ranch. A new riding arena allows all-season training and she has re-built her herd of well-trained horses. “I have lots of ambition to build up my home and ranch,” she says. “It gives me great joy to have people here to find a place of peace. I’m not 30 so I have to think about how I’m going to keep doing this when I’m 70!”
She feels fully ready to ride and train again. The future she sees includes working with large groups and businesses who can benefit by psychosomatic therapy. Massage is also part of her program.
Mable Elliott found herself with a choice between lying in bed or pushing back to health. Watching her ride today tells you which route she chose.
For more information on Mable Elliott's Guest Ranch and Services find her at www.mableelliott.com
Read the full story, and all the stories that appeared in the Fall 2012 issue! Subscribe now or get the digital version of this issue for your laptop or mobile device. Also, we LOVE your feeback! Leave your comments below or join our ongoing conversations on Facebook and Twitter!
Note: Comments are moderated so once you make your comment, allow 24 hrs for your feedback to show up on our website. If you have any questions email us at email@example.com.