Cowgirls vs. Cancer 2015

The power of the horse spirit to convey strength, comfort and love is hard to describe.
But…perhaps this image will speak of this.
– Larry Stanley

Every year I struggle to find the words to describe our Cowgirls vs. Cancer retreat. The women who attend and the experience that unfolds quite simply leave me speechless. It’s almost that I feel so many emotions that it’s impossible to find adequate language to describe them. I cherish this opportunity to come together with people I am friends with, work with and who I adore and respect to make this retreat happen every year. Watching all the planning pay off is its own reward; but truly, the biggest reward is watching the healing that is possible through horses and yoga.

I’m reading a book called Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal. It has chapters on the use of horses to help PTSD, autism, and hardened criminals serving jail sentences. I love the author’s insights, but I’m also itching to write to him about what we do with women who have had cancer. Maybe I will when I can find the right words. Meanwhile, I will borrow some of his:

I believe that what draws most humans to be with horses is a feeling. Just seeing or being with a horse has the ability to make people feel good. What is surprising is that creating a relationship with a horse can also make people feel good about themselves. I believe this is true whether one is wounded or healthy. 

And I will keep borrowing the words of others to help communicate what we shared that weekend. The image above, captured by our Montana Yoga Photographer Larry, moved many to tears. Including the Cowgirl Yogini in the picture. She had this to say about it:

I am moved to tears and struggling for just the right words. I saw this yesterday at the cancer center while having my chemotherapy treatment…I passed my phone around the room to all my tearful “Wednesday-sisters” to share it with them. They were now able to have a sense of the connectedness I had been desperate to articulate to them after having returned just a few hours earlier from the most magical and life giving experience of my life. My entire life. Gaucho (the horse in the picture) is my guru…yoga is my breath…this experience was my salvation. 

Enough said? Probably not. But it will do for now. You can read another Cowgirl Yogini’s words here, “Spirit Guide from Montana”, and see more of Larry’s Cowgirls vs. Cancer pictures here. There are more words coming. Namaste.