Dealing with the Shadow.

You cannot heal yourself, without admitting where you went wrong.

You can’t move forward, without acknowledging our failures, our pains or our scars. The smallest shred of light can help bring us from the shadows- but often times the light is buried under these scars and pain. So how do we access this level of healing, and how do we use it to help us return back to our balance?

The first step is addressing what is hurting us. What is the true root behind why we are angry? Is it because we have a deep rooted fear of being alone, because of a past life trauma or a childhood trauma or pain?

Once we realize this true pain, and what the root of it is, can we address this. When we realize that the anger is stemming from the fear of being alone- can we move forward and begin healing. The horse can help us be mirroring our souls. They mirror that root pain, because that is what they see. They see through the veils we place around ourselves, the anger, hurt, or false happiness.

This spirit of the horse has an innate way of seeing through these veils and mimicking the root pain. We can turn a blind eye, then be upset when our horse is having buddy sour issues, lack of respect or in some cases, extreme aggression or dangerous tendencies- and be all up in arms and upset when shit hits the fan- or we can reach out to someone who can see this reflection of our selves and help you address these root issues so both the horse and the rider can be in balance.

When someone who is tuned into the horse and tuned into themselves works with your horse- they can clearly see what the issue is, and how to fix it- starting with the root; the rider.  Working through this root issue is where this becomes something amazing. Nobody can do it for you. You can be guided to see the light and work to bring it back to the surface, and when you do it yourself- that is when you see the most power and peace from the retrieval.

Dealing with your shadows is important to a truly balanced life.  We all have shadows that follow us around, and it will never completely go away. You can’t have light without the shadow. Light touches something, and casts a shadow. These great aspects of life are the greatest teachers, and where we can truly learn about ourselves and become the best versions of ourselves that we can be.

Once we deal with these shadows, can we correct the horse and work to have an animal that is truly respectful, mindful and peaceful. But until we deal with these shadows, we can’t fix the horse. We can temporarily fix the issues, but in a short period of time, they will revert back to the negative actions because the root of the issue wasn’t addressed.

It’s never easy addressing these root pains, but once we do, it is very fulfilling and peaceful.

Many souls don’t want to be retrieved. They don’t want to admit that they were in pain about an old injury, or that they have personality traits that are causing these issues with their horses. And that is okay. After spending years studying the horse, spirit and how it ties together, I can confidently say that someone who is walled off to these pains and shadows- are the ones that will keep screaming at me about their horses being naughty after they get them home, because the root cause of the issues weren’t addressed and the horse will quickly revert back to their old habits, because that root issue is festering and contagious.

It’s not until someone choses to see the light when healing can truly begin. Sometimes the wounds have healed, but they have healed incorrectly, and an experienced shaman must help you to reopen those wounds, so you can remove the pain and infection that has been trapped inside of them- so your wounds can heal properly and in a healthy manner.

That is what this is, it’s not some fancy training method or program. It isn’t a magic cure all for issues with your horses or with your life. It is a way for each individual to learn how to heal themselves and discover and acknowledge these shadows that reside in each of us. The horses mirror our souls. Do you like what you see, or are you refusing to see what it truly is?

I can tell you when your horse is an asshole- but it’s not until you see that either you or someone in that horses life made him that way, can you address the issue and heal and move forward to make the horse a better member of society- as well as yourself.

My biggest frustration with training horses were the owners who refused to truly see what I was teaching. The ones who spend thousands learning from a trainer, and go through the motions, but end up just being a drill sergeant with the horse. They aren’t truly connecting on a deep level with the horse. Both parties are just going through the motions. But those pains points, those shadows are still there, and the horse is picking up on them.

These training methods are just forcing the horse through sheer force, to push past them- instead of healing and moving forward from them in a healthy manner.  They just continue to run the horse in the round pen until he just breaks, or drill perfection into the horse. The perfect spin, the perfect headset, the perfect footwork, carriage, headset, gait, collection… the list goes on.

But the funny thing is, if you do this properly, and you build this healthy connection with the horse, all of those things will fall into place.

Collection, softness, suppleness, headset, balance, carriage- all will fall into place once the soul is balanced. Because true balance comes from within and will present the building blocks in a much stronger foundation then being physically forced into anything.

Victoria Dellapaolera
Victoria Dellapaolera

Victoria is a Christian minister practicing spiritual healing and development in Williston, North Dakota. Victoria has worked with horses her entire life, and has learned many of her healing techniques from the horses.

She graduated from West Virginia University in 2020 Magna Cum Laude with a bachelors degree in Human Services and Sports and Exercise Psychology; gaining her associates degree in Farm and Ranch Management and Equitation from Dawson Community College in Glendive, Montana in 2012.

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