A horse can be a teacher and catalyst. Mindy Tatz Chernoff, founder of The Resonant Horse, a novel in innovative approach to feeling, partnering with horses as teachers and catalysts for change and transformation, started taking care of a pony at eight years old. Through the journey of life, after having many years of experience with horses, she realized that brushing them, caring for them, and tending to them creates neuro connections in the brain. We’re all so busy and so stressed and we never stop or press the pause button. Mindy says when people come to the farm, it’s not her facilitating but the horses are the master teachers. She says connecting with the horses is so imperative because their heart and energy field is so much larger than ours. When we’re with them, we can be affected by that enough with positive physiological changes. If we’re open, the horses can lead us to greater love, acceptance and compassion.
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The Resonant Horse: Catalysts For Change And Transformation with Mindy Tatz Chernoff
I’m going to tell you a little personal stuff because I had a personal experience with our guest. I was doing a TEDx Talk and I have the pleasure and honor of meeting this guest in person. I instantaneously resonated with her, knew I wanted to hang with her, and know more about her. I had the pleasure of reading her book and I am so excited to have her. My guest is Mindy Tatz Chernoff and she’s the Founder of The Resonant Horse, a novel in innovative approach to feeling, partnering with horses as teachers, and catalysts for change and transformation.
Mindy has a dual masters, 56 years’ experience, loving, and caring for horses. Within the safe space of the barn, along with the horse, we explore areas of resistance, fear, and limiting beliefs. That’s the kind of work she does. Mindy says, “If we’re open, the horses can lead us to greater love, acceptance and compassion. When we see what the horses see, we see with curiosity, with openness, nonjudgment, we become free and fully alive.” Welcome, Mindy.
Thank you, Terri.
I read the book and I said, “You’ve got to be here at Heartrepreneur Radio.” Let me start with this. You know you’ve had this long experience with horses. How did you come to realize that a horse could be a teacher and catalyst? I’ve never heard of this before.
When I was taking care of my pony at eight years old, I had no idea that by brushing him, caring for him, tending to him that I was making neuro connections in my brain. I just love my pony. Through the journey of life, I had many years of experience with them. My world opened up. I began asking questions. I began seeking deeper truths. That’s what the dual masters was about. All along, the horses were right by my side. I went through a very challenging, difficult time of getting divorced after a long-term marriage. The horses were my silent sanctuaries. Out of that came a realization that my horses are my partners. When people come to the farm, it’s not Mindy facilitating. It’s Mindy with the horses. They are the master teachers. I’m just showing up, doing a few exercises. It’s about noticing for sure, but connecting with the horses is so imperative. Their heart and energy field is so much larger than ours, Terri. When we’re with them, we can be affected by that, enough with positive physiological changes. It’s wonderful.
Let’s say that you meet someone on your journey that you feel would benefit, tell us the types of people that could even benefit. I have no idea.
With the horses, if you are curious, open, and nonjudgmental, they can affect your life deeply. I have young children on the spectrum as young as eight or nine. I have teenage girls that need to learn how to set boundaries. Horses are wonderful at that because they set boundaries in a way that’s safe and healthy and appropriate. I have mothers that are trying to deal with their children. I have executives that come to me. I have people with post-traumatic stress the horses can speak to.
Can you maybe give an example or a story of a client you’ve worked with?
I believe that we’re all so busy and so stressed and we never stop. We never press the pause button. One of the phenomenal things that I’ve been offering here often at the farm is a horse circle. People come from all over the world. We sit in a large circle and the horses linger around us. It’s amazing who the horses go for. I have a woman who’s had a stroke on her right side. One of my horses consistently has walked around her three times. The horse come up to her right side and he stands there still as a statue as if to support her in her healing. A teenager will be sitting in a chair and horse will come and stand behind this person for ten minutes as if to say, “I got your back.” I have one that he comes and he takes his head, which is 150 pounds, gently places it atop the head of somebody. I asked them afterwards, “What was that like?” They’ll say, “It was as if everything I had going on in my mind, it just went. It was like I was being given permission to let go and just be.”
I don’t know the answer to this and I’m not sure if you know, but how do horses have this inkling? What is that?
It goes back to how they were created by God, the original creator. Here’s how horses live. A horse will see something off in the distance. In the days of old, it would be a lion or a bear or something. In that moment they would know, “Is it fight or flight? Is it something I need to react or respond to?” In that moment, their heart rate rises, blood flows through their system, endorphins are released. They’re wondering, “Do I move or do I not?” They have to tell the herd. They don’t have vocal speech. They can’t say, “Let’s move now,” but with the non-verbal, the flick of an ear, the swish of the tail, the nod of the head, and they’re gone.
These non-verbal is how horses live. Once the stressor has passed, then horses do something amazing. They go back to grazing and they go back to satiation. If we are to look at them with the lens of our lives, when we have stressors in our life, do we react to respond appropriately? Some of us respond too much. Some of us don’t respond enough. Some of us are frozen. The big question when the stressor leaves, do we go back to a state of satiation, contentment, and grazing? Most of us, we live in a high stress state and that’s why the horses are so wonderful for that because they bring us to the present moment. They encourage stillness and connection when you’re brushing horse and sometimes when my clients come and I have sessions, we might do something as easy as brushing the horse. The inner neurons are firing back and forth. It’s a beautiful thing.
Do you ever do videos that we people can see and put them on the Internet where we can observe some of this?
It’s hard because sometimes the horse circles they’re the session of horses, like we’re respectful of people’s privacy. I could do it with friends of mine, they’d all probably think that would be a great idea. I am getting ready to offer my second TEDx Talk. The title is Love Connection in a Horse.
This is going back many years ago when I was pretty early on in the RSD, reflex sympathetic dystrophy disease that I have. I wanted to swim with dolphins. At the time, I was in a wheelchair and they said, “We can get you in the ocean.” People carried me into the ocean and once I’m in the water, I’ve got a life jacket on, so I’m fine. I was enamored with the dolphins and they mostly hung around me, not around the other people. I’m like, “I think these dolphins know.” They said, “They normally take you by your feet and ride you out.” I’m like, “No, nothing can touch my feet.”
The guy who was with the dolphins said, “Do you trust the dolphins?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “They already know that there’s something up with you. Let them take you out in the way they feel most guided. Just give over to them.” I said, “I’m here for this experience.” They did not lift me the way they lifted anybody else out of the water. A friend caught it on video. It still made me realize that when we are with something other than a human being, we have a different openness in our heart. The animal, or whatever it might be, if we understand where they come into the world, it can change our world, and this is just all coming back to me.
What that led you to was greater trust. Greater trust for yourself and greater trust with the dolphin, or in my case the horses. That’s a beautiful thing. When you have 1,200 pounds that you feel you can trust or that you can move around and have boundaries with, watch out world. They lead us to gratitude and awe and it’s so incredibly yummy and life-giving.
I’m sure that a lot of the audience are going to love this and I’m also sure it’s something that they probably haven’t seen or haven’t experienced. You were probably peaking their interest, which is smart for them. What would be a next action? Is there a way they can connect with you? Find out more if they’re curious at this point?
Most simple way is my website, TheResonantHorse.com. You can reach me on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can go onto YouTube and put in Mindy Chernoff and my TEDx Talk will come right up. If you’re on the East Coast, I’m outside of Philadelphia and I offer horse circles, workshops, sessions and retreats. Horses offer us immediate in the moment feedback and that’s pretty powerful stuff.
I’m going to ask the audience to tap in and do something like I just did where you truly let go and release and you look at this and say, “I wonder what this experience could be.” I’m going to encourage you that you connect with her and take advantage. If you’re not, definitely follow her, connect with her, watch her TEDx Talk. I can tell you that because I oscillated with her at such a high level and I read her book and found so much beauty in it. I brought her here because I know she’s a true Heartrepreneur. She can help us tap in and open our hearts even deeper and doing it with horses. Mindy, thank you so much.
I love meeting you, Terri, and we did connect instantly. It wasn’t a one-way street, it was a two-way and it was a pleasure and a joy. I love your heart because it’s the horse’s heart. It’s open, curious, and loving.
For the audience, thank you. I always recommend that you subscribe or you could have missed this episode with Mindy Tatz Chernoff. In this episode, my heart is wide open and it was a really valuable one. Share the show, pass it forward, and let other people know about the great guest that we have here at Heartrepreneur Radio.
About Mindy Tatz Chernoff
Mindy Chernoff, MA, provides a novel and innovative approach to healing, using horses as a context for promoting self-esteem and a sense of competence with children and adults of diverse backgrounds. With over 50 years experience with horses and 28+ years in addiction recovery, she brings mindfulness into play with her clients, all the while interacting with horses and the peaceful environment. In her experience with both children and adults, she uses animals to foster personal growth and transformation. Within a safe environment, which she has called “The Resonant Horse,” together with the horse, she explores areas of resistance, fear, discomfort, love and acceptance. Mindy feels every life lesson can be learned in the barn.
Mindy’s primary goal is to build upon each individual’s positive traits, encouraging a sense of calm, contentment, and freedom to let go. Her sessions vary in length and focus, depending on the needs and desires of the client.
Horses, in particular, evoke a strong sense of authenticity in those who interact with them, and in the horse’s environment a client is inclined to slow down, notice, feel and heal. By being in close proximity to horses, under the supervision of a trained mentor, stress levels often diminish. One typically experiences deep levels of inner awareness of his/her feelings and desires.
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