\ Waiting on a Dream | Christina Brandt

Waiting on a Dream

This long post, and the long story in it, was a long time in the making. It started with an interest that turned into a curiosity that turned into a passion.

I’ve always been fascinated with horses. I’m not sure why. I’ve only ridden a horse twice, and both experiences were the typical “put the kid on a half-dead horse who slooooowly walks around in a circle” thing. I read the “Misty of Chincoteague” series of books when I was little and I dreamed of having a horse, but that’s about as far as it ever got.  Horses just weren’t in the cards for me, but there was something about them that always made me sit up and take notice.

Years later (in 2008, to be exact), I found myself in a round pen with master coach Koelle Simpson and a horse. As part of my master coach certification, I was to demonstrate leadership in a very real, very present moment with a 1,000 lb. animal. It didn’t go all that well.

Six weeks later, I found myself in Montana with Koelle and a bunch of friends, and this time the ante was upped, as I was supposed to single-handedly get 10 loose horses in a large arena to follow me. Yeah, right. (I wrote about that experience here.)

And six weeks after that, I’m helping Koelle with a workshop, acting as the “coach on the side,” helping participants deal with the many thoughts that come up when they’re faced with the experience of using their leadership skills with a horse for the first time. Then we hit Texas, and then Virginia in 2009, where we met Erika Isler, who wrote this about her experience.

What didn’t make it into the article, though, was what happened for me on the last day of that Virginia workshop. With time left over, my friend Boyd and I tried a herding exercise we’d bungled a bit in Montana a year before. There are no photos of the best parts, so I’ll just say that we summoned up our leadership mojo and had those horses dancin’! They did figure eights around barrels, twice. Not bad for a girl who, during her first experience, couldn’t summon up enough oomph to invite her horse to just take a walk. (That’s the two of us, high-fivin’ in a photo taken by our friend Kelly Eide.)

Now, with five equine workshops under my belt, I’m totally hooked on horses. I want to learn everything I can about them, and I’ve started by taking Koelle’s Equus Coach training program.  Last weekend, I was at a ranch in AZ, learning how to take a horse’s temperature (and it ain’t by placing a thermometer under his tongue!), weigh him, take his pulse, and determine his age, too.  I’m contacting stables and will soon be mucking out stalls and observing horses at play, and taking classes about things like the equine digestive tract.

Eventually, I’ll be coaching people through “join-ups” and other activities designed to help people summon and channel their leadership energy and learn the importance of non-verbal communication in a very cool way.

A dream come true. It only took about 40 years, but it’s happening. And that’s the important thing. My passion for horses wasn’t nourished for a long time but now that I’m focused, it’s the best feeling ever.  I’m not sure exactly how this will all play out but I’m having too much fun to question it or to stop.

What’s your passion? What lit you up when you were eight years old? Despite the fact that we outgrow a lot of things, it never hurts to go back and look at who we were then. Amazingly, a lot of things about us stay pretty consistent, like my love of cowboy boots and horses, and my passion for helping others.  Think about what got you excited then, and what excites you now.  Then, even if it’s scary or crazy, find a way to articulate that feeling to someone you trust.  It’s funny, the things that happen when you start to air those passions…

If it takes you 40 years to re-ignite your dream, so what!  If I can do it, so can you.


  1. Laura Dorr says:

    Ok, now we gotta get you on the back of a horse, my nice sweet quiet stallion you will love! I generally can do teus, wed or friday afternoons and when my husband is on call i can get otgether on the weekends, let me know what works for you, will be so much fun. I love what u r doing and will speak more
    Peace and Light!!! Laur

  2. chris says:

    Thanks, Laura! I’ll be in touch.

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