Touched by a Horse Founder of the EGCMethod® Wed, 27 Mar 2019 23:36:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 An Interview with June Voldseth of Bonanza Creek Ranch Fri, 16 Jun 2017 01:11:35 +0000 The post An Interview with June Voldseth of Bonanza Creek Ranch appeared first on Touched by a Horse.


Melisa Pearce of Touched by a Horse and founder of the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method, interviews June Voldseth, the owner of a 35,000 acre Montana working Ranch. Find out what it’s like to live and own a 6 generation cattle ranch with 6000 Angus cattle and be part of the daily life of a working ranch family.

Click the image below to watch the video.

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The 1200 lb Coach Tue, 16 May 2017 21:01:35 +0000 The post The 1200 lb Coach appeared first on Touched by a Horse.


In our Equine Gestalt Coaching Method there are two Coaches for the client. One a human Gestaltist focused on discovery with the client. Working in a co-active and experiential process, client and coach work to uncover the root of unfinished areas of life that need closure.

The start of the work enlists the second Coach, the horse, to witness the conversation and open into the emotions as the client becomes truly congruent. Thinking, speaking and emoting from a genuine and consistent space.

As horses are highly intuitive and rely on their ability to “ read” what is happening around them, they are tuned into the truth. As the method moves forward in a session the horse begins to express himself through a variety of body language. This may mean as the session progresses the client may be with the horse on free liberty in a round pen, arena or open pasture as the horse gives feedback about personal truth, or actively aligns their body to elevate the vibrational field or even act out a pantomime for feedback from their perspective.

Utilizing a variety of means of expression both haltered and at liberty, the Horse is an effective and clear Coach and learn to illustrate exhibit and perform healing for the client without interpretation or “anthropomorphizing” from the human Coach.

Clients are moved and achieve clarity and closure from working with the two coaches. Certainly one never forgets what a 1200 LB Coach shows you.

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Who really needs a Coach and what does the Coach do exactly? Sun, 16 Apr 2017 20:48:26 +0000 The post Who really needs a Coach and what does the Coach do exactly? appeared first on Touched by a Horse.


One consistent activity that successful people do is to continually invest in themselves and their dreams. Investing in mentors and teachers that keep them on the forward edge of their work and dreams is a proven plan.  Think about a five-year-old child you may know or remember, they are in a never-ending learning state and are excited about all of it.  However, that enthusiasm for learning does wane for some people while others know that learning and personal growth is the key to their joy.

A Coach encourages their client to creatively get in touch with a vision, a plan that draws them forward, and their desires that motivate them. To become the person worthy of that dream is often a stretch.  A strong vision should make their palms sweat a bit in anticipation and offer a challenge from where they stand today.

Attitude drives success and the Coach is a trusted sounding board that attunes the client’s tone when a person goes off key. Ideally, Coaches are patient but also persistent in encouraging their client to stay determined and focus actions to realize the dream.  When we are accountable to someone who cares, we tend to stay on track more consistently. The Coach is buying into the vision and because they are not distracted by other elements in the client’s life, they can hold onto the forward track to reignite the passion even when the client derails.

A Coach catches patterns and underscores the ones that serve a person well. They also yield clarity for those patterns that do not serve the client well. Calling upon the client to step up and away from those habits that are not empowering is a valuable benefit.

While personal friends or relatives may speak as if they are supporting a persons vision or dreams, they may also feel threatened by seeing the steps to success and even accidentally, or not so accidentally, sabotage a person’s forward motion.  The Coach is looking at the client’s desired outcomes from a more detached place and will suggest strategies to assist on the client on their climb to success.

Do you know that horses are natural Coaches?  Be sure to read my blog on the 1200lb Coach!

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Is your Horse and Extrovert or an Introvert? Sat, 19 Nov 2016 03:34:16 +0000 The post Is your Horse and Extrovert or an Introvert? appeared first on Touched by a Horse.


eiOne of the four areas of our inherent temperament is whether we are an Extrovert or an Introvert  AND I ask you …. who is your horse?

This is the most commonly known, understood, and used temperament pairing in our American vocabulary. This pairing represents a person’s social energy. A person who is more extroverted (E) will find their juices flowing when there is social interaction. Talking, playing, and interacting raises their energy level. By contrast, an introvert (I) requires solitude to recover or refill their energy banks

75% of the general population is E (extrovert) and only 25% is I (introvert).

In my Equine Gestalt Coaching ® practice, I see it also as a difference in distilling thought. The E needs to process orally with another person. For the high E, this is a must. This action of speaking out loud helps the E distill their thoughts to a simpler declaration. This means that some of what they are saying cannot be taken as fact. It is only after this process that they come to their bottom line.

Here is a story from my book Equusology   that may help.

A large Texas ranch owner went out to check on one hundred tons of baled alfalfa that his men were moving into the hay barns for winter storage. All the barns also had equipment stored in them. As he rode up, his foreman waved, and he could see the ranch hands moving bale after bale by hand in the summer sun. They were about halfway through the task.
“Looks like you have been making progress,” the rancher said to his foreman. “It would have been better if we had moved all the tractor equipment into that south barn and put all this hay in the two north ones. That would have made it easier for the crew to work on the equipment during inclement weather.” He went on to talk about what tractors needed what repairs, what was being prepared for lunch, and even what new piece of machinery he was thinking of purchasing. When his cell phone rang, he waved and rode off.

Wanting to make the rancher happy, the foreman stopped the hands in their work and told them they were going to reorganize and move all the equipment to the south barn and all the hay to the two north sheds. The men groaned and began moving the heavy hay.

The next evening, the ranch owner rode over expecting to see the job complete and was taken aback by the fact that it was not. “I thought y’all would be finished here by now,” he said.

“I did what you asked and reorganized the sheds,” the foreman replied.

The rancher slowly shook his head and smiled. “Happens all the time to me. I never said I wanted you to do all that, I was just thinking out loud.”

A person who is a high Extrovert often has an experience like the rancher. Someone will say, “But you said . . .” and the extrovert will reply, “No, I never said that.” The extrovert was simply thinking out loud in a process of discovering what it was they wanted to express. This is the way they distill their thoughts, but it can lead to confusion or even frustration for others. The extrovert is just trying to sort things out and come to some clarity, but the lack of filtering in their communication can make it difficult for others to know what they are actually saying and what they want. If others know that the person is an extrovert in the process of distilling information, then the communication between them may be easier and more fruitful. And those communicating with the extrovert may realize that they sometimes need to ask for clarification.

By contrast, the introvert needs time to process, preferably without interruption or distraction. They may appear withdrawn, shy, or even snobby to the extrovert when they actually just require time to be able to think and process what they want to express. If pressured to respond before they have the time and space to process, they may withhold valuable input or ideas that they have not distilled at that point. When the introvert is distilling their thoughts, an extrovert may think that nothing is happening because the distilling is happening within the introvert instead of verbally, as the extrovert does it. In actuality, a great deal is happening that the extrovert is simply not privy to.

In a group situation, the introvert is more comfortable when they have a chance to prepare ahead and are certain of their role. They are often excellent observers and listeners and will position themselves for those activities, but they are less likely to speak spontaneously or contribute to a group discussion. Instead, they quietly distill what they are taking in and when required to make a statement, it will reflect their bottom line.

The extrovert usually sees the breadth or totality of the event or situation while the introvert likes to see the depth of it. The extrovert likes to meet new people, networks easily, and can be very entertaining with their stories. The introvert likes to listen and converse in depth with fewer people, but they really develop their relationships with those people. Both can be valuable styles.

Introverts tend to be territorial. They like to have their own space, a private space. This is how they restore and conserve energy. Extroverts like variety and like having a broader territory in which to navigate. Seeing other people and having social interaction throughout the day charges them.

An introvert can feel quite alone, especially when strangers surround them, while an extrovert will easily make a new friend in a crowd of strangers. If that extrovert meets that new friend at an airport, she will quickly exchange contact information with them and suggest they get together for dinner the next time they are both in town. But in that same situation, among many people they do not know at an airport, the introvert can feel uncomfortable or even feel deep sadness, particularly if they have not had time to prepare for the experience. This is not to say that introverts don’t enjoy engaging with others. They do. They just prefer to find quiet places to engage in a more in-depth discussion.
In my book Equusology, I go into this topic further explaining all the types and the nuances of each. AND  how this applies to our horses as well!  Read this blog again and apply it to your horse and you can see what I am referring to here. The tests are in the book for you to type both you AND your horse … Discover s new way to relate !

Buy Equusology Now at – plus get information on upcoming events such as webinars and live seminars.

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Compassion Tue, 01 Nov 2016 19:12:58 +0000 The post Compassion appeared first on Touched by a Horse.


My work with clients is one of deep process. Working with my healing team of horses we co create an experience for our client to close the points of unfinished business of their life. This results in healing, relief and future normal responses to situations where they may have had  reactions or over reactions in situations up to now.

I’ve been a highly trained Gestaltist for 30 years and working with my horses as my fellow coaches in the process of my work has always felt natural. After all,  horses live in the present moment and  are beautifully connected energetically to the human heart.

An interviewer for a magazine article on my Equine Gestalt Coaching Method ® , recently asked me  “Melisa, your work is profound and complex.. but if there was ONE THING that it is  rooted in .. what would you say that one thing is ?”

Great question.

I thought a moment and the answer came clearly to me… I responded Compassion … mostly Self Compassion.  We all survive our childhood .. may it be full of blessings or full of abuse, we survive losses in our life and we survive friendships and all types of  relationships with both healthy and unhealthy people along the way.  Because we “survived”  we also often minimize its effect as we move forward in life. Often not realizing the lasting effect of the unfinished business therein.

I thanked the interviewer for the question. He then asked me .. “Exactly what do the horses DO in your process? “  ..  I smiled and handed him a card from my deck  Whisper’s from a Horses Heart …  written by me in 1992.  THIS ….. This…..this  is what the horse’s “do”, they give Compassion. They do this naturally.. we need to follow this guidance and do the same.


You are being called upon to look at others with compassion right now. They may be trying your patience or even tempting you to make harsh judgements. However, you are being asked to reach deep within yourself to discover your sense of generosity and empathy. Feel their struggles or pain.

They are giving you a valuable gift by being in your presence at this time.  This is causing you to stretch; to let go of all judgements; and further challenging you to not attempt to find any solutions . Just be present. That is all. Only love is the answer here. Hold to the purity of love without agenda and without outcome do not look for reason; just accept what is, for today.  Compassion will heal all as you step into immense love and let the healing come form a higher source.

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Deciphering Typology Sat, 15 Oct 2016 19:35:06 +0000 The post Deciphering Typology appeared first on Touched by a Horse.


Deciphering Typology

For over 30 years I have been assisting people with understanding their inherent Temperament. While there are several tools to use for this process,  I am a huge fan of the late David Kiersey.  Before his death in 2015,  Kiersey honored me with his permission to place the Kiersey Sorter in my latest book Equusology.

Along with my CO Author Carolyn Fitzpatrick  we created a book that allows the reader  to understand ….

What is typology?
What is their own Typology?
Why does it matter ?

The second of three tests is  the Equusology Sorter™ in which you answer questions about your horse to determine his typology AND third test is to give a voice to your horse, so we devised practicums  you can do with your horse so  he has a say in the matter!

The following is an excerpt from Equusology; Root of  Temperament

Our friendships and relationships are often made with people who are very different from us. As a psychotherapist, I have always had a strong interest in how these differences flavor our lives. But what causes the unique differences in the first place?

Certainly, there are many social factors originating from the region or area in which people are raised. Some children grow up on a farm while others move around a lot with a parent in the military. Some live in a city apartment; others live in a suburban home. Those raising the child also have an impact. Some children have single parents or are with their grandparents; others have both parents as the main influencers. One person may have been raised by strict parents while another may have had permissive or even neglectful parents.

Cultural and religious factors can play a significant part in creating the norms of behavior and interaction. Each culture has its own rituals, styles of parenting, and social expectations. Even gender roles can influence how a person expresses themselves.

Traumatic events during developmental stages, such as the loss of a parent during childhood or some form of abuse, will also shape our reactions and responses to the world. As adults, traumatic events such as battle experiences or spousal abuse can shut a person’s more natural preferences down for a while. The person has not changed but their way of responding to the world has been modulated.

Birth order is also a factor. Experts who had studied birth order tell us that an only child does not have a chance to learn how to share or how to argue without siblings to practice on. A middle child may feel unseen but also has more freedom in their position. The baby of a large family can fail to feel the need to do things for themselves since someone has always taken care of things for them. Each of these scenarios will influence behavior and affect how the an individual operates in the world. However, it is their “type” that forms the platform on which they build how they will interact through it all—their learning style, the decision style they prefer, and even how they organize the experiences.

Underneath all of the normal factors sociologists use to view humanity, we can peer even deeper to find more salient factors that establish attraction in social friendships and loving marital bonds. These factors are important to understand before we make a commitment, but unfortunately, they are often less understood or even considered when we are forming these committed relationships.

One such factor is our core values. A person’s core values are central to who they are. Almost like a computer’s operating system, they govern our decisions and determine what feels important. Our values subconsciously dictate our thoughts when we are making decisions in life—not just the large and important thought-filled decisions, but also the daily and seemingly insignificant ones. It is the multitude of these smaller decisions that shape our reality because they combine over time. It is the myriad of smaller decisions—those more spontaneous than thought out and more subconscious than conscious—that can add up to extra pounds on the body or a depleted savings account.
There are many theories about how and why we form our values. Many of the factors previously discussed are thought to contribute to their formation, but can we peer even deeper? Could the secret to our core values lie in our temperament?

Three tips to remember;
Social, cultural, and religious factors influence who we are.
Our core values are central to who we are.
Temperament is the foundation upon which our values are built.

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Reflecting on the healing power of horses Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:26:06 +0000 The post Reflecting on the healing power of horses appeared first on Touched by a Horse.


When I was a child I loved to ride bareback with my jeans sticking to the sweat of my horse’s back. I didn’t know that the horse’s healing power was infusing my very spirit. As I rode for hours upon hours, my connection to the horse supported my inner being and brought true joy to my heart.

Horses are brilliant healers. For thousands of years, they have been willing to serve mankind: pulling wagons or plows, being ridden for war, herding cattle, as general transportation, and for sport. Most humans have overlooked the essential gift of healing that horses have offered them over the years.

There are many ways that horses show up in their sincere effort to bring clarity to our thoughts, expansion in our awareness, and healing to our pain.

Our Equine Gestalt Coaching Method ® is an avenue that deeply respects this special gift that the horses offer freely. Our goal is to help our clients via their connection with horses to heal the somatic issues present in their bodies. The horses bring a unique experience for the clients by guiding the healing process with their perceptive responses to the clients’ needs.

This experience stays with the clients for a lifetime because it is so different from merely “talking about” a challenge, an impending decision, or a traumatic event. EGC method is experiential in its very nature. It is in this full experience with both the human and equine coach that the magic unfolds, leaving clients with a lasting reminder that supports their continuing transformation.

The  past  almost three years have been ones of personal grieving for me following the loss of my beautiful daughter, Molly. I have had lessons upon lesson about the preciousness and fragility of life.

I believe we are here to live our lives more like the horses live theirs: in awareness, in serenity, and fully present—simply and in joy. I am blessed to have these wondrous healers ready in my barn at two a.m. when I am blue over missing Molly and the simple ways we would connect. They offer a warm shoulder, recalibrate my heart, and gently encourage me to continue my own journey on this planet.

Through my equine connections,  horses are my teachers and my friends. If you truly befriend a horse I trust they touch your heart as horses have always touched mine.


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