In the podcast that was sent out today, I talked about how my horsemanship for me has become a practice in everyday activism.
As I work to gain better understandings of my horse, I have gained better understandings of myself.
As I work to ground and center myself in the midst of big experiences and emotions, I am able to access this as a transferable quality that makes itself known in every other area of my life.
As a consequence, the story that I’m about to share with you here becomes relevant in this space as well.
I recently have been part of a trauma training that incorporated some different modalities. There were about 12 of us in the group, a couple of women who identified as queer and another who was gender non-binary.
Over the course of our training, one of the outsourced teachers (who was separate from the main organizer/teacher) used some language that caused upset for the gender non-binary member of the group. They were incredibly brave in vocalizing this and the leader of the session had the opportunity to correct her languaging. She chose not to.
Changing a single word would have made them comfortable to stay, and yet this felt beyond the ability of the coach to extend to them.
The person in question then chose to leave the group.
Witnessing this was incredibly confronting and upsetting- everyone had some unpacking to do after and it’s something I continue to throw around my mind. At the same time, it was also inspiring- the strength it takes to advocate for yourself in those situations cannot be underestimated. I take my hat off to them.
And so I wanted to say…I recognise the challenges that marginalised groups face every day, and I consider part of my work as breaking down systems of oppression in myself, my horses, and those around me. Naturally, my own circumstances mean that I will be blind to many things that I can’t know until I know. This got me thinking about the times I may have unknowingly caused exclusivity or otherwise in the way that I have framed things, and I’m deeply sorry if that’s the case.
I have shared this in my membership group but it has a place here also. I share this not in the expectation of anyone who might feel this is relevant to you coming forward, or to expect you to educate me should I unknowingly slip up. It’s more to say that if I do use language or do something that creates the feeling of exclusion and you want to tell me, you are free to do so.
I am open to being corrected and doing better, and all platforms that fall under my wing- be that on social media or paid groups that I run- are inclusive spaces for everyone regardless of colour, creed, gender, or orientation.
It’s part of the work, and my work.