Establishing Trust

Establishing Trust

Jim Hicks starts a mustang colt.

Growing with Rebecca

I have decided to share how I have gleaned that Dressage is one of the hardest sports to become masterful in. Its a sport of refinement and I have learned that to develop refinement I have to develop as a human being. I have decided to share my journey of growth through this vehicle. I will start with this quote : “Equestrian art is the perfect understanding of harmony between horse and rider” -Nuno Oliveiria 13735099_10209838655942521_1133909387315028697_o


A testimonial by Gloria Keys


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This post is inspired by my most recent dressage principles lesson with one of my amazing horsemanship coaches, Donnette Jordan Hicks.

For the past five years I have been traveling to, and diligently working in horsemanship lessons mainly in dressage principles. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, its been lots of hard work, sacrifices, and dedication. I don’t mind hard work, but sticking to this journey has been the challenge. Through all that life has thrown at me in the last five years..several horse accidents, an abusive marriage, divorce, healing, moving, new relationship with kids I have had the thought of quitting, or taking a break for a few months or years. I didn’t allow myself to do so, and made a promise to myself that I made it this far in this journey I’m not going to quit now. I owed it to myself. So no matter how overwhelmed, tired, or physically sore I have been I kept moving forward on this journey. I knew that sometime it had to get easier. I even kicked it up a notch thinking maybe I could get to the easier part just a little bit faster.

My most recent lesson in dressage principles was a few days ago, and it gave me a reward. The MIRACLE. The combination of my balanced riders seat, the right impulsion energy from my horses hind end, steady hands, bent elbows with my feel and connection resonating from the back of my elbow, a coach that believes in me, and me believing in ME.

My horse was like “Ok, your balanced?” ” I can be balanced.” That simple. Melted into my hands, and into a beautiful carriage we have been yearning for. The feeling of this is why I am on this journey. The added bonus is my coach telling me ” You are melding into the horseman I always knew you could be”.

The Miracle happened. I didn’t quit. I would have sold myself out if I did.

Thank you for believing in ME, Donnette Jordan Hicks!

Balance in the Face of Chaos

Whatever it is, however absurd it may seem to others, if I want to restore the balance between my Possibilities, dreams and my daily ways of responding to the world outside me… I needed to make a shift in the energy that I am contributing to my future desires, possibilities and dreams. When I am out of balance, it’s primarily because I have energetically allowed my past habits to define my future.



Even worse my habits have enrolled me blindly and try to convince me of the the consequences thereof, they are the result of the energy I have given them.

In the early stages of rebalancing and processing I concentrated on simply my awareness: You get what you think about, whether you want it or not!
I just laugh to myself how simple that is, yet most of us including me resists shifting my thoughts to recognizing our feeling body that’s full of the rich substance of life.
So I began the path of detachment and rather than focus on how impossible or difficult giving up daily thinking habits may seem. I found through meditation and personal self care, even dreams had a place to hang out.
I found that on a balanced scale, I could see and feel in my inner body relationship with my self, I allowed myself to soak up the energy I deserved.
I began to find my thoughts are mental energy; they’re the currency that I had attracted with limitation undesired physical world results.
Yet when I made friends with my thoughts they showed me where I could heal. By detaching their unwanted messages by moving into love. My body became full of love emotionally and physically. I shifted into learning how to balance in the face of chaos.
I stopped spending currency on thoughts I did not want, even though I felt compelled to continue my habitual behavior.
My bodies heart and soul guided the way to being aligned and in balanced with the possibility of experiencing future unmet dreams.
For me being the best I can be in the world of my horses was the factor that kept my journey into loving myself with balance fully alive. To be successful at going down the center line while being judged by powerhouse USEF judges, one does well if they can stay in emotional and physical balance in a world of certain CHAOS. I giggle as I write this as anyone who is brave enough to show in recognized shows, will relate!
The esteemed 19th-century writer Louisa May Alcott phrases this idea in an encouraging and inspiring manner:
” Far away in the sunshine are
my highest inspirations.
I may not reach them,
but I can look up and see the beauty,
believe in them and try to
follow where they lead. . . .”
Meditation brings personal self care by clearing unwanted “thinking” energy and replacing that void with the rejuvenation of self-love.

Written by Donnette Hicks

photograph by Chelsea Tracy

Become A Yes

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I often say “no” when I mean “yes”, afraid of the unknown, and even more afraid of making a mistake. I build walls of protection with my answers often being, no. Young and inexperienced in being myself, I agreed to be a no person for as long as I could, so as not to hurt or disappoint or displease. Not surprisingly, things often felt badly.

I began to understand the same is true for the horse.  When I am constantly saying no to the horse, I am usually reacting to its expression of life, out of my own fear. For the horse this can feel like they are trapped. The results of my constant “no” can result minimally in brace and resistance and consequently the very circumstances I am avoiding, I am actually creating.

Out of my commitment to the horse feeling relaxation and freedom, I became a “YES”.  For me there was an inner revolution. I began to feel inspired by the horses needs. I let down and let go of control by allowing the horses energy to flow freely through me. I let out slack in the rein, relaxed my body and became a YES.

I denied the calling no longer and began the journey into becoming a student of the horse, fully enjoying the mysteries and gifts of an ever expanding learning.

Turn your “NO” into a “YES”.

A yes to humility, love, life and yes to the horse having their natural abundant full expression!

By Donnette Hicks 

Source Of Life




Through the course of my life, I am often touched by the beauty of nature. Life provides a path of understanding by showing its illuminating brilliance through nature as its loving guide. The unsuspecting blossoms of the cherry tree always blooms on time, as its creation has the energy of natures intension. It starts as a sapling reaching for the sun, it then grows into a tree and the day comes when it explodes into an symphony of blossoms.

I am grateful for knowing I too am from the same source of life. When I practice self care by feeding my daily growth with the beauty and abundance offered, I too bloom into a symphony of creativity always giving my heart to all who are of like kind. Human blossoms on the tree of life.

When I observe the horse. I am inspired to learn the Equines language and by doing so I begin to find a universe of new understanding. The Equine is guided by a wordless universe that is inspired by the same intension the cherry blossom are influenced by.

Acknowledge the creative inspiration that flows through you. Know that all life is empowerd from a bountiful universal sourse.  

By Donnette Hicks 



I will always have another opportunity: the horse always tell me so. Mistakes can come at a high ex spence for the horse and some mistakes will land me pilled up in the dirt. Rightly so if the horse put me there.

I am just not your average human when it comes to learning from my mistakes. I have to fall so hard that I almost have to shatter the desire to reassign the lesson which I’m trying to learn. I try incredibly hard to not learn such a lesson when it comes to making mistakes with the horse.

The best gift one can give ones self is self respect. A significant moment to give this gift (for me) is at the moment I identify the horse is reflecting I am making a mistake. I then feel a sense of love and patience for the horse and myself. I am constantly checking in with the horse from moment to moment to adjust my feel and timing before they mirror their unhappiness.

For me at giving myself a hand up, with self compassion and self understanding. Shows up for the horse as well. They feel it when I am hard on myself.

When we recognize that our entire worldview is based on how much respect we have for ourselves, we will begin to see we have in us infinite possibilities for improvement with our relationship with the horse. 


By Donnette Hicks 


image I am inspired by new birth. New baby foals, flowers, trees and new understanding in our already established relationships with our horses.

What will I find in my exploration of today’s observations? Knowing that all horses are unique and are honest in their expressions. I have to ask myself how can I grow and carry myself in relationship to the horse? What will I do with my heart. Will I show it with my actions?

When life gives birth it does not say “oh wow I’m scared let’s not do this today” No birth is unstoppable as it is part of the greatest force in existence.

Be inspired by the energy and beauty of new birth.

Recognize that we are always connected to the origin or sorce of where we came from.

Feel the excitement of experiencing the energy of birth in our daily choices with horses. 

By Donnette Hicks 


Facing Reality Heals Lives



Do you give back as much as you take from the horse?

It is often overlooked how much humanity takes from the horse. Many of us get snagged in the illusion of a fantasy that’s driven by our ego’s identity. This keeps many blind to the horses reality.  Humans lose track that they are not their truck, Levi’s, house or horse nor their BMW, breeches or live-in trailers.

One example is in the understanding. the equine as a nation, has lost their natural habitat. They no longer have the ability to move free of human population. It often does not occure to the human that the horse is not designed to be born in confinement. Fenced in pastures, padocks and box stalls are human creations. The horse does not have a choice, as their population has grown and their freedoms have been taken away. Their truest nature is to not be in human hands. They did not volunteer to be born into our limitations. They do not understand when they are first approached by what nature constitutes for them as a predator.

I remember Ray Hunt in his clinics contributing something along the line, and I am paraphrasing,  that if he was born into this world as a horse, he would be the wildest bronc anyone had ever seen. For me I felt his point was,  that the human needs to wake up to the reality of what horses are being put through. For me, I heard Rays empathy as a painful understanding for the horses plight in human hands. I also heard his admiration for the horses need for self preservation.

I have gone through years of pondering what is my role in the horses journey with humans. I have suffered looking directly at I too am a human, asking for the horse to live in my world, void of having choice.

In my feelings of empathy, I find myself asking,  “what do I give in return for asking the equine to live in my world” My top answer has taken years to develope. It is that I am to get really honest about THIER needs. Not MY needs. This is where one really faces themselves and asks the “why do I do this” ?  This very question has led me to seeking an in depth education of all aspects of the horse.  Environment, physical health and emotional needs being top contenders.

Taking responsibility for educating ourselves in all aspects of the horses reality, by facing how we impact thier lives, is how we become awake and responsible.

For me, I will never be able to do enough. In facing this raw truth, I have dedicated my life to giving back everything I can for what humanity has asked of these noble innocent beings.

Facing reality heals lives 

Acknowledging the innocence in all living beings, brings awareness, to what is sacred and beautiful in our own soul 

By Donnette Hicks 


A Meaningful Pause


When working with horses its wise to make space for a meaningful pause.  We do not need to be in chaos to take a breath, often taking a moment to ourselves results in a higher level of understanding and freedom for our equine partners.

When we don’t pause with the horse we are perpetually hurrying from one idea to another, from one action to another and sacrifice the richness of feeling for the horses needs. This often results in the horse bracing against us.

Pause and breath 

Create meaningful space with yor equine partner 

By Donnette Hicks 

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