Next Steps with Mystic
This past summer and fall I had the opportunity to work with Trish to develop a special October session of Riding Beyond called Next Steps with Mystic in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have been a volunteer for Riding Beyond for several years now, and due to my deep love for horses and family experiences with battling cancer, I really wanted to work with the organization for my community service-based senior project at St.Marys School. Trish and I created a three-session program of guided interactions with Mystic, designed to foster connection with the horse and to revitalize the whole person. Our hope was to create an experience that would assist the participants with some of the physical, emotional, and spiritual side effects that remain after breast cancer treatment. I also wanted to build in time for our participants to “just be” with Mystic and her grounding energy, because I know how impactful that interaction can be from my own equestrian activities. Although the program and activities that we conducted were directed towards breast cancer survivors, we also wanted to include someone else that was close to our main participant, so that they would have someone to share the experience with. After discussing the program idea with Trish, and nailing down some details such as location and specific exercises, I created a flier and we offered the program to the members of the Riding Beyond community, and anyone else in the area who we thought may be interested. We had two participants, a survivor and one of her dear friends, join us. In reflection, I am honored to have gone on the journey of this program with our two participants. Both of them were extremely courageous, compassionate, and unique individuals, who I genuinely enjoyed getting to know better. I think that throughout the program we all faced challenges, but also came to new realizations. To me personally the entire process of creating and co-facilitating this program was a new experience, but also a very enjoyable one. I am so thankful for my time with Trish, Mystic, and our participants, and I cannot wait to see what else Riding Beyond does in the future.