Myth Busting Fear

Posted by harmonio on May 13, 2014

If you are feeling scared or anxious, if you’re nerves get in the way of enjoying your horse, please know you are not alone. When I ran the first Calm & Confident classroom series I knew from personal experience how beneficial the content, tools and exercises would be to the participants. Furthermore, I was aware that bringing a group of horse loving individuals together was a great opportunity to shift the perception that we are alone in our fears. Yet I was amazed by the continual feedback from participants that being in a group of other people—who were also working on their confidence—was one of the most valuable pieces in the course.

There is a false belief in the horse industry that you should never let your horse know you are scared. This belief has led to us hiding our fears and concerns from each other, and even worse, experiencing shame when we do feel fear. This is a twisted cycle that is not only unhealthy for us; it is unhealthy for our horses. As with anything the quickest way to shift perspective is to look at a situation with new eyes. This is what we do in the Calm & Confident classroom series and it’s what we’ll do help shed light on this false belief and the negative cycle it creates.

  1. Horses communicate through body language and interspecies communication, which I like to think of as the language of energy and emotion. This means if you are scared, nervous or tentative your horse will pick up on it. If you don’t acknowledge it this will actually make your horse even more uncomfortable.
  2. Fear has a purpose. It’s there for a reason, which is to keep you safe. You can have a healthy or unhealthy relationship with fear, but pretending it doesn’t exist or wishing it away won’t get rid of it. Hiding doesn’t help you move through fear, understanding it does.
  3. When we try to hide a piece of ourselves from others we usually end up feeling shame or embarrassment around that thing. This takes away our power to make changes and do things differently.
  4. According to author Brene Brown the best way to combat shame is to shine a light on what we are ashamed or embarrassed of in the presence of at least one person who will be compassionate to how we are feeling.

The truth is there is no quick fix for fear, and becoming calm and confident is a journey. The good news is that fear can be a gift, things no longer have to be the way they have been and you don’t need to be on this path alone. If joining a group of like-minded horse lovers to learn more about becoming Calm & Confident—both in the saddle and on the ground—feels like a good fit please check out the details below.

Calm & Confident Classroom Series

I’m diving deep in a four part classroom series, tailor made for nervous horse people just like you. To add even more value  I’ve invited three amazing guest speakers, all of whom I can personally vouch for (this means they’ve helped me personally). They will give you extra insights into their areas of expertise and leave you with tasty nuggets that will help you mentally, physically and emotionally on your journey to confidence.

The following is just a few areas I’ll be covering during the classroom series:

  • How to move through fear positively, while keeping yourself safe.
  • Simple exercises and techniques to help you connect with, and calm, your mind and body.
  • How to listen to your fear and hear the message it has for you.
  • Identify which tools (we’ll be offering a ton) will work best to help you gain confidence in the saddle as well as on the ground
  • And so much more!

Now I’d like to share with you a few of my accomplishments, not to boast but to remind you that the fear you are experiencing now doesn’t have to stop you enjoying what you love (horses).  When you start to embrace you fear it doesn’t hold you back, it shows you a path forward.

I have:

  • Run my own business, Harmonious Horsemanship, specializing in Equine Behaviour, Equine Trauma and starting young horses.
  • Instructed clinics and courses at the International learning center for a world famous horse whisperer.
  • By personal request taught the staff and students of an Olympic Gold Medalist.
  • Been mentored, as a rider and a coach, by renowned “A” circuit hunter/jumper trainers.
  • Written a book, If Your Horse Could Talk.

I feel so blessed to have had all these experiences and so grateful that I didn’t just face my fear, I embraced it. If I did it I know you can too!

Are you ready to become Calm & Confident as you rediscover the joy that brought you to horses in the first place?

Join us from 6:30pm-8:30 pm on Oct 15, 22, 29 and Nov 5, 2014 (all Wednesdays). The class will be held in the classroom at Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association in Duncan

Cost is $195+gst for the series. Registration is required. Partial proceeds to benefit CTRA.

Contact (250) 618-9322 or jodine(at) to register.

If you’re like me and like a little more detail here’s some info about me and my guests.

Jodine Carruthers (that’s me)

IMG_3827_cropped.jpgJodine Carruthers is an Equine Behaviour Specialist, author and the founder of Harmonious Horsemanship. A lifelong horsewoman, she has dedicated her career to empowering and improving the lives of horses and humans through education, communication, and the depth of connection found through her teachings. Jodine has extensively researched human dynamics and neuroscience, and is an expert in horse psychology, equine body language, inter-species communication, and healing equine trauma. By combining this knowledge with her passion and innate understanding of personal growth and experiential learning, Jodine has created the one of a kind teachings offered by Harmonious Horsemanship.


Guest Speakers

Emily Pelletier 

emile.jpgEmily has a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology with a specialization in Equine Assisted Mental Health from Prescott College in Arizona. As co-founder of the Generation Farms programs, Emily has helped create EFW programs including the HorseEmPower youth program, personal development workshops, group addictions treatment, and professional trainings. A life-long horse person, Emily is a certified Equine Canada riding instructor and has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 15 years.


Gina Allan

gina_cielopsg-150x150.pngGina is an Equine Canada Dressage Coach, a BCRPA Certified Group and Third Age Fitness Instructor, a Yoga Instructor and a Specialist Instructor in Pilates. She has, as a result of her passion for helping people, developed fitness programs and riding lessons which focus on improving back health, balance, core strength and posture. Whether you simply want to improve your posture or become a better rider, Gina will help you find a winning combination of exercises designed to help you become the best you can be. 


Dr. Tonia Winchester

wide019.JPGDr. Tonia Winchester is a naturopathic physician practicing at the North Nanaimo Medical Clinic. She focuses on helping busy, super-women make time for what's important by teaching them how to look after themselves. After identifying the root cause of her patient’s symptoms she used food, herbs, stress reduction techniques, acupuncture, and mind-body treatments to ensure her they are healthy, happy, and able to do what they love. She also runs an online business providing distance healing sessions, information products and free weekly articles.


Contact (250) 618-9322 or jodine(at) to register.

P.S. If you are not living in the area but are interested I have great news. We'll be getting an on-line offering of this event ready soon!