Introductory or Advanced Workshop — Facilitated by Linda Kohanov & acclaimed equine artist Kim McElroy
Cost: $2500 (includes lunch and workshop materials)
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily
“Each of us has a creative spirit within us that yearns to express itself. Somewhere along the way that spirit may have been reined in. Horses can inspire you to set your creative spirit free. Then the interwoven patterns you glimpse in your life and your dreams can be expressed and explored in a tangible way.”
— Kim McElroy
“It is an act of revolution—and evolution—to reclaim your creativity from the Cult of Experts, all those stodgy authority figures who strive to convince people that only professional artists, musicians, dancers, and writers are allowed to explore and express their deepest, most elusive feelings and insights. In the process, those same authority figures condition us to act as machines. Over time, we lose the vitality and imagination that is the birthright of every human being, and we’re much more likely to become work horses for others’ mundane ambitions.”
— Linda Kohanov
In 2007, bestselling author Linda Kohanov and acclaimed equine artist Kim McElroy combined forces to create Way of the Horse: Equine Archetypes for Self Discovery. This deck of stunning images and the accompanying book of essays has since been translated into Dutch, French and German. That same year, Kim and Linda led the very first Horse as Muse workshop in Arizona. Participants loved the potent combination of creativity-boosting experiences that included horse-facilitated exercises, journeying and guided visualizations, myth-making, storytelling, music-making, and meditations with the horses—all the while learning how to paint with pastels through Kim’s unique approach to expressing feelings and images that can never be put into words.
Plans were made for future Horse as Muse workshops, but busy schedules have kept Kim and Linda apart far too long. Now, nearly a decade later, the two will host another Horse as Muse workshop with the Eponaquest herd in Amado, Arizona.
“We think drawing comes from our outer sight—our eyesight. But it is actually insight—it is our mind’s eye that is activated through inspiration and transformation,” Kim emphasizes. “But experiences that lead us to self awareness are elusive at best and difficult to describe. When one learns to access art as a way of putting feelings and experiences onto paper, a new kind of dialogue with the self can begin to unfold. In the Horse as Muse, we learn to use art as a form of communication that is less about words, which tend to focus and condense, and more about pictures, which tend to express and expand.”
“Humans beings have an incredible capacity for imagining and then manifesting new visions that benefit others, sometimes at a global level,” Linda adds. “But on a daily basis, exercising our creative and intuitive gifts gives us immense personal fulfillment, enlivening the soul, helping us to integrate reason and feeling, embrace both logical and mythological/symbolic insights, and connect much more deeply with nature and spirit, self and other. In this respect, horses act as agents of inspiration and expanded awareness, a reputation they have long held in cultures around the world.”
Pegasus, the winged horse of the ancient Greeks, is just one example of many cross-cultural myths that emphasize the ability of the horse to jump start imagination and intuition in humans. Most people know that Pegasus was the companion to the muses and a messenger of the gods, which symbolically points to the horse’s ability to enhance creativity and non-logical sources of insight and expanded awareness. Yet a lesser-known aspect of this Greek myth is even more revealing. Early in his “career,” Pegasus flew up to Mount Helicon, the mountain of the muses, and stomped his hoof firmly on the ground, creating a massive earthquake. In this act, Pegasus opened a chasm in parched earth and solid stone, releasing a hidden spring that gushed forth and cascaded down the mountain, creating an oasis of new growth. Forever thereafter, as the story goes, the river known as the Hippocrene (literally ‘horse spring’) flowed with inspiration. Artists, writers, composers, and inventors would hike into the wilderness to sit on its banks, drink its energizing waters, and listen to its gentle music, always returning with a new song, poem, painting, or vision of change and renewal.
“Over the last 20 years, I’ve seen quite clearly that the myth of Pegasus lives on in our flesh and blood horses,” says Linda Kohanov. “When people are supported in spending time with these powerful yet gentle animals outside conventional training and showing contexts, horses reliably enact the Pegasus myth, opening deep chasms in our hearts, blasting through limiting habits of thought and behavior that have solidified through social conditioning. At that moment, we suddenly have access to flowing sources of inspiration, intuition, and renewal.”
With the help of the Eponaquest herd, Linda and Kim will not only lead participants through a variety of heart and mind-opening experiences, they will share techniques for capturing and sharing these insights through visual art, poetry, myth and other forms of creative writing.
Participants in the 2016 Horse as Muse workshop shared the following thoughts:
The Horse as Muse workshop was structured brilliantly with a variety of activities that toggled between sessions with the horses, art instruction, deeper spirit/emotional work, music, and shamanic journeying. I think my absolute favorite aspect of this workshop was the way both Kim and Linda allowed me to be my authentic self. Many workshop leaders are focused on their own agenda and the lack of flexibility makes it hard for me to expand my boundaries. But Linda and Kim both have a solid confidence in their own abilities and a large toolbox to pull from – so they were able to support me to explore and then also assist when I needed guidance, or a fresh set of eyes.
— Jini Patel Thompson • Director • Listen to Your Gut Enterprises Inc.
The Horse as Muse workshop was my first ‘horse facilitated’ workshop. I came in with high expectations and was not disappointed. Linda and Kim did a wonderful job combining intuitive horse experiences with creating horse inspired art with pastel chalks. Linda and her assistants were knowledgeable and genuinely supportive in their efforts to create an unforgettable experience at Eponaquest. And, Kim is very approachable and eager to share her knowledge and skill with the pastel chalks.
There were synchronicities that occurred with the horse work, the story telling, and the creative visioning that bonded our group and took us all to another layer in the universe that we still don’t completely understand. I came away from the workshop with new insight into the work with horses, really cool art supplies, and a deep desire to share this experience with others.
— Julie O’Glee • Owner • Painted Horse Feathers, Soul Art Works & Horse Sanctuary
This workshop is limited to eight people. No horse or art experience necessary. Professional grade art supplies and writing materials will be provided.
Cancellation Policy: Cancellation up to 30 days prior to the event start date results in a credit of one-half the workshop tuition. There is no tuition credit for a cancellation 30 days or less before the event start date.