Blog – Bright Heart Intention and Instinctive Hibernation


For some people at the moment there seems to be a sense of resting or waiting, as though their attention is not on any one thing in particular. I myself have recognised a feeling that nothing in particular is bothering me at the moment, and have come to the conclusion that I am conserving my energy for something around the corner. I also wonder if I am in a form of natural hibernation, instinctive  self-care, or whether there is some astrological or other universal influence at work.

I was reading about the Festival of Imbolc, the Celtic beginning of Spring, on 1st/2nd  February. There are many references in folklore and medieval traditions to look at natures’ signs at Imbolc to determine how the rest of the winter weather will fare, which caught my attention today when the subject of climate change is prominent on the news and I wondered how on earth this is going to be in the future. In Siberia it was the bears’ hibernation patterns at Imbolc that folk determined the rest of the winter weather. Are we going to recognise new patterns in nature? Who is going to take notice and make sense of nature’s messages? Or is nature’s symphony less harmonious now? (Another blog coming on sound and vibrational healing).

Imbolc is also known as the feast day of St Brigid, the patron Saint of Kildare, who as a little girl was said to look after the wealthy landowners’ cows, freed her mother from slavery, then became a nun. Her reputation is for kindness and healing and she is associated with St Brigid’s cross. Legend says that she made one from reeds whilst calming a pagan Chieftain and bringing ‘peace to his soul’ on his deathbed. The St Brigid’s cross is still made as an Irish custom, on the eve of Imbolc.  Made from straw or reeds then placed on the front doors of homes to keep evil, fire and hunger away from the home, then burned and replaced after that year. St Brigid built a church under an Oak tree, which was called Kill-dara, church of the Oak Tree, and this then became Kildare.

I believe ‘Intention’ can be magical, and that wonderful goodness can come from positive focused desire. lift your own sense of bright heart with glorious, positive, hope and faith.

Bright Heart experiences and personal development workshops aim to give you a wonderful time filled with joy and spiritual enlightenment. We look forward to welcoming you in the Spring – Claire & The Healing Herd

Blog – How Not to Drift into Dread and Zig Zaggy Doves



A few weeks ago I was watching the doves up the field, they were all flying around above my head, and I noticed there were about four at the back, zig-zagging behind the rest. I wondered what that was all about, and was reminded of how with indigenous people, they would brush out the track in the dirt they were leaving as a trail, so they couldn’t be followed. I wondered if these four doves were ‘rubbing out’ the trail they were all leaving in the air, to put off predators from being able to follow them in some way, maybe energy ripples that are picked up through sensing.

At that time I was working through a 6 week programme to better understand ‘motivation and confidence’. I realised during this time that my own motivation can slow down when I am hoping for a brilliant outcome and my motion towards that brilliant outcome can slow down to a grinding halt.

I was discovering how quickly my mind can wander back into old memories of times when I’ve met challenges at a time of similar action. As an example, I have gotten into such a messy old muddle in the past when I do my annual book-keeping, that I seem to automatically remember the chaos and frustration from previous years, which hinders my motivation in the present moment when that time of year comes up now. Whilst remembering the past frustrations my mood was being altered and actually becoming ‘of the same’ as then. Hence the lack of motivation. Chatting this through with one of my daughters we recognised how procrastination is really common, that it can develop so quickly and like a snowball building in size as it rolls along, the outcome can be really disheartening, causing self-criticism and low self-esteem.

The unconscious dread of ‘now will become the same as then’ can be quite disempowering.

I had identified this process for me and perhaps others, as ‘Drifting into Dread’ and spent some time reflecting on this at the same time as noticing how the doves as the back zig-zagged, maybe to wipe out their trail they were leaving behind. I realised that I too could wipe out the trail I was creating, where my thoughts were linking the present to the past, remembering the frustrations that were affecting my present mood. So I decided that every time I caught myself ‘Drifting into Dread’, I would ‘rub out’ those memory thoughts of previous years, ( I actually use visualisations myself a lot, and in this case I picture the zig-zaggy doves, imagining they are rubbing out my wandering thoughts) and distract myself with some present activity which would enrich and lift my mood. And have now found a new way to manage my filing system and a very understanding accountant!

How Not to Drift into Dread – Every one is different, so spend some time looking at how you can make positive changes to the subject your would like to improve, in a practical way. Notice when you are drifting and ‘rub out’ the old stories and memories that alter mood in the present by:

1)Take a break. 2)  Do something really fun for half an hour. 3)Spend time with your animal companions. 4)Go outside for some Mindfulness in nature, using your senses to come back to the present moment. 5)Visualise something that rubs out those thoughts in picture form, like I now use my zig-zaggy doves. 6)Wrap yourself in Self-compassion and kindness.




Nature Can Nurture



Last month I visited a region in Ireland, of wildness and beauty, a range of hillside, woodland and river. The Wicklow Mountains rose above us, and ancient history was seeping out from every direction. Our stay was 3 delicious days of fresh, sweet smelling air in the valley, picking up the different fragrances was so invigorating. The river water singing it’s tunes, the trees making their own music in the wind and sprinkling of rain showers. The sun shone, making art from the shadow patterns and each moment was a gift, a renewal of ‘what belongs in this moment of now…’ When we connect with the present moment, we know we are precisely here, and not in some old, past memory. This is the truth of now, this is a different time, this is where I am now. Spending time in nature with mindfulness attitude, gives us an authentic experience of feeling calmer in our body and our mind. We are actually demonstrating self-regulation of the nervous system, something you can attune to at home, work and socially. Sessions here will support you in becoming familiar with this, whilst in a safe environment, empowering you to transfer this healthy life skill to your personal life. Trauma related incidents can be supported here, with myself holding the space, in a way to bring about positive change.


The weekend was filled with incredible insight and inspiration as I listened to and participated in experiential workshops, led by professionals who had brought Nature into their practices with clients. Some were working directly with clients and others were sharing their intrinsic high regard and working with supporting these times of climate change.  I absorbed every second wholeheartedly, bringing home with me delightful memories of new-born high regard, respect and understanding of how working in Nature supports client work, aids healing and these are necessary times for us all, to do even the small things to help in the bigger picture of supporting climate change.


I met some truly lovely people, of like-minded kindred spirit and shared moments in Nature, connecting with each other, with ourselves and with those from the past who belong to the systems of that region, with whom we held in honourable regard.

I am very much looking forwards to returning, to Laragh, Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains.

Contact me to schedule an Experience:        ‘Mindfulness and the Joy of Companionship,’ with ponies in nature

This will run through the winter, we can choose to  have a ‘wild wander’ up the country lane too  – 1.5 hrs

Please look on the ‘Work with Horses’ page



Listening to your Inner Voice

_20190826_192629 (1)


Working with Symbols is a way of expressing our emotions and experiences, without using words. In this ‘Listening to your Inner voice’ session, it was ‘Hopes and Dreams for the Future’ which was explored by using symbols, chosen by a client. The Native Americans painted symbols on their horses as a ritual, which may include for protection, intention and celebration. We work with energy awareness and one-on-one connection with a horse or pony, and are grateful to be supported by all of nature that is holding the space. This was a very powerful session, bringing things up from the unconscious and making sense of true desires. Writing messages on ribbon that are tied to the horses’ mane, such as troubles or burdens that are difficult to carry alone, is a request for the horse to carry it away, when they are released back into the herd. Time at the end, spent simply observing and processing this was important and valuable too providing unique moments of insight.  It is always a privilege to be a part of this spiritual journey of healing.

Thankyou for allowing me to share these pictures, with love ~ Claire & The Healing Herd

Spiritual Insight, Attunement & Healing – and a sprinkling of Happy Glow

Over the past few weeks of this summer I have been lucky enough to spend lots of time with friends who love being in the countryside, enjoying all that is nature, and some who truly love being around their own horses too. The conversations we’ve exchanged very often run through a pattern of what we have been doing that’s proven successful, personally and professionally and what we would like to improve, and quite often there is a running theme of what’s going on in our horses’ behaviours, which when we take time to reflect on that, can give us precious insight into our own.

It has been remarkable to hear of so many gifts these horses share with us. Lifting our spirits and sprinkling us with ‘happy glow’,  and surprising us with those ‘aha!’ moments that seem to just spring from within us, when we are brushing, riding or just relaxing in their company. Horse’s regular care and management of environment really is a huge commitment and needs many hours physical work and takes buckets of energy. But it gives us purpose, which for those of us that love this lifestyle, feels like a blessing and we are grateful for all that they give in return.

I decided to look up the definitions of the title of today’s blog, which came to me yesterday when I was driving my car, which is not the best of places to be contemplating, but very often is just how it works out. I wanted to find a way to describe what happened in the last two sessions that The Healing Herd supported for our recent lovely visitors. I just kept stirring the pot of words, remembering how it seemed a big pot was being stirred for them. I feel privileged to be a part of witnessing spiritual interchange with people and the horses, and I know that there is a gift in it for me too.

These descriptions are just kept short and sweet, because they are subjects of great width and depth and I respect that they will have personal interpretations.

Spiritual; A sense of connection with something bigger than ourselves.

Insight; An instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing. A clear, deep and sometimes sudden understanding of a complicated problem or situation.

Attunement: To bring into harmony. An early term to describe energy medicine.

Healing; The process of making or becoming sound or healthy again.

This is ideal if you are a professional energy worker or therapist, with an ethical obligation to CPD and commitment to personal well-being. 

If you simply like the sound of this blog, you would be just as welcome to book a session. 

 For one to one sessions, I would suggest the 1.5hr or maybe ask some friends or work colleagues and we can arrange a 3 hour workshop.



Fun & Creativity – Helps us Feel Good about Ourselves



Come and have some Fun with The Healing Herd in Nature

There are many really good reasons to get out and about and have fun and to make time for being creative. Last week I went to a workshop called Constellating Endocannabinoids by Sarah Peyton, ‘international speaker and facilitator, has a passion for weaving together neuroscience knowledge and experiences of healing that unify people with their brains and bodies’  We spent the day understanding the importance of babies’ interactions and connections with the significant carer, and what can happen if there is a lack of exchange of heartfelt warmth and value, and be a contributory factor to habits forming, ranging from smoking; drinking; using food as comfort, to drug and alcohol addictions. We took part in systemic constellations and gained insights from many perspectives, a thoroughly amazing day.


The great news is – this is reparative and we can work on reducing ‘habits’ that may be regarded as unhelpful. The endocannabinoid system that we have (the neurotransmitters that support our Wellbeing), benefits when we engage in play, feel joy and experience heartfelt warmth. Play can be creative with the drawing or painting type arts, including music and drama, it may be sports or simply whatever it is that you love to do that does have a sense of ‘play’ about it. Joy comes more from the freedom of that experience, and is less contained as in structured team sports where the rules and competitive nature can hold boundaries. Heartfelt warmth from another, whether person or creature, is a tonic for wellbeing, and holding ourselves in love and self-compassion supports all that is nurturing and healing. (Please seek specialised support for substance addictions).

Horses – our Heartfelt Companions and Wise Guides

Come and have a playful, fun-filled session with The Healing Herd in Nature

Connect with Nature – good for Mind, Body and Spirit

Feel good about Yourself.

Have a look on Work with Horses and Charges pages

Contact me on 07805 548 306 or email




Moving Forwards – Journey Over The Bridge, leaving old habits behind and taking new ‘skills and self-awareness’ with us into the future

THH bridge

Do you ever feel like “I’ve been here before!” “Why am I back here again?”

Life can sometimes feel stuck, with situations or learnt habits holding us back, causing a sense of looping backwards over old ground.

Come and have some Equine Assisted Therapy sessions to help discover new ways to move forwards. Working with the ponies and horses is a wonderful way to gain insight into our behaviour patterns, they reflect back to us the subtleties and unconscious parts of ourselves, in their own behaviour and mannerisms. Our past experiences can influence our current ways of being and equine assisted therapy can highlight areas that may need acknowledgement, and understanding, and help us find ways of working through and letting go of things holding us back.  This truly unique experience is enlightening and during the sessions we can discover new ways to move forwards in life, enriching us with skills, improving our Self and other relationships around us. This work is done with professional and experienced therapeutic support.

Equine Assisted Wellbeing sessions are a fantastic way to enrich our life-skills, working with the horses and ponies, is more activity based and we have lots of fun too!

All the sessions can help with these issues: relationships; self-esteem; assertiveness; loss; bereavement; stress; understanding anger and so many more. I offer a free consultation, a dialogue and assessment to determine what you are looking for and tailor the sessions to suit your needs. The price is the same for therapy or wellbeing because it can all be seen as therapeutic work, however we will decide together what you are seeking.  Boundaries that separate ‘therapy from wellbeing’ are governed by the assessment and myself, keeping a mindful professionalism, as it can be the very nature of this work that creates slipping from one to the other.  Working with horses can bring up past experiences of trauma that you may have experienced (disclosed or undisclosed) and I facilitate the sessions in a way that the ‘depth’ of work is monitored closely. Working with horses in this way is known for releasing memories of trauma, this is a special insight, a gift from the horses and we work carefully to ensure that this is a safe and nurturing environment, whilst you enjoy this journey together.

Ways that we spend time can include, mindfulness; meditation; creative artwork; horse watching/brushing/leading; energy awareness.

We work closely on promoting self-compassion and building resilience.

All of our work takes place surrounded and supported by Nature.  We are blessed and grateful to share this space with creatures, the freedom of the ever-changing weather and cleansing, soothing, fresh air, all of which holds our work with healing qualities.

Based in a rural peaceful village, between Sherborne, Dorset and Yeovil, Somerset

Telephone: 07805 548306


Strengthen & Brighten your ‘Well Self’

Mindfulness enhances Wellbeing and here with The Healing Herd, supported by nature and creatures, we really value the simple and easy to engage practice, with similarities to meditation, that is relaxing, lowering breath to a steady rhythm, being aware of the senses, noticing things that are happening in that moment.

“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. … When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.” (greatergood)

Come and Notice what you hear, feel, see, smell and taste with us in our sessions, in a calm, warm hearted, nurturing environment. When you are regularly practicing mindfulness in a relaxed way, you will be more able to use this skill if you are feeling anxious, worried or panicky about something, and improve self-regulation of your emotions.


Mindfulness has become such a modern, popular word, that I wonder if it has started to slip into the resource bag of ‘I know that I can do that when I need to’, and the usefulness of practicing it daily, is not shining through as an extremely helpful way of being in our bright ‘Well Self’.

Well Self – In our busy lives it is really important to value rest and recreation, and see them as a necessity to help us have balance in our day, to support the normal stresses and other challenges that we meet.

We need to ensure that we get adequate sleep and have good nutritional foods and plenty of fluids, as these all contribute to our emotions and if our food intake, hydration, sleep time are low, then our emotional Self can be low too. This all affects how well we cope with life.

Some daily general physical activities are necessary too, very useful at helping us to produce the chemicals that lift our mood, which also helps us to cope with stress and challenge. Remember that some stress in our lives is normal, unavoidable, and can help give us a ‘shove’ to get on with things that we may be putting ‘on the shelf’.

Having a hobby or interest to engage with is fantastic at giving us a sense of achievement and pleasure, especially if you can find something that you really love. All sorts of amazing benefits are just flowing through us when we are brimming with happiness and fulfillment.

Try and make sure that the people who are around you most, are those with kindness and respect as strong values, supporting you with your own acknowledgement of Self Worth and Self Compassion. Improving all these areas will help to support your personal Resilience, and how you cope with life.

Claire & The Healing Herd

Where is your Sense of Wellbeing, are you feeling Bigger than the Problems or Difficulties in your life? Or are you feeling Smaller? Come and develop your Resilience.

darwin 2018Wellbeing is such a wide area, so email or ring me for a chat to help focus on where you would like to improve or progress towards. Everyone is unique, we are all at different stages in our lives and this is something I see as really important when helping clients to find direction and move forwards with a sense of Wellbeing.

When our problems seem bigger than ourselves, this can feel such a heavy burden. Come and learn ways to expand our own sense of Self. Equine Assisted Therapy can move into deeper areas and issues of your personal experiences and Equine Assisted Wellbeing will focus on the skills to develop coping strategies. life is so much easier when we feel bigger in our sense of who we are, and having a good sense that we are sturdy, steady and resilient.

All of this is held here in Somerset, with all that is Nature and the Creatures that surround us.

Mindfulness sessions now

being offered on Saturdays at 4pm, for 1.5hr and just £10 a visit! I will take bookings for small groups and really look forwards to welcoming you to share this beautiful space on a Saturday afternoon.

Please phone 07805 548 303


Equine Assisted Therapy & Wellbeing



Equine Assisted Therapy (EFP) uses equine-facilitated activities to explore the way a client sees and relates to themselves and others, their patterns of behaviour and survival as well as their gifts and strengths, and may include the exploration of past experiences and traumas. Equine Assisted Therapy is a form of psychotherapy and relies upon the therapeutic knowledge and experience gained through a mental health qualification.

Equine Assisted Wellbeing (EFL) uses equine-facilitated activities as a tool for self development and education, with a focus on the present moment. Skills developed include non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, relationship skills, confidence and resilience.

Horses and humans are connected in deep and profound ways. History shows us a long and multi-faceted story of horses and humans working and living side-by-side. More recently, neuroscience has shown us remarkable similarities between the limbic (emotional) brain of horses and humans, which make it possible for horses to serve as both our mirrors and our teachers in terms of understanding ourselves, our emotional life, and the way we relate to ourselves and those around us. And then there is that inexplicable feeling of being around a horse; as Churchill once said, ‘There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man‘, (and of course a woman, and a child).

Equine Assisted Therapy and Wellbeing gives us opportunities to interact and form relationships with horses, and to learn from these experiences in a way that involves us physically, emotionally and mentally. Lessons learnt in this holistic way can be more easily absorbed and remembered, resulting in lasting and positive changes that can be transferred to the world of human-human relating.

And these intelligent, sensitive creatures are also our friends; they live entirely in the present, offering us patience, forgiveness, and another chance when we get it wrong. Do we always know how we are feeling? Are we always aware of how we are behaving or affecting others? Horses are radars for incongruence, and will reward us when we behave in a way that is in keeping with who we really are and what we truly feel.


Claire Ryall

MBACP (Accred) Counselling & Psychotherapy

Certified LEAP facilitator in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy