Episode 114

How Gestalt and Relational Horsemanship Can Change Your Life Story

At eight years old, my Dad is living on a farm in Illinois. It’s Christmas morning and time to open presents. His brother opens his first; it’s a new train set and he’s ecstatic!

But my Dad notices that there’s no gift with his name on it under the tree. Did he do something wrong? Are his parents upset with him?

These thoughts run through his head when his parents tell him, “Your gift is outside by the barn. Go ahead!” So my dad goes outside, and there’s a Shetland pony waiting for him!

Now, he’s never been around ponies. They don’t even have horses of any kind. Yet dad and this pony (who he names Captain) become the best of friends. They’re inseparable! He even teaches Captain how to shake hands!

Sixty years later, my Dad still tells me stories about the antics he and Captain got up to and the lessons he learned that still affect him to this day.

My special guest today is a pioneer in so many ways, and his own bond with a four-legged friend provided the spark to change his life and the lives of others. Duey Freeman is a licensed therapist and “horse whisperer” who not only has amassed stories through his own incredible life but is also changing the life stories of his clients.

In this episode of the Storytelling School Podcast, he talks about how his work helps those with stories involving attachment issues, we explore the relation between storytelling and relationship development, and he answers questions like:

Why are horses so good at helping those suffering from stories of traumatic events? And how are we physiologically affected by the stories we tell (or hear from others)?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How relationships in the wild affect stories of survival
  • How storytelling can influence your nervous system
  • What primarily causes attachment between two beings (in stories and real life)

Who is Duey Freeman?

As the co-founder of the Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies, Duey Freeman is a sought-after teacher, trainer, licensed therapist, and equine professional worldwide. He developed and taught practical attachment and human development theories to thousands of university students. He also has nearly 80,000 direct client hours, supervises therapists and graduate students, and has people from all over the world come to study with him.

It was Duey’s bond with his beloved horse Jake (who passed away in 2015) that helped him embody tenderness, strength, and authenticity in his relations and work. He’s exploring new horizons in facilitating men’s growth work because, for him, Gestalt and Relational Horsemanship aren’t just approaches; they’re how he walks through the world. In addition, Duey does business and land consultations for new equine therapy sites.

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