The Power of Self-Determination

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

I ask myself….

I was in my 28th birth year when I moved to my ranch property. Initially, the ranch was a Doukhobor settlement farm, and looked much different than it does now. Upon the discovery of the for sale sign, I frequently circled the property fence-line while riding my horse. The pull of re-positioning my life into the country with my horses and animals close at hand, was far beyond a need or desire. My deep-seated need for open space, fresh air, dirt and most of all hope, grew with each ride-by.

Very few people, if any, could envision the dream and my life goal, as I continued forward on that path. Despite this, the transformation of property, services, and myself as a professional horsewoman and guest ranch host, were all very clear in my minds-eye. The vision was powerful and real, made up of relentless aspirations that have matured from the time I was a wee cowgirl.

As a guest ranch owner and ambassador for the magnificent province of Saskatchewan, Canada, I have the privilege of meeting and hosting a broad range of people from around the world. During the initial introduction, often long before ever meeting someone, I must discern what the person needs and wants. Some folks are quite sure, however, others are often not be entirely certain, or unable to articulate their desire or need. With careful discernment, I consider what is beneath the surface layers of the expressed need. Essentially, it is applying internal listening to what is between the lines; beyond the words to interpreting the body language, tone and energy. There is always a deeper need, which is connected to a desire to experience beautiful sunrises, sunsets, fresh air, and of course, to beautiful, gentle horses.

It is in seeking calm in the stillness of quiet moments, that I sense the answers to my life questions and concerns. Those results can range from internal premonition to profound, life changing liturgies, images, and epiphanies. I continually pursue this sincere guidance of perception, which interconnects to, and best communicates with, my body, mind, and soul. My goal for each ranch guest, course participant, and new friend is to have a positive, deep, and sustained life-enhancing experience. Whether the visit is for a few hours, several months, or years, I want them to feel renewed, more relaxed, gentle, and empowered.

I still marvel at how remarkably well humans – while in the company of, or riding on a gentle horse – can transcend the chaos of life’s hurts. As with the warm caress of a soft breeze, we are gently guided by the transformative, rhythmic, and natural lull of a horse’s smooth swinging stride. Each hoof-beat carries us toward a calmer point within ourselves and in our lives.

Subsequently, through vast and diverse conversations, I believe a base need for women also crosses gender barriers – equality is what all people desire. This incorporates being valued, respected, treated fairly, and embraces feelings of being loved and appreciated. My conclusion is that every person, animal, and in turn, all living creatures, deserve the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

Written by: Mable Elliott

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