Transformational Therapy: Sit up and take Note!

When Rebecca asked me to write a guest blog about my experience of her transformational treatments, sitting down at my laptop was a chance to reflect on my journey, of which writing has been key, and one which Rebecca guided me through to help me achieve my dream of becoming a novelist.


I’m a writer by trade, working for magazines, newspapers and websites. Along the way I started writing a book, a boy-meets-girl tale about following your heart and taking a chance on a dream, based on my own experience of falling in love at first sight with a stranger on a train. In 2014 I got an agent, so I gave up my job to finish writing the novel. My eldest son was starting school, and although it seemed like a gamble to be dropping a salary, it felt like a risk worth taking. After all, the book itself is about taking a chance to follow your heart.

A year later, as I was about to submit my novel to my agent, I had a bombshell – she was too busy to keep me on – another of her authors was going stellar (hello other Girl On The Train). So I was in literary limbo: submitting my novel to new agents, but getting the door slammed in my face. I wondered if I should give it all up and find another desk job.

I had been seeing Rebecca for Transformational Massages since she helped me get through some tricky London Marathon training (I might even owe my PB to her!), so from our pre-massage chats I already knew how her empathetic, understanding eyes and unbelievable wisdom could help clients who are at a crossroads. So I embarked on a combination of Transformational Coaching, Equine Facilitated Coaching and Massage facilitated by her.

My first coaching experience came in the form of a horse!  At first I felt a bit strange, standing in a field under an inky November sky, wondering if a horse could really help me unlock my true potential. But I was amazed. Bow, a beautiful Dale’s mare, stood close to my side as I talked. Horses are reactionary, sentient animals with a great ability to mirror what you’re feeling, so Bow’s body language helped guide Rebecca to ask me the right questions. If I said, “I’m fine, everything’s OK,” about a certain issue when it wasn’t, Rebecca could see from a subtle flick of a tail or the way the horse dropped its eyelids that I wasn’t, and was able to suggest otherwise and make me re-evaluate things: the way I work, the things that stop me fulfilling my potential… During our sessions I was able to unlock what was holding me back, which were my self-limiting beliefs: of course I couldn’t get another agent or a book deal, I wasn’t good enough. Or so I had thought.

Equine Facilitated Coaching with the gorgeous Bow

Equine Facilitated Coaching with the gorgeous Bow


After three sessions of equine facilitated coaching, alongside my regular monthly massage, I came out with a new sense of purpose and direction: I’d taken the decision to leave my job and focus on the book, and now I had the confidence to see it through.  

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that two months later I got a new – brilliant – agent. And a year after that I was offered a three-book deal. My debut novel, The Note, is out now, and I’m so proud of everything I’ve achieved – and grateful to Rebecca for helping me jump the hurdles along the way.

Zoë x


Rein it in and find a stable relationship with yourself!

A recent article in Applied Animal Behaviour Science and the BBC last week suggests that horses have joined a select group of animals that can communicate by pointing at symbols.  Reading the article was enlightening but felt so behind the times as it is my belief that horses are capable of so much more and the results of this study have merely scratched the surface. 

Jo and I work in association with Learning to Listen - South, an organisation based in St Paul's Walden, Hertfordshire which specialises in equine behaviour and communication and the link with personal development.  As trained Equine Facilitated Coaches we have a deep understanding of horses as powerful communicators.  They are reactionary animals and have a range of emotions that create powerful and honest feedback which is immediate and mirrors the often subtle unconscious feelings and behaviours of humans.   

We all know someone who claims that they don’t like horses because of the way the horse behaves around them – perhaps they describe them as ‘too big’ or ‘too unpredictable’ or ‘too nervous’.  However, this reaction is not actually about the horse at all, but rather what the horse represents in that person’s life.  What has actually happened is in that moment where a person is perceiving unpredictability, nervousness or size as the issue it is in fact the horse literally mirroring their deeper feelings or self-limiting beliefs and communicating them in the only way they know how – through their body language.

So how does it work?  Our work with horses enables us to offer Equine Facilitated Coaching and Learning opportunities.  Equine Facilitated Coaching sessions give in-the-moment feedback and help people work through situations that may be limiting their relationships whether at work or in their personal lives.  Equine Facilitated Learning creates opportunities to generate real life situations which enable a person to see how their behaviours can affect those around them.   For example if someone learns to do something for a horse, such as clean their stable or brush their mane, they will learn to do it for themselves. This is particularly great for children who learn by example.

Want to know more?  Through Haelan’s association with Learning to Listen there are a number of ways in which you can access this unique work and take the first step on a journey of self-discovery which will literally change your life.  You do not need to have any horse experience at all.

Free Taster sessions – Learning to Listen run two hour sessions once a month for anyone with an interest to find out more about the work.  After an initial introduction you are given the opportunity to experience the work at first hand, working within your comfort zone. 

One-to-one Coaching Sessions – a great opportunity for you to bring an issue or concern, whether it be at work or in your personal relationships, and begin to peel back the layers of what is truly limiting you or holding you back from being the best you need to be in the situation.   Working on a one-to-one basis with either myself or Jo, we will facilitate sessions which will help you to work through your blocks so you can be the best you need to be for yourself and those around you.

Family Mentoring Sessions – Learning to Listen’s family coaching and mentoring programmes offer an exciting way to develop as a family.  Working with LTL’s unique Equine Facilitated Learning models and concepts, children are empowered to make positive choices and take ownership for their actions, which helps raise self-esteem, confidence, and self-awareness.  Real life scenarios enable parents to go on a discovery of who they really are and where their role in the family really is.  With new awareness, and equipped with new tools, they can lead their family from a strong place, and model positive choices and behaviour to their children.  Jo is the lead mentor so you will recognise a friendly face when you arrive.

Warrior Programme – Are you at a crossroads in your life?:  Are you asking "why me?" often?  Are you looking out there for all your answers but not getting back what you want in return?  If you answer yes to one or all of these questions then LTL's Warrior Programme might be for you.  Consisting of three levels from Foundation to Advanced, you will work within a small group and gain the opportunity to learn and understand LTL's unique equine models and concepts which you can take back into your relationships and ultimately create your best life yet.   

"I started Equine Facilitated Coaching because I was at a crossroads in my career and needed some direction. I didn’t fully realise how powerful my first session would be until the horse, beautiful Bow, started actually copying how I was feeling in her behaviour, which helped hold up a mirror to my own self-limiting beliefs. With that new insight Rebecca guided me through an amazing journey and in three sessions I came out with a practical, thoughtful plan on how to move forward, and I’m already reaping the benefits of it now just a few weeks later. It’s also funny to think I was scared of horses: Bow seemed enormous and imposing when I first met her, but at the end of the session she seemed smaller and even nurturing, as she gently nudged my arm with her nose affectionately. Thanks Bow for enlightening me and bringing a positive new force to my career.” Zoe Folbigg, Hitchin.

For more information or to chat through your needs with us, please contact us here.

Learning to Listen – South is a division of Learning to Listen and is based at the Learning to Listen Centre, St Paul’s Walden (Near Hitchin), Hertfordshire.  Haelan Therapy also has a treatment room at the Learning to Listen Centre and we welcome you to come and visit us to get a feel of our holistic approach and also our association with Learning to Listen. 

So yes, it is my belief that horses are truly capable of SO much more!  Come and find out how and experience this unique approach for yourself.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Rebecca and Jo x