Touched by a Horse: How Equine Coaching Helps ADHD Women Find Joy + Heal Trauma
Having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Hear from people all around the globe, from every walk of life, in every profession, from Rock Stars to CEOs, from Teachers to Politicians, who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage, to build businesses, become millionaires, or simply better their lives. Our Guest today in their own words: Amanda Soper is the founder of Amanda Soper Equine – Gestalt Coaching & Horsemanship. A labor of love that focuses on helping young women break generational trauma cycles to live in authenticity and joy, through the healing power of horses. Amanda is a graduate of the renowned Touched by a Horse Equine Gestalt Coaching Method, where she found her community after a lifetime of feeling like a misfit toy. As a Gestaltist, her job requires spontaneity and creativity, so ADHD is the perfect superpower for creating powerful healing spaces and sessions. We are grateful for her time today and are now researching ADHD + Equine also, enjoy! And hey, thanks kindly for subscribing to Faster Than Normal!
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00:40 – Thank you again so much for listening and for subscribing!
01:43 – Introducing and welcome Amanda Soper
02:06 – Why is it that every young girl has love affair in some capacity with horses?
03:14 – When were you diagnosed?
05:41 – Does ADHD give you that same hyper focus as say, Skydiving; when you’re on a horse?
06:48 – Tell us how and why you started Equine Therapy; explain it to us?
10:28 – How do our soon-to-be-poolside subscribers find out more about you?
Socials: @amanda_soper_equine on: INSTA
11:07 – Hey, hellooo from Earth.Yes.. you right there with the cool earbuds and big great Golden brain! Yes YOU dear! We are THrr~rilled that you are here & listening!! Still. Repeat in forward and to your kiddo’sx! ADHD and all forms of Neurodiversity are gifts, not curses. -Peter Shankman. And ooh-ooh now.. and just by the way, if you haven’t picked up The Boy with the Faster Brain yet, it is on Amazon and it is a number #1 One bestseller in all categories. Click HERE or via https://amzn.to/3FcAKkI My link tree is here if you’re looking for something specific. https://linktr.ee/petershankman
11:56 – Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits. Guys, as always thanks so much for subscribing! Faster Than Normal is for YOU! We want to know what you’d like to hear! Do you have a cool friend with a great story? We’d love to learn about, and from them. I’m www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via email at [email protected] or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! All right, guys, as always, than you for listening. Love that you’re here. Any news, shoot us a note. Petershankman.com go to fastennormal.com everywhere but Twitter. We are on Blue Sky now at Peter Shankman on Blue Sky. [Ed- I will siphon -in BlueSky and learn about that next week!! If not in two or so, cooL?? -Ed]
[Also Ed here. SorryIFneedbe: This is a relatively brand new experiment in editing show notes, transcriptions sort of; so if you notice any important, or significant goofs we’ve missed here or along, please do let us know @FasterNormal Thanks! -sb]
TRANSCRIPT via Castmagic.io and then corrected.. somewhat, (Ooh-ooh! 1234-now Fiiifth and likely final re-trial run is today June 13, 2023. #gen_AI_for_whut??
Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. I’m thrilled to have you here. We are closing in on 300. Pretty crazy. We’re not there yet. We should be there by the end of the summer, but 300 episodes, that’s pretty amazing and inspiring. And I have you guys as an audience and I have all my listeners and guests to thank for it. It has been an incredible ride and I’m thrilled by it. So than you for that. I’ve just gotten back from another wonderful hour and a half of boxing. My kid is done with school, so she thought she was going to get to stay in and just do nothing. And I dragged her to boxing with me and had her workout. So she water me right now, which is good. It. So I’m back. I’m a little beaten up, but all good. Let’s get into it. Today we are going to talk horses. And when you ask yourself, what do horses have to do with ADHD, it turns out the answer is a lot. So I want you to meet Amanda Soper. Amanda Soper is the founder of Amanda Soper equine guestal coaching and Horsemanship. She calls it a labor of love that focused on helping young women break generational trauma cycles to live in authenticity and joy through the healing power of horses. Amanda is a graduate of the renowned Touched by a Horse equine gestalt coaching method, where she found her community after a lifetime of feeling like she’s a misfit toy. I get that as a Gestaltist, her job requires spontaneity Add creativity. So ADHD, which she has, is her perfect superpower for creating healing spaces and sessions. Welcome to Faster than Normal.
Amanda [00:02:02]: Amanda thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor to be here.
Peter Shankman [00:02:06]: So why is it first question not related to ADHD? Why is it that every girl, when they are young, starts a love affair in some capacity with horses? My daughter, I put her on one at age four, age five, and even though she didn’t pick it up because living in midtown Manhattan makes that a little difficult, she did fall in love with it and speaks of it often, that it’s something she wants to do. What is it about horses and young.
Amanda [00:02:37]: Girls that is a million dollar question. Definitely. I think it’s about freedom. For a lot of young girls, horses are their first faster of independence. Add getting to ride and partner with 1000 pound or bigger beast is just really magical. Add, I think it’s the magic that draws most of us young women in young girls. It’s great that you got your daughter started with a little taste of it early on. That’s wonderful. And good luck with that if she turns it into a career or a hobby.
Peter Shankman [00:03:14]: Yeah, I think she’s picked up on acting, so hopefully that’ll kick in for a while. But no, she loved it. She’s an amazing time. Speaks with fondly often. So, tell me about ADHD. Tell me about when you were diagnosed. How old were you? How to start with your thing?
Amanda [00:03:29]: So it’s very new for me. I just learned about it in 2019. No, excuse me, where are we in the world? 2022. Add diagnosed 2022 about December. So this is really new. But when I learned about it, it was just this explosive light bulb moment of oh my God, yes, that’s me, 100% Add. It, in fact, is, as it turns out.
Peter Shankman [00:03:57]: That’s pretty cool. At what point did you realize that ADHD could be a benefit or could be anything other than a hindrance?
Amanda [00:04:06]: Kind of right away. Once I had the awareness of the trajectory of my life because of it, I never thought of it as being a hindrance. Because post school, where it definitely was a hindrance, all of my education was just a nightmare. Since I was diagnosed, it’s been an absolute asset all the way. Because what I do with horses, of course, is horses are a high risk activity which real well into that ADHD Add world, but also because it requires spontaneity to pivot on a dime. Add your horse and you are maybe not communicating correctly. I can be really creative and find new avenues to work better with the horses, work better with people, work better with myself. The awareness of ADHD has been huge. Just that piece all alone has been huge. For me to take the trajectory of my life and go, I can help other people who have ADHD and Add and help them learn that it’s an asset and not a curse or a gift. Not a curse, as you say. Yeah, for me, it has not been a negative at all since I was diagnosed.
Peter Shankman [00:05:41]: Here’s an interesting question I just thought of so you mentioned, and you’re right. It’s these thousand pound beasts who can easily trample you without a second thought. Not intentionally, but things happen. So when I first started Skydiving and my mother was definitely afraid of it because she goes, you never focus on anything. How the hell are you going to focus on doing things you need to do to jump on a plane safely? She was amazed when she came and watched me and realized how hyper focused I was on every single aspect of the event. Does ADHD give you that same hyper focus when you’re on a horse, that you’re so hyper aware of what you have to do because you love it so much and you know that it can be dangerous?
Amanda [00:06:16]: 100%. 100%. There is a saying than your horse and you can both have the opportunity to freak out. But as a person it is never your turn. It is always you have to be hyper focused, you have to be in the present moment very much to be successful. Even if you’re just trail riding or if you’re barrel racing or whatever you’re doing with horses. Absolutely that hyper focus is such an asset.
Peter Shankman [00:06:47]: Makes sense. Tell me about this concept of what you started and explain to me where this because I imagine it’s almost a level of therapy.
Amanda [00:06:58]: It is very much, very therapeutic. After I got out of school, which as I mentioned was just something I never ever wanted to return to, I took about a year off and immediately returned to school to pursue horse training. And then to make a long story short, I graduated from the horse training program, and I didn’t have any business sense, so I looked into schooling for business, which is how I ended up finding the Touch by a Horse equine Gestalt coaching method, which is a really intensive two year program to teach people how to partner with horses in gestalt. To coach whatever niche you choose to go into. Mine happens to be women and empowerment and grief processing and trauma recovery. So going down that trail of my own personal work, which is a requirement of the program, unlike traditional therapy where therapists don’t actually it’s not a requirement, than they heal from their own traumas. Bu this program touched by horse, it is very much a requirement. So once I started to heal from my childhood traumas, which I see now in a different light than even when I was doing the program, is a lot of it being related to ADHD and parents who didn’t have coping mechanisms. For me, parents who themselves have ADHD, though they’re undiagnosed this pathway has led me to helping women heal their own hearts, their own trauma with horses. And I’ve lost the thread of your question, so if you would please repeat than for my brain.
Peter Shankman [00:08:44]: No, that’s an classic ADHD thing. No, it’s just the premise. Than horses can be incredible therapy and I don’t think enough people realize that they absolutely can.
Amanda [00:08:53]: Most people are aware of physical therapy with horses that’s been around for a long time, but mental health and wellness with horses is just as powerful. And the horses themselves of course, are the drawing point for a lot of women, especially men, benefit from this as well. It’s still stigmatized for men. So I work with men, but not very often. The horses themselves, their part in it is hard to explain because they show up differently for each individual person. For example, with grief, which is one of the very main things that I work with people on. I have seen people literally be wrapped up by this thousand pound animal. They put their head, add neck over their body and they pull them in and they give them this giant horse hug. And for somebody in deep grief or somebody who is having relationship problems and they’re not feeling loved, the horses really do a deep dive into their heart and just expand it with their presence and people walk away feeling lighter and lighter. Really a lot of times physical issues will disappear. For somebody who’s been suffering with say back pain or gut issues, just by being in the presence of a horse and having somebody listen and talk to.
Peter Shankman [00:10:22]: Them and experience sounds pretty amazing.
Amanda [00:10:27]: It’s truly amazing.
Peter Shankman [00:10:28]: How can people find more? How can they reach you?
10:28 – How do our soon-to-be-poolside subscribers find out more about you?
Socials: @amanda_soper_equine on: INSTA
Amanda [00:10:32]: I am pretty easy to find so my website is Amandasoperequine.com, facebook is Amanda soperequine and Instagram is Amanda soberequine and I think that’s pretty much all my socials.
Peter Shankman [00:10:50]: Awesome. Amanda, thank you so much for taking the time to be a faster. Normally we appreciate it. Horses definitely have a magical ability. I think we need to explore that more and I’m going to see if we can find other people who have ADHD and also understand the power of horses. I’m going to do some research.
Amanda [00:11:05]: Awesome. Let me know what you find out.
Peter Shankman [00:11:07]: Will do. Thanks so much guys, as always listening to Fast than Normal. We’d love to hear what you think. Drop us a note, leave us a review, let us know how we can help. Life goes on. Stay safe, stay healthy. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We’ll talk to you guys soon. Have a great day. You’ve been listening to the Faster than normal podcast. We’re available on itunes, Stitcher and Google Play and of course at www.fasterthenormal.com. I’m your host Peter Shankman and you can find [email protected] and at petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform form of choice and leave us a review. The more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast is shown and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were performed by Stephen Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagon Blast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week.
Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at shankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week!