Nicole Beguelin


When I arrived at Catherine's house for my second experience with Shalom it had been eleven days since my fifth chemotherapy treatment. My energy level and attitude was definitely better and I was excited see how things would unfold. Shalom and I again had our few moments together to reacquaint with one another. Catherine showed the volunteers and me how to do an emergency dismount from the barrel and it went very smoothly on the first try.

I was able to bond more this time with Shalom and let go of even more energy when I was atop in the hug position. I could feel my body releasing tension almost instantly and I had become so relaxed. Shalom seemed to be feeling as I did as one of the volunteers mentioned he kept slowly closing and opening his eyes. Next we walked around and got things moving. I could feel my spine adjusting to his steps and my body began to awaken with liveliness. I felt very refreshed and rejuvenated.

When I got home this time I laid down for three hours. I was instructed by Catherine to relax for about two hours, which is what I did after the first session. I was pretty exhausted, as my body just needed rest, so I listened to it.

I woke up the next day and felt really well so I went for a mountain bike ride around the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area. I took a few short breaks in the shade during the approximately four-mile ride though it did become easier as I rode on. During the last part I had to walk my bike up a slight hill but I was very impressed with the energy I had to even do it at all. The next day I felt well enough again to be able to work in my garden for about five hours. While shaded from an umbrella I cleaned debris out of a planter bed, filled it with dirt and planted vegetables that I had started from seed and then critter proofed it. I was a bit sore that night so I stretched my body and slept in the next day taking it easy. I felt good though and have ever since.

I am grateful to have met Catherine, Shalom and the volunteers. Catherine's knowledge of horses is clearly exceptional. Her ability to understand them to the depth that she does is remarkable. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to explore these depths with her at my side guiding me along. I have already learned more about myself and the healing abilities and impacts that animals and people can have on our beings.

Thank you again.


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Catherine Hand, survivor and NARHA Advanced Instructor has dedicated Dream Rider Equestrian Therapy to helping other breast cancer patients survive and thrive.

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