You Deserve More Than False Love

Dear Woman,

Yesterday, I watched as squeals of joy and laughter brought a shadow to your smile and pain snuck into the corners of your eyes. I watched you do your best to be supportive without giving away your inner hurt. The women around you were oblivious, absorbed in their own happiness and excitement, they were not witness to your pain, they couldn’t hear the truth behind your joking plea for them to go away.

What you don’t see perhaps, is your own strength and bravery as you hold your boundaries and wait.
Some people are so desperate for someone to want them, they overlook the train wreck that’s barreling towards them. Some people are so afraid to be alone with themselves that they will sacrifice their values, beliefs, and ultimately their sense of self worth and identity.

They’ll lose it all to someone who says all the right things, puts them up on a pedestal, kisses the ground they walk on, until they’ve spun their web, and then the true personality of an abuser crawls out. On the surface, it looks like something to covet, but I promise you, it’s not.
Run as far and as fast as fast as you can, from that kind of trap dressed up as “love”.
It may be lust. It may be infatuation. It isn’t love.

Hold your ground. Stand firm in the belief that real love; bone deep, mutual, healthy love, is out there and it’s worth waiting for. It’s worth the loneliness. Rise above the societal expectation that women need to lower their standards, because it’s better to have a man than to be alone. That’s a lie.

You’re in a unique position in your singleness to find yourself and create the life you want, with no strings attached, no one else to consider as you follow your dreams. Even in healthy relationships compromises must be made all the time, right now you have no one to answer to but yourself. Curate your life, become your best self, heal your generational traumas, overcome the the limiting beliefs that you’re not good enough, or you’re not worthy. You Are, without a doubt, worth all you ever dreamed and more. Do the work. Lean on the strong, supportive women in your life. Learn the red flags of bad men, commit them to memory. Steer clear and keep your eye out for the kind heart that matches yours.
The rest will fall into place.

With Love,
The Heart of a Mare


Do you struggle with codependency or boundaries? Are you drawn to dysfunctional relationships?
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Healing in the Trees

Sometimes the world of people is an ugly place. Hateful acts are committed every day and the news delights in bringing these horrors into our awareness and into our homes. Fear dances outside our windows and doors, sparking people to withdraw from each other and bunker down, preparing for the end of the world as we know it. We spare little thought to the impact our actions have on the world at large, the day to day actions that are ruining the earth we live on, the division between our fellow humans over petty, manufactured nonsense that will be our ultimate downfall. The future can sometimes look bleak.

In those moments of despair and sadness, I turn to the magic of all that is Nature. The world of humans is often ugly, the Natural world, even in her brutality, is beautiful and something to behold. I take delight in the little doses of nature that sprinkle through my day, my little box of wildflowers still springing up new flowers even in early September, the little basil plant that my love bought us to nurture back to life from its sad existence on the grocery store shelf. I find great joy in the little birds that visit our feeder, their colors beyond anything I ever imagined of common Colorado birds, they’re anything but common the way they shimmer in the sun.

The very seasons themselves offer so much to us, as they move swiftly in and out of our lives. Autumn is a particularly magical time of year for most people, when the colors change and the crisp in the air calls for sweatshirts and warm cups of coffee and tea and time spent with good friends. The light begins to change and shift, bringing with it feelings of nostalgia and something maybe just a little melancholy.

The horses that grace my life are the ultimate magic, of course, the ultimate healing of a fatigued soul. Soft whiskers on a cheek or an excited whinny from the pasture, glistening coats in the dusky evening sun, warm bodies to snuggle up against on chilly mornings. Their magic is pure and good and generous.

When I find myself in need of a lift, the answer is always to get outside and observe the big-little worlds the go on without our noticing, the little squirrels in the trees, the bugs in the grass, the dogs in the yards. Go deeper in nature to the mountains or to the ocean or to the desert until you find the serenity it has to offer you. Get moving, walk if possible, get involved in her magic and see what gifts she has to offer your heart and soul.


What ways does Nature heal you? What are the little magical bits of the day to day that you experience? Take notice if you haven’t before.

In Joy,
Coach Amanda

When Was the Last Time You Frolicked?

As I’ve studied various therapies over the last few years, something that pops up from time to time, is the importance of play. It’s not something I believe we give a lot of thought to as adults. Play is synonymous with children and childhood, but it remains an important part of our growth as adults.

When I was little I played outside constantly, always with a neighbors dog in tow or I’d pretend I was a dog myself on many occasions. There were creeks to splash in, trees to climb, playgrounds to clamber on, swings to swing on. In colder months, puzzles were often laid out on the table, stuffed animals and a box full of clothes and costumes for tea parties and pretend.


As we age these things begin to slip away. Where do they go? Many of us leave behind our imaginations and step into the world of logic and work work work, in a hurry to turn our backs on the stuff of children. When was the last time you had fun? When was the last time you played? When was the last time you had fun and played without alcohol or another substance involved?

For some of us, especially those who are more introverted or anyone uncomfortable in crowds, alcohol is an easy crutch to pick up to loosen our inhibitions. Why do we become so inhibited in the first place? What’s wrong with playing and having fun, letting our hair down, getting on the ground and playing with animals or kids or bugs? Dancing like crazy or throwing your hands in the air as you sail down a slide?

When is the last time you really had some good clean fun? Something that left you tired and exhilarated and happy?
I have a riding lesson once a week, for me that’s extraordinarily enjoyable, even though I’ve been riding for years, learning new skills and flying down the arena on a good horse is fabulous fun; outside of that I really had to pause as I was writing and think about what I do for play and fun and it took me a bit to rule out any occasions with alcohol involved and come to something really joyful.

Play is a form of therapy that is really valuable, but even or especially, in every day life, play can increase your sense of community, your mental acuity, it offers opportunity for exercise and fresh air, release of endorphins and stimulation of creativity, just to name a few of the perks.

Some ideas to get you started on bringing play and fun back into your life: break out the play-dough or clay, find some crayons or colored pencils and draw or color, go to an amusement park and ride some rides, go for a hike, play frisbee with your dog or some friends, play a board game, make a fort, do a puzzle, try a new recipe, try anything new really, ride a horse, join a softball team, get out there and shake things up, kids!

As for me, I think I’ll find a set of swings.

In Joy,
Coach Amanda

The Joy of Riding Lessons

Wednesdays are my favorite days. In the mornings I do housework and work from home things, and then in the afternoons I go out to the farm for my riding lessons. Why riding lessons? Aren’t I a professional trainer? Yes I am, and one of my core values is education. (Funny coming from someone who hated school, you never know where life will take you!) If there is one single theme I have learned through all these years of equine education, it’s that there is always more to learn.

It used to be a source of misguided pride for me that I’d never had a formal riding lesson. I was a pretty good rider in any case … in a western saddle. Since I’ve been training and especially after I got bucked off of Blue, I realized there were some holes in my riding that needed filled in. So I decided learning English was the way to go for two reasons: 1. We have a lot of English riders in Colorado! It was becoming more apparent over time that one of the biggest holes in my experience was that I didn’t know how to help my clients who rode English because I had no relatable experience with it. and 2. English riding instructors seemed to go into more detail on the technical ins and outs of riding than typical non-competition western instructors.

As I said, I’m a pretty good rider .. In a western saddle. Once my instructor stuck my butt in an English saddle it was like learning to ride all over again. A western saddle gives you a lot of grace. There are lots of handles and spots to grab should things start going south. Your leg position differs and doesn’t change too much on it’s own, riding one handed has been my natural riding style forever. The whole process has opened my eyes to how much I relied on a saddle to stay in place.

If you follow me you know I did a few bareback lessons to get my confidence back after my tumble, even riding bareback felt more secure than sitting in the itty bitty saddle with my knees up to my ears with no “Oh Shit” bars anywhere. I couldn’t canter with stirrups for the first few cantering lessons, I fell back on my bareback experience and dropped the stirrups to feel secure.

It’s been several months now, and even though it may sound like not a lot of fun it’s honestly the highlight of my week. I love the process of learning and growing as a rider and I can tell you without doubt, I am a better rider for it already. Learning to hone my feel in the saddle, when am I on the right lead, when am I too tight in my body and bouncing all over, it’s all great experience. I owe many thanks to all the lesson horses who give me so much grace while also teaching me that if I don’t do the right thing in the right way, they are disinclined to acquiesce to my request.

The best part of lessons has been, in spite of sometimes having to overcome some fear or lack of confidence, my love of riding has been rekindled. There is not much in life that is more invigorating and joyful than cantering on the back of a horse, even if I’m having to concentrate really hard to keep it going correctly, it still fills me with happiness. There was a time not too long ago, where I was ready to give up riding. There was a time that I hated what I was doing. These days, I am back to being most myself on the back of a horse. These days I can’ get enough of it. Even Molly, much to her chagrin I’m sure, has been back in the arena for a few minutes of riding most days, honestly she’s even been pretty willing and amenable to stroll around with me.

Moral of this story, is never stop learning. I am constantly amazed at all the intricacies of riding, training, and horsemanship that pop out of the woodwork as things I don’t know. There is always more to learn and improve and grow. Constant and never ending improvement in the things that you love will never steer you wrong.

The Most Graceful and Kind Lesson Horse, Clyde



Happy Trails!
Coach Amanda



Dear Heart – “Help” is Not a Dirty Word

Dear Heart,
Asking for help is hard.  Accepting help leaves you feeling guilty. You’ve always been a do it yourself-er and a go-getter.  You don’t want to burden anyone with something that you are able to do on your own – even at a cost.  You bear your own burden quietly but your eyes are shimmering with the unasked question.   Your lips are bloody from biting back what needs to be said.   Let go of your pride.

As you deprive yourself of the help you know you need, you deprive others from the opportunity to assist you!  Allow those who love you to show you they care, because they have offered!  How sad for them and how sad for you that their compassion was met by the stone wall of your ego and fell flat.

It’s time.  If only just for today, allow yourself to soften. 
The tree that survives the storm bends, so that it does not break.  Sink into the warmth being offered to you and bask in it.  Guilt has no place in your heart today. Today you release what needs to be done, into the hands of someone else, so that you may rest.

orange cat sleeping on white bed
Rest, Dear Heart