All posts by Mary Berkery

Learning through Horse

Learning though the way of the Horse


Equine Assisted Learning involves sessions with an Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator, involving Horses and Humans , individually or in groups, engaging in activities which can address areas for personal development such as:

o   Practicing Self-Awareness

o   Problem-Solving

o   Taking Responsibility

o  Taking Leadership

o  Understanding Power struggles

o  Improving Communications

o  Enhancing Relationships

o   Developing Self-Confidence

o   Building Self-Esteem

o  Practicing Authentic Empowerment

o  Building  Social Interaction

o   Boundary Setting

Other areas which a person may identify as something which they would like to explore and further improve upon is also included.  In order to influence the behaviour of the equine, a person has to become aware his/her own limiting behaviour. This requires self-examining and taking responsibility for his/her own decisions and outcomes.

Equines are large and powerful animals providing an interesting paradox as to how their strength can be subtly influenced by one or more people.  They as prey creatures . operate at an emotional and intuitive level, that constantly relies on non-verbal body language for survival . There is no separation about what an equine thinks and what the body says and they will pay great attention to detail and can also pay great attention to the things that go unnoticed by people. Working with equines in this way enquires people to speak ‘honestly and confidently’ with their own body language , with equines continuously giving out information about how they feel.

The need to understand one’s own behaviour, as well as the behaviour of others becomes very clear in EAL  sessions . Clients are faced with the honesty of equines, who continuously respond to the actions and emotions of people and who are not duplicitous in their  interactions. Through the reactions and continuous behavioural changes that equines make, humans are provided with opportunities to explore areas such as personal exploration of emotions   intuition and energy, understanding of self, nature, relationships, communications, respectful boundaries,  emotional growth, self-efficacy and self-esteem

Mary Berkery  Professional Life Coach and Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator






Autumn Loss

This is a piece written during a time of much change in my life.
Tree Autumn

I sit in the crotch of an Ancient Oak
Her leaves falling
As I let dreams dissolve and go back to bare bone
She too to spine and branch
I want to hide here for the winter
Like squirrels
With food stashed
Not move far

She wraps her trunk around me
As I press into her
Autumn, winter,
Death and dying everywhere
We both tired from Summer’s show and glamour
Being here is
No where else home

Do less, she says
Eat less, talk less
Let silence and stillness feed you
Rest in emptiness and loss
Wait for Spring.. it will come
It always does

– Mary Berkery

Juice Cleanse Day

I was told a story the other day where a woman came to Gandhi ,to ask him to ask her son to give up sugar. Gandhi reply was “ Come back to me in 2 weeks “ She  left and returned 2 weeks later with the same request. Gandhi turned to her son and said “ Son give up sugar it is not good for you “ The woman asked him why he could not asked that two weeks ago and save her the journey to him twice. Gandhi replied, “ Because two weeks ago I was consuming sugar “

The story has stayed with me in the ensuing days and more especially as I step into the world promoting vitality, health and personal empowerment. Where I asked myself am I not walking my talk.

Well of course an answer popped in. I have again let my the coffee and sweet tooth intake that tends to creep up [especially over the holiday time when we were travelling) I first had to break my own bad habits. I choose to do it by doing 1day juice fast. In the past I would go to a place to break to cleanse and detox such as Cloona Health Retreat in Ireland or Hippocrates Health Institute USA.

Well, last week I created my own retreat took time out to have a juice day and quiet inner day in my own home. I had felt the acid build up on my body form the accumulation even if little of sugar, caffeine and a nightly drink. It comes out as stiffness and a general lack of full vitality.

So Why a Juice Cleanse Day? 

o   It is a fantastic way to give the body a break from digesting foods and assists in clearing out toxic wastes and acids.

o It alkananizes the body which allows optimum health and vitality.

o   Psychologically, it breaks the unhealthy mental and emotional attachments to addictive foods.

On the Day

o   I juiced 3 large green juices throughout the day and 2 sweeter juice in afternoon and evening

o   In between I drank 5-6 glasses of spring water.

o   I organized a reflexology treatment.

o   I rested and took time to be as much as I could through out the day.

The challenges

This was my first time doing this alone and without the support of a retreat centre,  so I stepping into it with some concerns about following through all the way.I was nervous in case I would not follow though on the commitment as always I have gone away to do this.

The tools used

o   When I thought and even saw a cup of coffee in my mind, I realized in the same instance “ this is just a thought “ In realized that I could somewhat detach from it did not take the grip that it could have had in the past. Amazingly the thought and desire left quickly each time.

o   The second thing part I worked with was when I found the day long and was tempted to go the kitchen for a cuppa I said to myself “it is just one day “ That brought me into the smallness and management of a commitment that seemed big and unending. Just one day of juicing no big deal.


o   I have broken the sugar hold and caffeine addiction.

o   I feel tuned in again with clear thinking back.

o   I am back to a healthy eating regime.

o   Psychologically, I feel empowered to do this again in my home.


MB w whaetgrass 3