“I’ll take the message. And I’ll spread the word. Horses are great healers. And they should be heard.” – Viviane Burmester
Do you ever experience a moment that you just want to hold on to a little longer? This past weekend, I experienced such a moment. Well, actually there were a few moments – but one in particular really stands out. It is begging to be shared. It’s the kind of moment I want to hold in my hand like a precious wild flower — and come back to it over and over again – taking in its fragile sweetness and natural beauty as a salve to my soul.
This was a weekend of celebration. We celebrated our daughters’ birthdays – both July babies and now incredible young women that we are very proud of. We celebrated my husband’s parent’s 55th wedding anniversary. On Saturday, we hosted a celebration to recognize the conclusion of Viviane Burmester’s student internship at The Mane Intent. It was at this event in particular that I had the gift of experience that I will cherish for many years to come.
Horses have unexpectedly enriched my life beyond measure. They are also drawing some wonderful people into my ‘circle’ – and one such person is Viviane Burmester. As some may know, Viviane arrived at The Mane Intent on February 28th, 2017 for a 5-month student internship. She is completing a degree in International Business Management at the University of Applied Science in Hamburg, Germany.
Not only did Viviane support the work of this little start-up business, but she also lived with my husband and me – and ultimately has become a new and very much loved member of our family.
When I picked Viviane up at the airport on the day of her arrival – the first thing I noted was that the suitcase she was dragging behind her was as long as she was tall – and her smile was a mile wide. What I quickly learned was that while she might be small in stature, she is big in spirit and presence. She is the type of person who teaches us that lions don’t have to roar.
Her support over the past few months has been invaluable and very much welcomed – by me, our clients, and our family. Our horses have also become very connected to her. She is an optimist, eager to learn and make a difference. And she has clearly made an impact.
As well as providing marketing and social media support to The Mane Intent, Viviane has also supported our workshops and client sessions including our work with Bellwood Health Services and was here to celebrate the arrival of our 100th participant in the Equine Support for Post-Trauma Growth Workshop.
In particular, Viviane has been instrumental in supporting our Building Internal Resilience Through Horses initiative – our partnership with the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre and Trent University funded by Public Health Agency of Canada which supports young women 14 -18 who have been impacted by family trauma or dating violence.
Shortly after her arrival, Viviane managed to make it into a Peterborough Examiner front-page story following our participation in the Peterborough Women’s Business Network International Women’s Day Conference.
She has also earned the respect and support of our herd, and in particular Sebastian and Blue, who were her riding partners. Note she is the first person to ride Blue – one of our Clydesdales. I know Sebastian is really going to miss her.
Viviane is also a very talented cello player. So on Saturday, we turned an old barn into a concert hall. The friends, family and clients who attended our summer celebration were treated to an original concert hosted by our daughter Sarah van den Berg, a vocalist and guitar player; Viviane on cello; my nephew Nathan Garland on bass guitar; and Sarah’s friend, Cheyenne Buck, also a vocalist and flute player. The lyrics were all written and produced by Sarah. It was truly an unforgettable and amazing concert and you can watch it here.
But the highlight came at the end with a participatory song written by Viviane as a reflection of her time at The Mane Intent titled: Horses are Great Healers — Spread the Word. Together we all joined in and sang the song led by Sarah on guitar and supported by Viviane on cello and Nathan on bass guitar. It was beautiful, rich, and priceless. It was a moment I will hold on to and remember for years to come. It was a gift of pure magic. With modern technology — I am able to share it with you here.
Here is a video entitled Horses are Healers that Viviane put together to reflect her 5 months with us. It also features the original lyrics of Vivian’s song supported by her beautiful cello music, Sarah on guitar and Nathan on bass guitar.
As you watch it, you will know very quickly what a special human being Viviane Burmester is. We’ve been so blessed to have her share some time with us. Please join us in wishing Viviane all the best on her travels ahead.
Viviane — we hope you will come back and visit again.
Horses are great healers – spread the word.
About the Author: Jennifer Garland is the Owner/Program Director of The Mane Intent, offering Health and Wellness Workshops and Individual and Team Effectiveness Coaching. Jennifer’s intent is to bring horses and humans together to explore new possibilities, getting you out of your comfort zone and giving clarity of voice to your leader within. She has over 25 years of leadership experience in communications, cause-related marketing and change management. As a strategist, facilitator and effectiveness coach, Jennifer has provided counsel and support to senior leaders from all walks of life to build productive relationships, facilitate learning and to embrace change. She is a ‘socialpreneur’ who values the art of living life fully with intent. Support Trauma-Informed Equine Experiential Learning here.