Welcome to Quietude Coaching

Michele Smith is a Certified Equine Gestalt Coach and the founder of Quietude Coaching. Prior to falling in love with horses and their wisdom, she graduated from Harvard Law School and practiced civil litigation and criminal defense. As an attorney, the work that was most meaningful to Michele was helping individuals navigate through extremely difficult situations and advocating for the best possible outcome. Since then her passion has evolved and is now focused on partnering with horses to help people find the inner confidence and quiet fortitude to be their own advocates in all areas and tap into a deeper meaning to their lives. Michele specializes in working with young adults and teens.


About the EGCMethod®

The Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® was developed by Melisa Pearce, a core founder since 1989, of the horse-human healing movement. The experiential nature of the method involves the horse as an active partner with the coach in the client’s exploratory process. The integrative approach of the equine’s interaction combined with positive coaching, somatic awareness, guidance and Gestalt methodology, assist the client in examining their life and choices made with a focus on designing a positive future.

Preparing for your EGC Session

Your EGCMethod session with the horse will be outdoors or in an enclosed arena. Be sure to dress appropriately to be outdoors and in the weather. Although you may choose not to go into the pen with the horse, almost everyone does — please wear close toed shoes. You will not ride the horse. No horse experience is necessary.

Meet Big Jake

Big Jake

Big Jake is a 27 year old quarter horse gelding. He has lived through the adversity of being neglected, underfed and ultimately sold at auction. The inner fortitude and spark that got him rescued from the kill pen shines through today. He somehow maneuvered to get the best stall in a barn full of fancy show horses. His stall has a door to the outdoors where he can hang his head out and see everything that is going on at the farm. A natural leader, horses and humans alike are drawn to him. He loves to meander on trail rides on the farm, taking in all the beauty.

Michele’s Story

On the outside, I appear very accomplished. I attended Columbia University for my undergraduate degree where I was captain of the Women’s Cross-Country and Track teams. I was an Academic All-Ivy athlete and graduated as the top scholar among Columbia women athletes in my class. I went on to graduate from Harvard Law School, clerk for a federal judge and do a fellowship at the Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Institute.

But for a very long time, I lived from a place of unworthiness. As an attorney, I was drawn to work with criminal defendants, particularly juveniles, because I could very much relate to the feelings of shame and unworthiness they had. My go to coping mechanism – achievement and perfectionism – was very different from theirs but came from the same place. Throughout most of my life, beneath all the accolades and achievements there was a low hum of anxiety and a voice saying “not good enough.”

Several years ago, I attended a women’s retreat where one of the activities was “equine coaching.” At the time I had no idea what that was, but after being in the round pen with a beautiful horse named Leo I made a profound shift in how I wanted to live my life. In that session, the coach asked me what I wanted to do with the horse. I responded that I wanted him to follow me. She instructed me to start walking. I did so but tentatively, glancing over my shoulder, worrying about whether he would follow. He did not. The coach instructed me to go back to the middle of the ring, ground myself and to walk forward centered and detached from the outcome. Sure enough, this time Leo felt that authentic energy and followed. From this seemingly simple experience with a horse, I gained the profound insight that I had been doing it backwards for so long. All I ever focused on was the outcome — the grade, the medal, the right school, the right job. But genuine and lasting fulfillment comes from within.

I wanted to share the magic these gentle equine creatures have to teach with others. I chose certification through the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method (“EGCM”) program because it was a rigorous two year training with a holistic approach. Through the EGCM program, I learned how equine interaction combined with positive coaching, somatic awareness and Gestalt methodology can help people process, integrate and heal the unfinished business in their lives. In the quietude of the horse ring, I heard a new voice: “You are whole and complete just as you are.” And now I want to share that beautiful healing space with you.