I meet many adults in my practice who have had the support of therapy at various times in their life. That is great. What makes the equine-assisted practice so different is that we don’t just talk about issues. As the client you get to experience first hand how those issues impact on your life.
Here is an example:
Let’s say a client comes into a session in an anxious/agitated state. Chances are that the horses will not want to stay with us. They feel the anxious energy and it does not spell “this is a safe human and I want to be with him/her”. As we do some regulation exercises and the client becomes calmer and more settled, the horses will feel it and start to get more confident to approach and interact. I have seen, one of my horses stand at the other end of the arena with her bum to us at the beginning of a session. As the client got calmer and more settled, she turned around and looked at us, then came about halfway. After a little while she decided that it was safe to stick her head right between us.
And that right there is a direct, first-hand experience that tells us how we show up in life and for others at that moment. While the horses may be particularly sensitive to our state of mind and very clear in their reactions, people feel it too. They may not walk away and turn their bum to you but on some level people feel if someone is agitated or anxious and respond to it. And on some level, we all seek the company of people who are more calm and settled. As the client works with the horses and learns to be more aware and to move into a calmer state, this will also help the client in other life domains.
We don’t invite the horses into our sessions in order to turn you into a great horse person. We invite them to help us to highlight any number of issues, which may hen help you to navigate other parts of your life more smoothly.