Yes horses are gorgeous, intelligent and sensitive creatures but how do they support therapy for humans?
Oh gosh, there is so much to say.
Let’s start with as prey animals, horses are incredibly sensitive to and aware of their environment. They will respond authentically to how you show up on any given day. They don’t care how important you are but they will respond if you are anxious, sad, happy, frustrated, angry etc. So you can experience first hand how you engage with others in your life. Because chances are, how you show up for the horse is also how you show up for other people in your life.
The feedback from the horse, which we then discuss together, gives you the information to become more self-aware and to have more choice how you respond to many different situations in your life. It will also help you to become more aware of how you communicate with non-verbal cues and improve your ability to communicate both with subtlety and directness.
This is just one example of what really makes equine assisted therapy so different. We don’t just talk about issues and challenges. Our gorgeous horses let you experience directly how you face challenges in your life. That allows us to process behaviours and attitudes you may not even be conscious of and that no longer serve you well.
Horses also embody many qualities we may strive to find in our lives and may help us change in positive ways. In the words of Ronald Duncan (1954):
Where in this wide world can
man find nobility without pride,
friendship without envy or beauty
without vanity? Here, where
grace is laced with muscle, and
strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility; he has
fought without enmity. There is
nothing so powerful, nothing less
violent, there is nothing so quick,
nothing more patient.