Horses bring nature into the therapy process, heightening our awareness to our own natural experience to being alive in the moment. They make it possible for us to re-connect in a truly authentic and natural way to ourselves, others and our environment.
Unlike humans who are predators, horses are prey animal which has led them to develop finely tuned senses and intuition which has help them survive millions of years. To stay alive, they need to be aware of their environment. This powerful awareness keeps them connected to themselves, anyone in their company and their environment. They smell, see, hear, taste and feel what is going on for their human companion.
So much so they even match their heart rate to that of their human companion.
This heightened awareness allows the horse to tap into what the clients is experiencing and give immediate feedback to the client. Horses are brilliant in bringing insight to how a client is behaving or feeling, even if the client is not aware of it. It is often these incongruences in a client’s assumption of themselves and what is actually being felt that opens up great opportunity for the client to get support and self-awareness.
Therapy horses highlight attachment patterns, intentions and habits. The therapist can then support the client to process and heal while opening up opportunity for responsive choice around new ways of being and emotional and relational growth.
Very similar to humans, they are keenly social and live together in herds. Like us they build relationships with each other, and their herd has familiar structures, hierarchies and roles. Like humans they desire relationships with others and it is within this relationship that a client can find themselves.