Horses as Therapists
Equine therapy, sometimes referred to as equine-assisted therapy, is one of the more alternative and innovative addiction treatment, recovery, and general wellness therapies. As one aspect of holistic/animal/pet therapy programs, horses are the therapists. Horses are herd and prey animals, therefore well attuned to the emotions of those around them. There is something magical about these beautiful animals.
Horses are clear on their boundaries. They have no hidden agenda and don’t lie. They’re nonjudgmental and clear about their needs. The combination of the animal’s soothing nature and regularly assigned horse-related duties helps the rider to develop mentally and spiritually.
Interacting with these magnificent horses on the grounds facilitates insight and self discovery. Horses mirror human feelings. They give us immediate feedback through non-verbal cues, so people can take those cues and better understand themselves. It’s not about horsemanship, it’s about overcoming fears and frustrations. It helps people get in touch with their emotions and feelings.
While we are often very good at hiding our true feelings, we can’t hide them from horses. If you are experiencing anger, for example, the horse knows you’re angry. Your anger will frighten or unsettle it, and it will move away from you. How they sense our feelings and react is remarkable. Not only are they beautiful and intelligent, they are insightful and gentle. Through working with horses, feelings of fear, anger, resentment, sadness, loneliness, joy and peace are brought to the surface.
Your ability to be open and to more easily access feelings and emotions, to trust others, to effectively work through new challenges, and ask for help, are some of the important benefits of equine therapy. It’s about letting go; a collaboration between yourself and the horse. It builds trust and assists in ‘getting out of your head and into your heart and body’.
What you learn by interacting with your horse, you will soon learn to translate to relationships with other people and your Higher Power.
Equine therapy at Serenity Vista won’t seem like ‘therapy’ at all. No previous experience with horseback riding is required. And if you are fearful of horses, all the better… what a tremendous opportunity to experience overcoming fear!
Working with and enjoying wilderness trail rides through beautiful wilderness vistas with these big powerful and insightful creatures is always a powerfully moving experience.