Seven years ago, I started working with horses in equine assisted psychology. I wrote a trauma-sensitive program ‘Putting one Hoof In Front of the other’, to work with those who were affected by the bushfires in the Yarra Ranges.
I’ve continued working with horses in psychology. I found that sometimes more useful than sitting in a clinic room discussing issues. Really, it is helpful for some people. Some people prefer to be outdoors and to be with animals.
One of the things that I love about the horses is their presence can offer a less clinical setting and supportive environment for people who find talking about challenging things difficult. The horses also offer opportunities for experiential activities, such as leading or running through barrels. In this way people can learn and see that they can achieve things they may not have thought they could.
Another point is that horses also offer a lot of lessons in regulating and managing emotion. For example, if somebody is quite anxious or feeling really low, the horses will pick it up. Part of the survival instincts include is limbic resonance, it is how they stay safe within a herd. They can pick up on each other’s energy, particularly in flight mode when they are running away from something that might frighten them.
We can use that with humans as well to notice certain things about ourselves and notice certain things about the horses. If you are interested or like this, or know someone who could benefit from Equine Assisted Psychology, or even would like to discuss it with me to see if it might be suitable for you, please email me through the Contact Form on the bottom of the home page.