Many people ask me what I do and I tell them I am a Equine Assisted Therapist or a psychotherapist that works with horses to assist people to get clearer about themselves and their lives.
Some people look at me with curiosity, some people ask if horses get mentally ill and some people just look at me as though I’m nuts!
I find the work that I do very rewarding, I get to meet people from all different walks of life and help them through difficult issues and tough times and I get to work alongside a herd of wise horses.
The horses amaze me, they respond to everyone differently and they seem to take their role in our work very seriously. They each have a unique personality and like us, they respond to every person they meet differently; they are experts at body language so they feel into us and register whether we are nervous, sad, angry or excited. They will each respond differently depending on their personality and on what they perceive- they may walk away, they may come closer, they may stride right over and lean into you or they may just go on eating grass.
Safety and comfort are a horses top priorities so they are always aware of their surroundings and they are always feeling into the other horses and people around them. Because of this acute awareness the horses response to you may change as your thought changes- they are that sensitive! So if you are trying to connect to the horse and you start to wonder off and think about dinner, the horse will often walk away. Or if you are trying to lead a horse somewhere and you don’t believe you can the horse often won’t follow you. The horse will stand there and look back at you until you do believe that they will come with you when you ask.
In my experience the horses are very gentle and compassionate in how they work with us. They are patient and very giving of their time and energy, they are amazing at holding space for people and provide support without judgement.
This type of therapy is effective for so many different people, due to it’s popularity more research is being carried out to highlight how effective it is and to show where and when it is most beneficial.