My Horses, My Teachers
The benefits of Equine Assisted Therapy seem obvious, fresh air, open spaces, and horses. Certainly, those are wonderful benefits, but the significant benefits of equine-assisted therapy are subtle to explain.
Horses are Truth Tellers
The beauty of horses is that they do not prevaricate or lie. They reflect that which they observe. They act as a mirror, showing us the message that we put into the world. Horses do this clearly, concisely, and humbly. There is no showmanship or gotcha. They simply reflect and what is present between you and the horse appears. Then the story unfolds, the truth that shows up for you in your day to day life is experienced in the arena with the horse.
Immediate Insight, Improved Flexibility
Like people each horse is different, so each interaction requires an individual to develop flexibility in their style. Rigidity with your style with be reflected in the horse. A CEO might enter and manage a stallion beautifully with his or her big energy but fail to calm a sensitive mare because he lacks the ability to shift and soften his energy effectively. This might be reflected in a primarily masculine workforce, not necessarily male but a masculine energy, which may or may not work to the benefit of the company, and is most certainly problematic in relationships. Likewise, a school teacher might be able to work with and quiet the sensitive mare, possibly drawing her in with her soft energy, while she might struggle to move the stallion away from her at all. This teacher may be well loved by her first graders, and a marvelous teacher but may struggle to set limits with her husband, boss, or strong masculine energies in her life.
The equine assisted therapy is learning embodied. You experience it. You see it. You get it. In the moment that it occurs. The learning is instantaneous. Your body remembers the experience. Muscle memory is formed. There is no wondering. The insight cannot be missed. The change may take longer but for some a single experience carries them for months.
Mary was a trauma survivor. She had been doing well when a life event created a sense of re-experiencing her traumatic symptoms. We had an emergency session. Mary and I talked, and although she was better she was a long way from being able to go with her children on a week-long trip where they would be traveling, camping, and in close quarters with many other people the next day. I suggested we spend some time doing equine assisted therapy with the horses. In less than 30 minutes, Mary was grounded, empowered, and it was almost impossible to see her as the victim that had walked into my office only a short time prior to that. Her stance, posture and energy were directed, confident, and self-assured. She went on that trip with her children the next day. She had a great time with them. The impact of that equine-assisted therapy session lasts for nine months.
Equine assisted therapy benefits everyone.
C-suite executives, fortune 500 teams, managers, families, couples, individuals and children can all benefit from working with horses. The results are amazing and continue to surprise even me with what shows up in the arena. The horses move to the heart of the work that needs to be done. Whether you want to run a better company, feel better personally, stop being a victim of your life, create more flexibility, improve your relationships, or understand yourself more fully then equine-assisted therapy or coaching can make an incredible difference in your life.