Our history with horses has, for the most part, been anything but peaceful. Equine Assisted Growth and Learning gives us an opportunity to explore new ways to interact with horses. It is time that we take our partnership with the horse to the next level. There are many ways that we can cultivate greater peace and wellbeing for our horses.
When we choose to become caretakers for horses we take on the responsibility for their wellbeing. We take their lives into our hands. Every decision we make effects whether they are living with peace or not. How can we grow together and create greater emotional freedom for the animals who rely on us?
The barn can become a sanctuary – a place of refuge or safety. You do not have to open up an equine rescue to begin creating sanctuary. As a horse owner or equine-assisted practitioner, you can begin to turn your barn into a sanctuary for your horses, your clients, and yourself by conscientiously creating an environment in which your horses are free from some of the stresses that come with domestication.
It is fun to explore our relationship with the horse to move beyond training through pressure and release, punishment and reward, and right and wrong. We can begin to work in collaborative relationship with them in a manner that is beneficial and healing for both horse and human. The more that I look into building equal partnership with the horse, the more I am compelled to explore relationship with them on my own two feet rather than riding.
We took great strides forward in learning how to better communicate with our horses through the subtlety of body language. We have an opportunity to take that experience even deeper. The true power of body language comes from inner felt perception and awareness. Our bodies pick up on so much more than what our eyes perceive. That is the true language of the horse.
The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning field provides a space where we can move beyond natural horsemanship into true partnership and consensual relationships. We can honor the wisdom of our horses and work with them and learn from them.
Holistic Healing for Horses
Most of us do not live with our horses from birth and that means that they come to us with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wounds that need healing and support. Unfortunately, it is common for horses to experience some kind of trauma in their lives. There are many healing modalities that we can explore to create that feeling of safety.
We ask our herds to support individuals on a mental-emotional healing journey. For them to be as effective and happy as possible in this work, we must also support them on a healing journey. Just like we have to look at our own “stuff” to be effective facilitators, our horses need a chance to do the same. They also need an opportunity to debrief after stressful sessions and experiences.
Through a combination of body work, energetic support, and unschooling, we can help our horses to have emotional freedom and empower them to be strong facilitators.