To evade predators, horses have evolved to be extremely sensitive to their environment. They instinctively analyze and react to our body language and other nonverbal cues providing us with valuable feedback and insights for other areas of our lives.
It's hard to ignore a horse with its size and presence. We can't just control a powerful horse. Approaching horses helps us reflect on how we approach our relationships, and how we can face other big or overwhelming things in our lives.
Horses are social animals with defined roles within a herd. They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. They could be stubborn or they could be playful. In other words, horses are a lot like us.
HOW IT WORKS
Our approach includes using equines (horses and/or donkeys) within each therapy session. Other farm animals are often incorporated as well. A licensed counselor, trained in Equine Therapy, guides and supports each client through Equine Assisted Therapeutic activities. Facilitators will often collaborate with an Equine Specialist to capture all the dynamic elements of the session including the horse’s role, participant’s process, and provide alternative perspectives.
When inside the arena, all the work is done on the ground with the horses front and center, deliberately unhindered and never ridden, and allowed to interact with the client as they wish. Counseling is not a "one size fits all". The goals of the therapy session are client-centered and action-oriented. Activities are designed and created to address specific goals and themes. This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections.