Why Horses?

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From the Horse Perspective:

Being herd animals, horses have an innate need to connect with other horses.  Humans too, have an innate need to connect with one another.  Because we share this commonality with horses, we find that horses will often connect with us on levels we could not imagine possible. 

 

Horses are also prey animals.  One of the greatest gifts they possess is their ability to pay close attention to their surroundings. That attention to even the most subtle cue and nuance has ensured their survival in the wild.  They carry this gift of unbiased awareness with them into our backyard barns, riding schools, and therapy arenas, and it is this awareness that enables them to sense human emotions.  Horse's reactions to human emotions and feelings are reflected back for us through their movements and actions.  This horse-human connection and interaction lay a strong foundation for therapeutic exploration, growth, and healing.  

From the Human Perspective:

Science says people learn best by doing.  However, traditional learning for children has often occurred within the four walls of a classroom and therapist's office. With the ability to meet and learn virtually, children still find themselves within a four-wall setting, only now they have a screen in front of them.  Although the virtual world has allowed them to continue to attend school, therapy, doctor's appointments, even attend church and social events virtually, paying attention and zoning out are all too common.

Equine-Assisted Learning takes children out of the four-walled setting and away from screens and places them in nature with horses. Being in an arena with a thousand-pound horse (sometimes with 3 or 4 of them) forces children to be fully present with all of their senses firing. It is in these moments of being fully present that genuine learning and growth can occur. When their minds are engaged and present, they are more open and susceptible to deeper thought and deeper healing. There is a natural unfolding that occurs as they are free to explore, think, and listen within themselves for clues that offer insight. And because these solutions are experienced at an emotional and physical level they tend to be more profound, and longer-lasting.