Horses are great teachers, when it comes to helping us develop our own personal skills of self-awareness. because they are authentic, they help us to identify with the truth of who we are.
If we approach a horse thinking we are big, strong and confident, when on the inside we feel small, insignificant and frightened, they will soon make us realise that the false persona is not acceptible. They do not judge us, but help us to recognise who we are and then, they can help us to create who we would like to be. They work at building our core strengths, taking us through the gentle process of learning by experience. It is by this process, that we learn how to build self-confidence, self-belief, self-esteem and self-awareness. As babies we used this same process in learning how to walk. First we had to learn how not to fall down, and from there we learnt how to put one foot in front of the other. Gentle baby steps helped us to grow. Equine Assisted Therapy is based upon this same process of Experiential learning.
How it works.
I'm not going into lengthy details of how it works because to be honest, each person that comes to walk with a horse and listens to what they have to show, is different. They begin by becoming the mirror of you, so that without judgement, they bring an awareness of your inner self to the surface. Normally we don't like what we think might be there. In reality, which is the world they live in, the now part of the moment, they get you to shift that perspective of yourself, into a more positive, beneficial and acceptable one.
Their role is to gently nudge you into that place of acceptance, understanding and sometime forgiving, so that you can move forward. They replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with calmness. They help you to lok on the other side t o help you find those hidden qualities and bring them to the surface. They help you to find those answers by working through and reasoning out the problems, so that the solutions fit comfortably and your life moves on.
All in all, they are compassionate, non-judgemental, patient and big hearted animals, who willingly ant to help us. They are amazing healers who work on all levels and in all aspects of our lives, young or old, for there is nothing they can't help us with.
In order for this or any other therapy to work, there must be a willingness to open the door of change. You cannot shut your true self away for ever.