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Equine Therapy


Level 2 Natural Lifemanship Trained

Horses make excellent co-therapists because they are so in tune with their environment.  Their natural language is body language and they can often tell us about things going on in our bodies long before we realize what is happening.  As social creatures they are invested in the well being of the herd and therefore work hard to co-regulate those around them.

Another benefit to Equine Therapy is the team approach. Your therapy team will consist of myself, a trained Equine Professional and a horse. .  

 


Benefits of Equine Therapy

Equine therapy is good for building skills

  • Emotional regulation

  • Attention

  • Relationship

  • Relaxation

  • Self-awareness

  • Other awareness

  • Decision making

Equine therapy is good for creating a feeling of

  • Calm

  • Attachment

  • Relatedness

  • Partnership

Equine therapy is a way to process

  • Trauma

  • Rejection

  • Grief

  • Isolation

 
 

What does an Equine therapy session look like?

Since this is relationship work, most of it is done on the ground. 
This is NOT a riding lesson.

Like my general approach to therapy there is no “one size fits all” way that Equine Therapy can go.


But here are some of the things that might happen.  When you arrive at the ranch, we will spend a few moments transitioning into the space using some grounding activities. 


The Equine Professional is with the horse at all times monitoring the horse’s behavior.  She might point out things you haven’t noticed, or give you tips on how to be safe working around a horse.  Most of the time, at least two horses will be waiting for you, and you get to pick which horse you would prefer to work with, while noticing which horse is picking you to work with that day.  Part of working on partnership is learning to pay attention to the signals the horses are sending out.  


At this point several different things could happen depending on what you are working on.  You might spend some time grooming the horse or helping it relax.  Or we might go into a round pen where the horse is “at liberty” meaning it has no rope or halter and is free to make choices.  In this case you might request that the horse follow you, or maybe ask the horse to move around you.  Thoughts and feelings will come up due to the way the horse reacts to your requests.  Often these patterns are similar to other patterns in your life and we can work on them in real time with the horse. 


If things become overwhelming, we can leave the horse with the Equine Professional and take a walk or return to grounding exercises.  The Equine Professional is asked to hold what she hears in confidence, but if something you wish to keep more private comes up, this is also a time when we can go for a walk on the grounds, or retreat to a more private location.