Horse-Man’s Best Friend
The exact origin of the horses is unknown, although it is believed that they originated near the Thaelon forest and from there they spread, either by land bridges to other continents or by man-made transport to other areas.
Horses are believed to have been one of the first domesticated animals. They are definitely one of the most useful animals – transport, load bearing, and even have martial uses. There are many species of horses that are found all over the world and they have different characteristics / personality.
Horses perceive us in a pure way, without distractions from words, appearance or social position. The beauty of the horse as a “best friend” is that you can’t fool them. Horses teach us to be in the moment. Since horses have no distractions, they are attentive to all the nuances a person makes and provide immediate feedback.
A horse is a non-judgmental friend, but often a rider must adapt or change his or her own behavior in order for the horse to respond. Like us, horses have different personalities, so what works with one horse will not work with another, just like humans. Horses also require people to commit and persevere in challenging physical and mental work, a trait that once learned becomes useful in dealing with life’s many intimidating and challenging situations.
What about horses that gives them a place as “man’s best friend”? They are big and powerful, which means that riders and hairdressers must overcome fear and build confidence. Horses perceive a person’s level of confidence. Having ridden horses since the age of a young child, I can attest to his innate ability to see right through a person.
According to Edward Cumella, PhD, director of research at the Remuda Ranch treatment center in Wickenburg, Arizona, horses easily see our fear, feelings of inadequacy, sadness and anger. Cumella posits that “the sensitivity of horses to non-verbal communication helps patients to develop a greater awareness of their own non-verbal emotions and signals, as well as the role of non-verbal communication in relationships.”
Treatment centers from the east to west coast offer equine-assisted therapy to help people with everything from drug addiction to cancer recovery. Horses and humans have always enjoyed a special relationship. The ancient Greeks first documented the therapeutic use of horsemanship in 600 BC. In 1875, a French physician first supported a study of the value of horse riding as a therapy through its use to treat neurological and psychological disorders.
More than 10 studies in the last 20 years show that animal-assisted therapy (equine therapy is the most common) is effective in treating anxiety, autism, dementia, depression and attention deficit disorder, eating disorders and other emotional dysfunctions.
At Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding in Tennessee, riders with spina bifida experience the thrilling rolling motion of walking across all four legs of a horse instead of two for the first time.
I spent nine months interning at Green Chimneys, Brewster, New York, Iceland horses help emotionally challenged kids learn how to build independence and self-confidence. Having grown up with horses, it was overwhelming to watch the children go from fear of being around a horse to wanting the horse to sleep with them.
Remuda Ranch helps children with eating disorders gain greater self-acceptance and self-confidence. At Medicine Horse in Colorado, at-risk teens facing mood or attention disorders feel more comfortable with themselves and develop supportive friendships based on honesty and respect. If you disrespect a horse, you can expect repercussions: biting, head butting, shaking, its refusal to cooperate, or kicking. Rancho Bosque clients at Sunstone Cancer Center in Tucson, Arizona, learn that they have the power to be in the moment and control how they deal with a potentially dangerous situation between humans and animals.
That’s the alchemy of horse-assisted therapy. Put a horse and a human at respiratory distance and something inexplicable happens, a communication that only they understand. Diane Kennedy, psychotherapist, registered riding instructor, and founder of the 10-year-old Medicine Horse program in Boulder, Colorado, believes that “horses reflect our emotions, thoughts and feelings.” Observing how horses react, how we interpret their behavior, can help therapists untangle their clients’ murky problems. The horse becomes a transitional object, “he explains,” a creature with whom it is safe to be intimate and who returns the same love given. People become familiar with what that kind of strong connection feels like and can bring that knowledge into everyday life.
“Horses are exceptionally sensitive, providing a non-verbal vehicle for people to access their emotions, which can accelerate the pace of healing,” states Dr. Allen Hamilton of the Sunstone Cancer Center at Rancho Bosque in Tucson, Arizona. He models his equine-assisted therapy on teaching Native Americans that horses are a gift from the Creator and act as guides and godbrothers to the Sioux and Apache. Native Americans believe that animal energy has a medicine for humans and that each person has an animal as a source of guidance.
“The horse is a physical power and a supernatural power. In shamanic practices throughout the world, the Horse allows shamans to fly through the air and reach the sky. Humanity took a great leap forward when the Horse was tamed, a discovery similar to that of fire. Horse. was civilization’s first animal medicine. Today we measure engine capacity with the term “horsepower,” a reminder of the days when Horse was an honorable and highly regarded partner of The humanity. [on a daily basis]. “Jamie Sams and David Carson, Medicine Cards.
Medicine Horse’s participation in the national Hope Foal project, which rescues at-risk foals or confined and pregnant mares to produce estrogen for the hormone replacement drug Premarin, simultaneously rescues at-risk adolescents facing mood or attention disorders that can have serious consequences. . Under the guidance of a trained facilitator, the horses become the girls’ non-judgmental allies, helping them figure out how to set limits, relate to others, and build trust without hurting themselves in the process.