A horse can never be a tool to achieve results.
The horse must be considered as a living, breathing, invaluable partner
through whom therapeutic effects are possible.
What would we do without horses? We would not have a program!
Cooper wouldn't know what if feels like to walk. Maggie would still believe she can't trust anybody. And, Jocelyn would have never spoken a word.
Horses are healers.
Horses know how to tune into humans.
They read us.
They inspire us.
They help us find the power within.
But, let's not forget, horses in therapeutic settings have a hard job ... and sometimes it shows.
How does it show? Here are a few examples:
Tess, the bay mare, is grumpy throughout the session.
Klank, the Norwegian Fjord, suddenly doesn't want to come out of his paddock.
And, Carly, the newly acquired Morgan, flinches when the saddle pad lands on her back.
Why do the horses respond in this way?
Maybe Tess doesn't get enough horse-worthy downtime.
Possibly Klank is overwhelmed with emotional energy and has no way to release it.
And Carly is body-sore because she is carrying so many unbalanced students.
In the field of therapeutic riding and equine facilitation, much emphasis is put on educating the facilitators to see through the eyes of the students and clients.
Very seldom are the instructors, volunteers and barn staff encouraged to see the world through the horse's eyes.
Let's change that!