The Power of Partnering with a Horse
Horses perceive and respond to energy, emotions and subtle body language cues as a means of communicating. They are both extremely powerful and extremely sensitive. They are always honest, authentic and congruent, meaning their intentions are in alignment with their behaviors. Partnering with them offers us the opportunity to tune in to our own energy, emotions and nonverbal signals and to practice dialing our energy up and down to communicate, connect and set boundaries as needed. In my role as an equine therapist, I consider myself a “translator” and guide in learning the horse's language in order to access their immense wisdom. My equine co-therapist serves in the role of teacher as a mirror, a model, and a motivator:
The horse mirrors back to us our actions and experiences, providing us with instant, honest and nonjudgmental feedback about our way of being in the world. By reflecting the energy that we bring to the partnership the horse encourages us to be truly authentic, flexible, and perceptive, allowing for a myriad of opportunities for personal insight and growth.
A relationship with a horse is a powerfully motivating incentive to change the behavior patterns that are not serving us. Children and adults alike will find the challenging process of self-growth and learning to be much more rewarding and fun when given the opportunity to engage with these magnificent creatures surrounded by the beauty and serenity of nature.
As naturally social creatures who rely on their herd for survival in the wild, the horse acts as a model for positive social behavior and effective partnership skills. Developing a connection with a horse takes patience, courage, attunement, self-awareness, and the same interpersonal skills required for successful interactions with other humans. A herd, like any family or team, is most connected and functions best when the relationships within it are based on mutual trust, respect, and clear communication.