Equine Assisted Therapy

Horses are healers. Equine Assisted Therapy is a well known tool to assist individuals who have experienced trauma. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about what happened to us. Horses are a “way in.” Whether it is setting up exercises to evoke feelings, or just standing in the presence of a majestic creature that sees you, feelings can bubble up. Without having to talk about our past traumas, the horse can sense your energy and know if you are open or closed. Sometimes having a 1200 pound “witness” is all people need to open their hearts. Or getting congruent, speaking to what’s on the inside, vs their outer shell, will draw the horse to you.

Equine Facilitated Learning is a parallel field to equine therapy, and allows the person to open up and feel more, without having to “figure out” the why’s of their emotions. We say “feeling is good,” and a wonderful bodily release. When a horse is at liberty (free, no ropes), and can respond with their own choices, they react and respond with precision. At Smarty Pants Ranch, in Ojai, CA, so much is about the setting; the beauty, the quiet, the stillness. We get present, quiet the mind, and see what wants to come forth.

As Tom, the veteran in this video said, “go spend time with a horse you become a better person.” When it comes to fear or old trauma, the horses can bridge the gap by building on connection and helping us trust again.

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Andrea Gaines