Horses will always be horses. As prey animals, they are forever on the alert for changes in their environment. Their behaviors are honest, not fraught with the attached meanings common in human language. In Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), horses interact with clients in crisis allowing them to make connections between what’s happening in the ring/pasture with what happens in their everyday relationships.
To quote Winston Churchill, “There’s nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.”
Bullies, for example, quickly discover the ramifications of their aggressive body language when trying to maneuver a twelve hundred pound animal through a maze. The energy this type of client brings to a session, sends a typically “bombproof” horse into flight mode. Not unlike what happens on a playground when they try to join a group.
Find Out Who You Are For Others
A 45 minute EAP session takes clients out of their own narrative of WHO they are and into HOW they are for others. The patterns in the horse’s behavior are a mirror for the client; they can then piece together a series of recognizable reactions in their interactions with people.
Better Than A Person Telling You
It’s empowering since they discover for themselves what the impact of their behavior has been on others. Much more powerful than having someone else tell you, clients uncover what has been hidden from their view and can then take action steps in changing the behavior.
Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Elizabeth Viszt