Archives for January, 2012
With America’s endless fascination with horse racing, and his own personal history with the sport, it’s no surprise that David Milch decided to introduce a new HBO series with horses right at the heart. Boasting such fame as Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Kevin Dunn, and even real life former jockey, Gary Stevens, “Luck” promises a thrilling ride. While many books, such as Seabiscuit, Ruffian, Wild Ride, and Secretariat have offered the public a glimpse into the inner workings of the thoroughbred racing industry, never before has a television series revolved around it.
Malcolm Gladwell was the first to uncover the real truth about why patients sue their doctors. Opposite of what one may think, it has nothing to do with whether of not the doctor actually did something wrong. Instead, it has everything to do with whether or not the patient felt as thought the doctor did something wrong. And something wrong, according to the patient is not listening, not validating, and not expressing empathy for their concerns.
Today it is not surprising that online education is becoming more frequently the common medium of information dissemination. For just about every topic, it seems as though there is a webinar or teleseminar that one can register for easily, and attend from the comfort of one’s couch. It's a bit surprising that something as experiential as equine therapy can be taught via the internet, yet it is most certainly true.
Dust settled as the leather fringe of well worn chaps flung in the wind and the young cowboy pulled his horse to a quick stop. Then, clutching his reins in frustration, he looked up at the sky and shook his head. His horse had taken the wrong lead...again. (The horse’s lead describes the leg he leads off of when cantering. For example to canter to the right, the horse must be on the right lead, and the left lead to go left. When on the incorrect lead, the horse has trouble cantering in a balanced way.) “Well hold up just a second,” a steady voice broke the silence, and the young cowboy turned toward a lean man resting easily on his horse, who stood resting a hind leg and dozing off, “Do you know how to prepare him to take the right lead?”
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung stressed the importance of becoming aware of the shadow self. According to Jung, the shadow is the unconscious complex characterized by the repressed, denied, or disowned parts of the self. It is, essentially those things that a person does not accept about himself or herself. Because this uncomfortable part of the self is often denied, it is also often projected onto others, which, according to Jung is why a person should bring the shadow self into the conscious awareness. That is, to avoid projecting it onto others. This is clearly more easily said than done, as for some people, the existence of a shadow self alone is itself a scary concept. One can only imagine then, the difficulty most therapists face in attempting to help a person accept the unwanted parts of themselves. So just imagine then how this might go in the arena with a 1200 pound animal.
For most people, equine therapy is pretty fascinating to watch. However, without a visual account of just what happens between a horse and a human, the general public is at a loss when it comes to understanding just how our beloved equine friends can really help people better understand themselves. Sometimes words just don’t describe the magic between people and horses. Judging by the success of movies such as “Seabiscuit,” people are truly amazed by horses, and all the while, profoundly affected by this admiration. So, in honoring the way in which an observable accounting of equine therapy can reveal more fully what it is, I have compiled a list of great equine-therapy related movies.