horse in desertHorses have been domesticated for many years, and from the very beginning, it was us teaching them. We attached our ropes, harnesses, saddles, and ideas onto them. We taught them what to be, think and do.

And amazingly, they went along. Horses obliged us. When we asked them to carry us just where we wanted to go — and sometimes in the most dangerous circumstances — they did. After all, horses were the very first war vehicle.

And when we asked them to carry us in the way we wanted to go, again, they did. We hitched their heads up high, and weighted their feet, so that the picture would be pleasurable to us. And still, they did.

Regardless of how absurd and even threatening our ideas may have seemed to a horse, still they obliged our desires, putting their emotions, and even very primal need for protection aside. Simply because we asked.

And now, it to them that we turn. Because they have shown us the way. Horse live in the way that we can only aspire to. They live in the moment, fully aware of their emotions, and yet, they put these emotions aside to serve us — even when it makes no sense to them.

So it is now us who learns from them. As they help us uncover the unconscious processes that drive our behavior and guide our emotional reality, they don’t struggle with knowing these things about themselves as we do. And they don’t struggle with knowing right from wrong — as we do. To a horse, there is only one way. It is the way. There is no right and wrong. There are no judgments, no confusion and no lack of humanity.

While they may fight with one another, it is with grace. For when one horse backs down, the other backs off. And a horse that is ousted from one herd, will in a time of need, quickly be accepted into another.

And maybe this is the most important lesson that we can learn from a horse — how to treat each other humanely.

Horse in the desert photo available from Shutterstock.



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From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (February 4, 2012)

Mental Health Social (February 4, 2012)

From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (February 4, 2012)

AnnMarie Walsh (February 4, 2012)

This is a lovely article about some of the reasons horses are so special | Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy (February 7, 2012)

    Last reviewed: 5 Feb 2012

APA Reference
Dorotik-Nana, C. (2012). Equine Therapy: Humanity From A Horse. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2015, from


Check out Claire Dorotik's book,
On the Back of a Horse

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