Equine Therapy: Know Your Horses

In the field of equine facilitated psychotherapy, there are many variable that can confound the process of attempting to work with horses in healing the ailments that people so often face. And while there are a multitude of resources on exercises to perform, or certifications to obtain, perhaps no one thing is as important as simply knowing the horse you are working with. I share this personal story, as an example

Happy Memorial Day: Horses for Heroes

n celebration of Memorial Day, and as a way to honor our soldiers, this blog is dedicated to the Horses for Heroes program. Horses for Heroes is a partnership program between various NARHA equine therapy programs and the Veterans Affairs department, to provide equine therapy services targeted toward the physical and psychological challenges that veterans face.

Equine Therapy: Honor the Horses

People have always been fascinated with horses. From mankind’s first experiences with them, either through the parochial methods made timeless by the Spaniards (and later the Spanish riding school), or through the natural horsemanship techniques first mastered by Native Americans, horses have represented a power greater than man. To be sure, horses, for centuries, (and many would argue still today), were associated with wealth, and the pillaging of towns and villages frequently included the theft of many horses. Yet not only have horses represented power and wealth to man, but the mystique of something that is both not entirely understood, and not fully controlled. In considering man’s long history with horses, and the endless fascination we have always had with them, it is not hard to see why we would be equally intrigued with the idea that horses can, in some way, help heal what we cannot seem to heal ourselves.

Equine Therapy: A Personal Experience, Part Four

His sides were tight with bound energy, and I squeezed harder than I should have. Often, the first steps forward will spook a young horse, too, as they feel the weight of a rider for the first time. Sometimes as they feel this weight, and perceive the rider moving along with them, they’ll bolt away in fear. I wanted to push past this; I didn’t want to take the time to reassure Nimo. I didn’t even have both hands on the reins. I just wanted to trust him. And, sure enough, those first steps forward were anything but hesitant. He marched forward with the authority of a horse many years older.