Equine Therapy: A New Years Challenge

For most people, New Years is about Resolutions. It is at this time that we take an inventory of the year past and begin to make determinations about where we would like to go and what we would like to accomplish in the next year. In this way, resolutions can be sort of like symbols of our ideal selves. This is how we would ideally like to be. Whether we will get there is, of course, another matter.

Equine Therapy: A Respite From Holiday Mayhem

Not long ago, I blogged about the effect of time spent around a horse on materialism. In that blog, I mentioned that simply being around animals illuminates the desire to connect with not only one another, but other living beings in general. Perhaps at no other time are we faced with the conflict between materialism and connection than at Christmas time.


Equine Therapy: Embrace The Power Of Vulnerability

“We can’t know things like love and belonging and creativity and joy without vulnerability.” Brene Brown

What is Vulnerability?

Being able to relinquish the need for control, is at the heart of vulnerability. Four separate studies related to effectiveness with people from foreign cultures indicate “tolerance for uncertainty” as the most important component (Fox, 2003). Other qualities that emerged from the studies characterize vulnerability: “high openness”, “low ethnocentrism”, “high acculturation motivation”, “intercultural receptivity”, “low need for upward mobility” and “low security needs” (Fox 2003).


Equine Therapy Book Review: UNBRIDLED SUCCESS

Equine Therapy Book Review:
UNBRIDLED SUCCESS What used to be a relatively young market of equine therapy, equine experiential learning and self growth through horses, now seems to have no shortage of books centering around the ways in which we can learn through experiences with horses.

Yet the concept of just how is it that horses can teach humans -- largely analytical creatures -- is challenging to explain especially to a reader with little...


Can A Horse Teach You To Face Your Fears?

Many people would agree not much can be more fear inducing than sitting atop a 1200 pound animal, with little more than two straps of leather attached to a small bar of metal in the horse’s mouth. No matter how you slice it, the horse clearly has the upper hand. Should he want to bolt, buck, rear, or spin and spill his rider, the horse most likely could quite easily. Combine all that power with the fact that horses are an animal with a very sensitive fear based flight response, and it’s simply amazing to think that they let us ride them at all.


Can Equine Therapy Improve Infant Attachment?

Attachment patterns can have a profound affect on a person’s sense of wellbeing, ability to modulate stress, and certainly relationships. When attachment is secure, an infant will demonstrate a significantly lower level of cortisol, lower heart rate responses, and increased levels of oxytocin around the primary caregiver, which translates to a feeling of trust for this caregiver, and is later generalized to a basic sense of trust in people. A secure attachment pattern in adulthood then supports support seeking behaviors in times of stress or crisis, as well as the maintenance of healthy, stable relationships.

However, attachment patterns are not always secure, and the dysregulation between the mother and child begins in infancy. While the typical therapeutic response to an insecure attachment pattern is play therapy, a recent study investigated the effect of Equine Assisted Activity (EAA) on mother-child dyads which demonstrated dysregulation in attachment.