Although the technical term for how I work is called ‘equine assisted’, or ‘equine facilitated’, coaching or psychotherapy – I prefer to describe my approach as ‘horse led’. This is because I consider the horse, with their extraordinary sensitivity and intuition, to be central to the process. It is me assisting them, not the other way around!
There are many scientific reasons why horses are good at helping us to learn about ourselves: they are prey animals, so are finely tuned to pick up on the most subtle of emotional and energetic signals. They also live in herds and in the wild their survival depends on the herd understanding each other, and working cooperatively together. Communication between them takes place across long distances, in the moment. They are masters at returning to calm and balance after a scare or upset, and being around them helps us, too, to become calm (there is scientific evidence to prove this).
Horses also get straight to the point. They have clear boundaries and say what needs to be said, when it needs saying. This honesty helps us to reach our own truth very quickly.
Then there are other dimensions of the work which I have observed which are less scientific. Horses enable us to access the full range of our emotional experience and connect us with a sense of our true self – in a peaceful, joyful and safe way. They are non-judgemental and see us for what we are, not what we pretend to be, or what others see us as. They feel most safe around us when we are congruent, and own our feelings – silently or expressively – thus helping us come to new levels of understanding.
Horses don’t need words and when working with them we don’t either. Being free of the constraints which language places on us, enables connection with our true essence and emotional self.