Horses have plenty to show us, and much of it is due to their ability to connect with humans on such a deep level. Equine therapy is widely used because of the many benefits it has to offer. Our equine friends allow us to better understand ourselves by asking us to take the time to understand them. If there’s a special horse in your life, you can probably recall the easy or tough (but always valuable) lessons it helped you uncover. Here are just five of the valuable lessons horses teach humans!
1. How To Communicate
Even though horses can’t come out and say what they want or need, they are very good at communicating in other ways. When we work to understand horses, it allows us to understand how our behavior may affect others. This sheds light on the good and not-so-good communication patterns we’ve developed over time. Through seemingly little interactions, like leading, haltering, and grooming, we are able to learn a new way to build connections. We can then take these lessons to build stronger relationships outside the stable.
2. How To Understand Emotions
Horses are very keen to sensing emotions in others. You can’t hide what you’re feeling when you’re with a horse, and that is a great place to be when you want to better understand your feelings. Equine therapy creates a space to address problems not with the mind, but with a horse. Since horses can sense our emotions, they will react to every single one accordingly. When we can clearly see how our feelings affect others, it allows us to better identify and understand what exactly it is we are feeling. This is particularly helpful for those who are working on overcoming any type of addiction.
3. How To Face Fears
Since horses are so large and straightforward, it’s no wonder people can often be afraid of them. Taking the time to address the fear of not being liked by a horse is a valuable lesson that can be helpful in many real-life situations. Their size alone may be the biggest fear to overcome for some. The bottom line is, the more comfortable you get with a horse, the more confidence you’ll gain in yourself and your abilities to overcome fears. This allows you to melt your worries and fears away to ultimately live a more fulfilling life!
4. How To Set Boundaries
Sometimes it can be hard to understand when we cross a line. But horses have no problem letting us know their boundaries! Without using words, horses make it very clear when someone has invaded their personal space or gone too far. This can motivate us to better understand our own boundaries. Once we know where a horse draws the line, we can better see and adapt to the lines being drawn by the ones we care about.
5. How To Trust
You never have to worry about a horse judging or abusing you. They do not manipulate and they are very honest with their actions. This is why they are excellent at building trust! Horses can show us what happens when we open ourselves up to the right ones. If we can be open, we create more growth in our ability to build relationships and ask for help when needed. Just being near a horse can make you feel unconditional love and support, which is something this world can often lack.
Riding a horse creates an even greater sense of trust, too. Horses are large animals with a lot of power. Trust is essential when riding, for both you and the horse. Accountability is a key skill to have in the real-world, and horses have no issue holding you and themselves accountable for a smooth ride.
If you have been considering equine therapy, we definitely recommend giving it a try. Whether you’re looking to build deeper connections, better understand yourself, get in touch with your feelings, or work through something you’ve been avoiding, horses are great guides to help you get there!