Whether you like being around horses or feel a little skittish (okay, maybe terrified), equine-assisted coaching can be an amazing transformative experience.
You may be wondering, but how and why?
It boils down to these three simple facts:
- DESIGN: Horses’ brains are created similarly to the human brain in regards to their fight, flight, and freeze response as well as their ability to regulate, connect, and think differently.
- BIOFEEDBACK: A horse can feel your heartbeat within a six feet radius of their body and are attuned to when your heart rate rises and drops as part of their survival mechanism. That means when you heart races, as a result of being anxious, afraid, or determined, they feel it and depending upon how they perceive it as a threat, will respond in a way that helps you understand more about yourself that another human might miss.
- CONNECTION: While a horse may not be able to human language capabilities, as their prefrontal cortex does not develop like ours, their brainstem and limbic system is quite similar. They can feel afraid and anxious as much as they can experience connection and contentment. As a result, when we interact with our horse partner in an equine-assisted coaching session, we get to build a real relationship that helps us understand how we show up for others in our live and what we expect in return.
How does equine-assisted coaching work?
A relationship with a horse is a real connection when they are allowed to respond by choice in our interactions. Through using a Natural Lifemanship approach in working with an equine partner, you will discover how to regulate your body, relate to others, and seek out healthy attached and detached connections with your family, friends, and co-workers. By observing their behavior — independently, as a herd, and with us — we can begin to identify what is happening within ourselves and identify how to show up differently. As a result, gaining insight and skill-building are key components of equine-assisted coaching and learning sessions.
A session may include connecting with a horse in their pasture, grooming a horse in the field or barn, haltering and leading the horse to a round pen or ring, exploring connection and relationship-building in a field or ring, or a rhythmic riding experience. Each session will be different depending upon your needs and the needs of the horse.
Who is this kind of experience good for? Do you have to be comfortable around horses?
Anyone of any age can experience equine-assisted coaching. It can be a tool for growth and healing, especially for those suffering from trauma, anxiety, or depression. However, it is also great for growing confidence and relationship skills. You don’t have to be a horse person to benefit. There’s learning and growth potential for all!
Yes, horses offer us the opportunity to grow emotionally resilient and relational strong through offering us insight about ourselves as we interact with them.