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Equine Experiences for People Of All Ages

The Health Benefits of Riding Horses

While riding a horse, the rhythmic movement of the horse moves the rider’s body in a specific motion which then triggers the brain waves to align. This, in turn, sets the stage for spontaneous learning, concentration, balance, co-ordination, and much more. The physical benefits are amazing as well! The rider’s body becomes naturally strengthened - especially the core - as riding requires the use of muscles we never thought we had!

Riding experience is not necessary. Some of our programs involve riding, while some do not. Once the therapy session is complete, our facilitators conduct debriefing sessions to help each participant clarify his/her experience in order to apply the new learned behaviour and awareness into their everyday lives.

Horses are amazing teachers and require us to bring our best selves forward. They keep us present and teach us how to balance our emotions. When horses require us to change our approach, they will react through their body language. If we don’t pay attention to these cues, the horse will keep reacting. Once we change our approach in a positive way, the horse will let us know we are on the right track by giving us instant positive feedback to our actions.

Horses are highly intuitive. They truly exist in the moment and they can teach us how to also live in the present, to become more self-aware, and to achieve inner peace. Interacting with an equine requires one to participate fully in the moment and to utilize our body, mind, and spirit in unison. In order to understand this teaching process, you first must understand the “teacher.”

In nature, horses are hunted (prey animals) and are always on the lookout for predators that might kill them. As a matter of survival, horses have developed a very high level of sensitivity and awareness of their surroundings. They have the ability to sense intent, read body language, interpret movement, and so on. Whether the object of observation is a grizzly bear or a person, the horse’s ability to “read” is the same.

A trained facilitator, the horse, and client are working together in partnership to achieve a goal together. For example, the client will ask the horse to move without touching the horse. In this scenario, the client is attempting to communicate with the horse, the horse is reacting to the client's body language, and the facilitator is guiding the process.

The facilitator feels what the horse is sensing from the client and then can guide the client to become more aware of his or her inner state and subsequently change it in order for the horse to react positively.

In other words, the individual will learn that the messages transmitted by his/her own emotions have an impact. Thus, the person's awareness of his/her own emotional state is stimulated, and therefore can be adjusted. In a very short period of time, the person's self-awareness is heightened, his/her inner turmoil is calmed and self-healing can then begin.

It’s been proven that when we are around animals and nature, the “feel good” hormones, Serotonin and Oxytocin, are released. When these feel-good hormones flood the body, we feel less stress and the brain is much more capable of taking in information.