Equine sessions with the horses can really help people regain that sense of being connected (rather than feeling lonely). People can develop this sense of isolation for many reasons: bereavement, relationship break-up, family problems, abandonment by parents, being adopted and unsure of their family of origin, social exclusion because of mental health problems, unemployment or being homeless.
Because horses usually dwell in the present moment, being open-minded and open-hearted, they can be sensitive to loneliness in humans. If you’re feeling lonely, equine therapy can help you with finding connection to other people, starting with a horse.
I’ve seen many clients for equine therapy get a huge sense of connection and acceptance from the horses. This can be powerful because horses are non-verbal – the horses don’t speak in the conventional sense, but they can give their presence and affection nonetheless.
A recent client was quite fearful of horses after a riding accident many years ago. After being initially hesitant, the client became able to approach one horse in particular, overcoming the fear of walking up to horses.
To begin with, the client felt nervous and lonely at the start of the session. But by the end of the session, the client was stroking and hugging the horse, saying that there was a big feeling of love and connection.
Here’s what the client said afterwards:
“Your generosity, kindness and support moved me beyond words just as much as meeting and loving Jazz was a unique experience that will always stay with me.”
Words not quite from the horse’s mouth, but from the client’s heart.