The Horse-Human Bond

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Sarah Schlote highlighted this quotation on her American website, Equusoma. It gives us a perspective on why equine-facilitated therapy can be so helpful for us.

I am passionate about the mammalian connection between horse and human and how we can co-regulate and partner with each other in the healthiest of ways. To relate on all levels of partnership — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Then to notice how these practices carry into our human relationships and roles. Not to mention how fun it is to “speak horse” — to understand a horse’s view and to recognize their ancient wisdom in the natural world. To feel into how this level of relationship is often missing in our modern world. To notice how trusting horses are of the human predator nature while being a natural prey animal.

— Kim McCourt, LMFT, SEP (California)

I agree with Kim McCourt and with Sarah Schlote, that learning from equine sessions can translate into improving self-confidence and relationship skills in the human world.

There’s lots of scientific thought regarding the nervous system and brain function in mammals which affects how we experience our emotions and body sensations. Writers such as Francine Schapiro, Dr Daniel Siegel, Bessel van der Kolk, Babette Rothschild all agree with these ideas about humans respond to emotional stress.

Luckily for us, horses can help us manage these difficulties and learn new coping mechanisms.

Interaction with horses can help us learn about managing our emotions, self-acceptance, how to develop and maintain healthy boundaries, manage relationships with others, as well as increasing self-confidence.