How can horses help?
Horses are prey animals who naturally live in herds and are dependent on each other and their fight, flight and freeze instincts for survival. Therefore horses live in the present moment and are fully aware of what is going on around them. They are naturally curious social animals who love to play and they are invested in authentic relationships.
Horses are able to read people's emotions and are extremely good at reading people's facial expressions. They challenge us to stay true to our feelings when relating to them while remaining non-judgmental.
“Renegotiating trauma involves a safe haven in the attuned presence of another, the co-regulation of nervous systems, and the completion of thwarted survival responses”.
Further reading @ www.equusoma.com article “Healing with horses; Equine Assisted Trauma Recovery” (Sarah Schlotee, Equusoma Equine Assisted Trauma Recovery)
“Animals can offer a truly safe emotional attachment experience, free of any power or control issues. For many looked -after children who have suffered trauma, this may be the first relationship of this nature that they have experienced”.
(Katarina Felicia Lundgren, Minds in Motion Education Research Centre, Sweden 2018)
In a recent study, participants demonstrated increased capacity to:
Negotiate and respect boundaries
Become attuned to the horse’s needs
Develop awareness of the horse’s responses relative to themselves
NasteTM, Price.M, Martin,I, Murphy, K Miguel,J, and Spinazzola, J (2017) - Equine Facilitated Therapy for Complex Trauma (EFT_CT)
(modified from a presentation by Camilla Mowbray)