Follow me in my attempts to understand the equine-human connection

Monday, December 13, 2010

Always more to learn

Horses feed off our energy. It's amazing how a group of people can be cohesive and cooperative and the horse acts similarly. Then, the second you inject someone who has anxiety or anger the horses immediately walk away or pace. I thought I was good at judging character, but horses point things out to me that I never would have noticed otherwise. Every time I go to Horse Inspired the horses teach me there's always more to learn.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Better than comfort food

Everyone has something that makes them feel better whether its music, exercise, comfort food, etc. Well after I've had a bad day I hug one of the horses. There's something about feeling their soft fur that makes you feel better. Especially, now since they all have their winter coats. They're just so fuzzy!! And with the ponies being so small they're the perfect size for hugs. I know that for me, horses are better than comfort food .. and they don't make you fat.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Taking off the training wheels

Saturday we had a group therapy session and Pam let me take the lead as the mental health worker. I was a little nervous as my experience with groups is limited, but it turned out great. A certain voluptuous pony (<---)of ours proved that treats are a great incentive. He made an activity that normally takes an eternity take 3 minutes.
I enjoyed the experience of leading the group because it allowed me to see how my skills had grown. But, I was still grateful that Pam was there to help me when I got stuck.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mind goes blank

Everyone has their areas of competence, places they feel safe, things they know, etc. Today, I was in a session with a client in the office and I froze. I couldn't remember how to start a session. I didn't know what to say. I was lost. Luckily Pam jumped in for me. Then, we moved out to meet the horses and all of the sudden I was fine. Sure, I was still nervous but this time I knew what to say. As we began interacting with the horses I couldn't get the ideas to STOP flowing through my head. I had all these questions and could only choose a handful. What I learned today was that we all have things that make us feel safe and mine is horses. It's ironic that a thousand pound animal makes me feel safe. That an animal that could crush me in an instant makes me relax. But they do. For me, there's something about horses that makes all my other problems slip away. And when I pet them, feel their soft velvety fur under my fingers, everything around me melts away as well. Sometimes I wonder if this is how clients feel too. I can only hope that their interaction with the horses is like mine.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Horses Helping Women

Saturday we had a women's workshop. In general the group consisted of women who were strangers to one another. At first the women were not a cohesive team because they were strangers and did not know anything about the others work methods. Watching them try to interact with the horses was a disaster. They had trouble getting the horses to do anything they wanted. Then they started talking and shared their feelings about the exercise. their ideas about how to make it work, and their expectations. As soon as they started talking the horses came up to them. They knew that the group was more calm and working together. It was really amazing to watch. Just another reason to work with animals and people.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Today I figured out the population I want to work with!!! I decided adolescents is absolutely the population for me. In sessions Saturday I just knew. All I could think was "yea I remember high school. It sucked. I can help these kids." I mean seriously who wasn't miserable in high school.

I also realized how can you not open up when you're petting a soft furry animal. whether the animal is large or small you just feel all warm inside when they want your attention. And if you met Dewey, our resident "guard" dog you'd understand what I mean. -->

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Today's Adventure

Today I was again impressed with the power of horses. This above dog happens to be incredibly neurotic and always on the move. Today, he ran circles around one of our therapy horses and she did not even flinch. Seeing her so calm in the face of neuroticism gave me one more insight into EAP. I realized even when a clients energy is off the charts the horse has the ability to remain controlled. I must admit I wish humans (read: I) had this ability as well.