Horses help heal without judgement. Horses have no agenda and respond honestly to what the participant is doing, feeling, and thinking in that moment. The horse’s feedback is more easily accepted and discussed that feedback from another person due to the horse’s judgement-free nature.
Prey Animal Characteristics
Insight into how a horse can read non-verbal signals to perceive a threat and stay safe. This can provide validation for the necessity of a hyper-vigilant state at times but can also provide a model on how to return to a state of peace after the perceived threat has come and gone.
Learning about herd hierarchy and herd interdependence helps participants relate to and work on their interactions with other people, relationships, communication style, and self-awareness.
Through interactions with the horse, the participant can begin to see himself or herself through the eyes of another which encourages improvements in self-awareness, communication, and connecting.
Communication & Relationship Skills
Working with horses can address Connection and Communication Deficits- re engaging caring feelings and mutual trust and respect in a relationship. Working with horses can help decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness, as well as help participants start reestablishing communication and relationship skills and increase their confidence.
There is evidence that the human-animal bond helps people with employability through its social, psychological, behavioral, and physical benefits (Silcox et al., 2014).
Purpose and Meaning
Equine Assisted Learning is a treatment modality that can introduce new purpose and meaning to participants who are suffering from the loss of a feeling of higher purpose (Ostan et al., 2010).