Horses are no longer only for transportation, sports or companionship.
Horses are authentic coaches. Their direct and non-judgmental approach allows participants to identify unproductive behaviors and their strengths.
Horses operate the way a mirror does, reflecting back everything we need to understand about ourselves. Sometimes the mirror shines on our strengths and success, and other times it exposes our fears and weaknesses.
Wisdom of the herd
Ruud Knaapen | TEDxApeldoorn
Looking through the eyes of a horse changes your consciousness, it changes as it were in a “we” consciousness and immediately gives other information. “How can I know that I grow and live in tune with my potential and my task in society?”
As prey animals, horses have an instinctual fear of danger and can read the intentions of another from a great distance. This survival skill allows them to accurately tell what we are really feeling – even if we are not yet aware of it. Thus, horses act as a mirror to what is going on in our lives, giving instant, honest feedback which is a catalyst to our learning.
Due to their sheer size and physical presence, the horse can provoke different reactions and emotions from us depending on our life experiences. This creates a natural opportunity to examine the power dynamics that exist within our relationships.
Horses are naturally curious, social creatures who do not worry about ego, looks or qualifications and have no ulterior motives. They stay in the present moment and provide unconditional acceptance, a major factor in the learning and development process.
The benefits of working with horses are many
They are non-judgemental
Horses have no preconceived ideas about who we are, our job title, the clothes we wear or the car we drive. They only care about how safe they feel.
They give an immediate response
As prey animals, horses are extremely sensitive and provide immediate feedback about the way we communicate and interact with the world around us.
They respond to non-verbal communication
According to Albert Mehrabian’s famous assessment of human interactions – 93% of all communication is non-verbal. Working with horses provides an ideal opportunity to learn how to communicate via our body language and our tone of voice.
They reward your efforts
Establishing rapport with the horse to create a relationship of mutual trust is not about showmanship and dominance.
Clear communication about ground rules and boundaries allows the horse to follow through with complete trust and respect.