Why are people so connected to animals? What is that bond that can sometimes feel stronger than anything we experience with other humans? Why do we go all soft and gooey when we see a picture of a baby animal or feel inspired when we see an image of an eagle in flight?
All animal-lovers probably have their own answers to these questions. I recently found research on this topic that inspired me to share the information and to share some of my own experience working with people and horses.
Here is an excerpt from the “Center for the Human-Animal Bond”. (Purdue University of Veterinary Medicine):
“The Human-Animal Bond is the dynamic relationship between people and animals in that each influences the psychological and physiological state of the other. Human-animal interaction has profound physiological consequences. People, in the contact with animals experience a decrease in blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and a general feeling of well being. By observing the behavior of animals, children learn to be more nurturing and perhaps better parents to their own children. The therapeutic value of animals for socially isolated individuals in nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, and prisons has been documented. People in the presence of animals are often perceived to be more happy and healthy…” … More at http://www.vet.purdue.edu/chab/index.html
What follows below is my paper on how horses can be extremely powerful partners in human personal development based on my studies and experience:
Equine Guided Education (EGE) or Horse-Assisted Learning is less about horsemanship and more about “human-ship”. While it certainly increases the bond between horse and rider, the focus is on what horses can teach us about the rest of our lives or certain situations that we might be experiencing such as relationship issues, grief, career transitions, etc. They teach us because they are masters at reading and reflecting our energetic state. Anyone who’s ever gotten into an argument with a horse over getting in a trailer or going away from the herd knows this–the more frustrated we get, the more frustrated and stubborn the horse gets. This is the most obvious example of energy attracting like energy between you and the horse, and it’s not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg of how horses read us. They are truly “human whisperers”.
Equine Guided Education accesses your ability to learn concepts through three channels: kinesthetic learning through physical activity; metaphorical learning through symbolism and comparative conceptual application; and metaphysical learning through core energy connections. In other words, it access your body, mind, and spirit to internalize what you learn.
So Equine Guided Corporate Training is similar to other experiential learning programs such as ropes courses or rock climbing. Teams do activities safely on the ground with the horses to learn about things like leadership and team building. We find that the learning sticks better with this style of learning because it is outside their normal business box and therefore extremely metaphorical and memorable.
Private coaching with horses is the same. We learn through the benefit of having the horse as mirror and the coach to translate and probe for deeper opening and access to that inner wisdom that we so often ignore or can’t hear anymore because of the rush of daily living. This is a powerful, transformative method and perfect for anyone who is contemplating life changes or anyone who just wants to take their experience on this planet to the next level.
The difference is the horse as your learning partner. It’s just one big bundle of information, energy and spirit, and it is the missing link in our modern every day. Humans and horses have cohabitated for most of our existence prior to the invention of the automobile. It is a piece missing in our daily learning and energetic connection to the earth, our spirit, and the rest of the species.