What should I expect?
During the intake we introduce our clients to the herd. It might be during this time that the client will choose the horse to work with but also often times the horse may choose the client. Also, the therapist may choose the equine partner, especially if there is congruency. For example, Jack may be a good partner if the client is dealing with trust issues.
Horses help the client with “ground” during the grooming process. Grounding means to be more aware of the bodies and what they are feeling. Also, horses assist in co-regulating so that clients feel safe as they are sharing with the therapist.
Helping clients become more connected to their bodies in a safe way. Helping client become more aware of the “present”, the here and now. There is a level of attunement that occurs at this time. Client learns how to attune to themselves first and then with the client/horse partnership. This also allows the client to feel a connection that they may not have experienced before.
Horses often times help the client create the safe space for processing their thoughts, fears and anxiety. We value our horses as equine partners but are keenly aware that horses are not therapists. Ultimately the relationship between the client and therapist is the main focus.
Helping client with “bottom up” techniques is essential. Clients integrate every part of their brain when processing difficult thoughts and emotions. “Horse breaths” are practiced here.
The moment when client and horse are coexisting and trusting each other. The client is keenly aware of all his senses and is using “horse breaths” This is a monumental point in the therapy treatment plan.