Research has shown that horses' brains resemble that of a trauma survivor. By creating natural/rhythmic patterns, modeling healthy relationships, and establishing a space of safety and belonging, new neural pathways are created. These new pathways allow clients to find meaning in their own trauma and regulate responses to future trauma.
Horses are hypervigilant animals and are always keenly attuned to a clients’ verbal and nonverbal communication. Horses help us become aware of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Since horses can give us feedback in real-time, we are able to recognize and practice changing unhealthy relationship patterns. Applying healthy relationship principles from Natural Lifemanship can empower us to build healthy and functional relationships built on trust, respect, and understanding. These principles are first learned with the horse and then applied to our relationship with self and others.