by Jo Corfield, Equine Involvement therapist
A New Dimension of True Connection
The Hopethruhorses herd of horses and I have been incredibly privileged to be part of the Khiron house programme since June, and now to be involved at the onsite equine therapy facility at the new residential clinic is phenomenal.
Combining the space and freedom of the open countryside with the extraordinary healing magic of horses adds a new dimension to what is already a more than outstanding therapeutic formula.
Having the horses close by, and regular sessions in their company, offers clients the opportunity to experience true connection. The “felt-sense” of connecting with horses is like creating a whole; clients and horses resonate with each other at an energetic level, healing deep rooted fear and filling the heart and soul with loving strength and inner peace. The collective energy and group dynamic of the herd is key to the Hopethruhorses Equine Involvement Therapy approach. Horses kept in their natural environment, with ample freedom of movement and the company and safety of the group, are able to live intuitively and instinctively and maintain the well-being and harmony of the herd. The beauty of having our horses on site, is that just watching them interact, respond, flee, and then “return to grazing;” exemplifies nervous system regulation at its finest; allowing clients to experience the same.
Emotional and Physical Equilibrium
The herd works constantly to maintain emotional and physical equilibrium. They not only skilfully involve us in that process but teach us to be as they are, free and open. As prey animals their lives depend on the efficacy of their sympathetic nervous system to flood with adrenaline related hormones and evoke their flight response when threatened. We do the same but it is how we deal with this response that is so different. Horses take flight when threatened but they also instantly return to a relaxed state once the danger is over, releasing all stress hormones from the body and freeing their minds of its memory. This is vital to their survival, it is essential for them to conserve energy and maintain optimum health or fall prey to predators.
After the strenuous exercise of full flight, horses perform a series of yawning, snorting, shaking, bucking or twisting and swinging to ensure mind, body and soul are restored to a state of perfect balance and peak performance. If the energetic and physical memories of fear are retained in the body, imbalances occur leading to dis-ease and dis-order. It is the same for us.
A Healing Pathway
As their minds experience only the present moment and their bodies are free of stress, horses communicate clearly through an intuitive network of sensing and knowing. Clarity is paramount and allows for precision. The distraction of contradictory or unclear messages could put the whole herd in danger.
Being in the company of this free flowing, pure and balanced energy is powerfully healing. Connecting to the horse is an experience like no other and opens up clear insight and a healing pathway to what lies beyond our fear.
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