“It’s been clinically proven that just being in the vicinity of horses changes our brainwave patterns.
~ Franklin Levinson ~
Equine Spiritual Outreach Program - Equine Assisted Healing
Horses are gifted animals and in a therapeutic situation have proven to be great teachers and instrumental in promoting positive emotional growth among children. Connections with a horse such as those offered in our Equine Assisted Healing sessions is beneficial for individuals with high emotional needs or simply to reduce stress in one's life.
What makes a horse so special. First, horses are consummately honest creatures with strait-forward personalities, so they do not have the ability to lie. Because they can sense what people are feeling, it is very difficult for a child to lie, hide their actions, or manipulate a horse. In a relationship with a horse a child could experience two very diverse situations. One is where the horse becomes fearful around someone who is loud, aggressive, ill-mannered, deceitful, or controlling. The other is where the horse responds cooperatively to the child because it feels safe and peaceful. The child figures out through actions what works for the horse, what makes the horse respond as a partner.
Another gift is a horse’s calming effect on people, especially those suffering from grief, trauma, interpersonal issues, or psychological difficulties. Relationships burdened with highly charged emotional environments are such a contrast to a child’s rapport with a horse that communicates mainly through body language. The horse/child experience is all about establishing contact, connecting to each other and influencing each other without domination or abuse, emotional baggage, worry or fear. Because a horse doesn’t lie and never judges, the child is involved in a reciprocal interaction with another living being that is purely wholesome and honest.
“Horses are great teachers for children. One cannot lie to a horse; they can sense what you are feeling, whether it is fear, mistrust or love. Horses do not judge us so I find they can break down walls that people generally cannot penetrate. It is truly amazing how quickly we see good outcomes for children from guided interaction between children and horses."
"Given the gentle patient nature of our horses, and their training combined with my experience working with children with higher needs, Rene and I want to help more children. We are fortunate to be able to have the resources and location to provide this opportunity for equine assisted healing to the private sector.”
In equine assisted healing children learn about themselves, other people and the world. A curative environment not consisting of four walls and an office, but a corral or field is effective from the get-go. The natural setting is less confining and does not give the child the feeling of being so scrutinized.
The child does not need to have any experience with horses, and we are not teaching the child to ride or train a horse and we certainly are not providing a training environment for the child. Simply our role is to help the child learn the right way to deal with a horse. A horse is good as a therapeutic tool because the horse seeks simple clear commands. The child that learns how to deal with a horse in the right way becomes the natural leader the horse wants. To the horse and the child this is an equal relationship, rather than one based on control.
Imagine a child who is having difficulty connecting with other people, unable to communicate feelings, unable to concentrate or control emotions, the level of frustration evident in every gesture. The child is fragile.
Now imagine that same child partnered with a 1200 pound animal, walking side by side around a coral or a pasture, being the leader in the coral, having the horse respond to this leadership role, the child’s focus on the horse, the horse's focus on pleasing the child, the child's hand extended, the horse eating from this little hand, the child being able to stoke the horses strong muscles. Each of them responding to the other with affection, their mutual respect.
Startling contrast isn't it? Understanding two things, first that horses are different and more gentle around children and second that the horse is honest, straight forward and does not judge, we can see profound things happen when the child accepts this relationship at face value. The child’s focus becomes the horse and their mutual relationship. There is no space or time in the relationship to be fixated on past or negative events and the horse accepts the child with absolute honesty and no manipulation which helps break the cycle of emotional pain the child may have endured in previous relationships.
Horses allow us to connect with a living being, one that is not destined to hurt us emotionally because, no matter what the circumstances, they will not reject us. Horses are loving thinking beings who don't judge and accept us unconditionally. Therefore, dealing with a horse gives a child a really positive non-judgemental experience.
Emotional healing is about peeling back the layers of the past, breaking the cycle of pain and suffering, identifying what triggers negative feelings and behaviours and building a set of skills to handle such emotions in a positive way. Horse have similar emotions to people (when a horse loses a foal or a parent it becomes stressed and sad just like we can be) and horses can exhibit behaviours similar to people, too, especially if treated poorly. Otherwise a horse is calm, patient, and responsive. When a child with high emotional needs connects with a horse, a living breathing powerful being and receives its unconditional love this affirmative relationship lessens or removes the child's fear of being emotionally vulnerable.
Adults can learn how to cope with stress due to their jobs, relationships, etc,
Anyone can learn how to deal with the negatives that pop in and out of our lives.
Equine programs can help with Team Building Exercises. Working with horses helps individuals to learn about leadership, loyalty, trust and focus. People are fluid and never stop changing and growing. The tools obtained in our program are useful through the fluid change and what one can learn to rely on in really tough times. This is especially helpful when people need to work together, rely on each other, work within deadlines, and deal with diverse personalities and human characteristics.
At Fayebrook our training techniques are a counterpart to Our Equine Assisted Healing programs. Our horses thrive, the people they connect with benefit immeasurably from such a really uplifting, receptive, and positive experience.
Assisted Healing and our Equine