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Healing with Horses

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Healing with Horses

Alyssa Aubrey is the Founder and Program Director of Medicine Horse Ranch, a 1,000 acre horse, cattle and sheep facility in Marin County, California, north of San Francisco. She specializes in experiential learning and human development through working with horses.† She is a certified Equine-Guided Educator. Below is an interview about her work with horses and how it can affect people on a deep personal level.

What is Equine Guided Learning†and what would one expect to happen at the first horse interaction at a ranch like yours?

Equine Guided Learning incorporates horses into human self-development. The word “guide” means one who takes another into unexplored territory. In my EGL work, the horse has the primary role and is doing much more than assisting or facilitating; the horse is the one being listened to for authentic feedback. This creates a relational dynamic between the horse and the facilitator and also the horse and the participant/student/client. Even in the more traditional vocation of horsemanship, masterful horsemen and horsewomen consider the horses behavior and mood while training and/or riding and will make adjustments in consideration of the horseís kinesthetic feedback. Naming horse as guide calls forth a level of respect, distinct from the horse being a prop or a tool that is being used. This distinction is one of the more important standards/codes of ethics set forth in Equine Guided Learning.

The role of the human facilitator is to create and hold a safe learning space or container allowing the person being coached to have personal reflections that encourage learning to happen. The human coach is also holding safety as a primary and fundamental consideration while the participant is interacting with the horse. Often emotional changes occur as the body is prompted to let go of old stories and habits† which impede the new emerging growth. The client may be coming to an Equine Guided Learning group program or private coaching session with one or more topics or issues relevant to making changes in their lives.

Common EGL topics may include: some kind of transition such as a marriage ending or job loss, a desire to sharpen or focus a goal, create a vision for a meaningful future, nourish creativity, build self-confidence, develop trust, improve communication skills (verbal and non-verbal), practice setting healthy boundaries.

Being on land like ours (1,000 acres in West Marin), around animals and in nature opens human consciousness and allows our instinctive connection to the natural world to open and inform us, restoring our spirit and our hope for the world we live in.

Why is it that interacting with horses can be healing for some people?

For many people being with animals feels safer than people.†Horses, like all animals are non-judgmental and larger visual reflections of ourselves. Working with horses offers new perspectives and pathways for exploration which many people find comforting and reassuring. Instinctively we know the horse has no agenda for us, they are honest, cannot be bribed or manipulated, nor do they make us right or wrong.

They respond to our energy and congruency, our visibility and authenticity and they will often move away from us when we are performing, being incongruent or pretentious. I believe many people are relieved to find such frankness.

To date I’ve worked with over 2,500 people from all walks of life and continually notice the studentís ability to take feedback from a horse when they cannot accept it from the human being…even if they have never been around horses before and/or don’t especially like or know anything about the horse.

Related: The Power of Equine Therapy

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6:49AM PDT on May 31, 2013

Provided blogs and articles looking very supportive for us.
empire

6:11AM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

powerful energy

4:19AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Some years ago while on holiday in Georgia, USA, I was taken to a horse farm by the friend I was staying with.As soon as I got into the large enclosure where quite a few were in stalls, I felt myself being called in my head....on looking across the enclosure i saw a young black colt looking fixedly at me, and I knew that he wanted me to go over to him- so I did. He immediately put his head next to mine, and, acting on instinct, I talked quietly to him, and breathed into his nose..we remained like that for about 10 minutes, and the feeling of love and togetherness was SO strong that it was almost palpable...the owner of the farm said "You've been around horses a lot, haven't you?",and I had to tell her that until that day I had never been near one- I couldn't explain what had happened in my head, and that the little horse had been communicating with me at a level I could receive....I just knew that he had wanted me to come to him, and I think of that magic still today- over 20 years later.BTW- they christened him "Magic"- and he was.

4:18AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Some years ago while on holiday in Georgia, USA, I was taken to a horse farm by the friend I was staying with.As soon as I got into the large enclosure where quite a few were in stalls, I felt myself being called in my head....on looking across the enclosure i saw a young black colt looking fixedly at me, and I knew that he wanted me to go over to him- so I did. He immediately put his head next to mine, and, acting on instinct, I talked quietly to him, and breathed into his nose..we remained like that for about 10 minutes, and the feeling of love and togetherness was SO strong that it was almost palpable...the owner of the farm said "You've been around horses a lot, haven't you?",and I had to tell her that until that day I had never been near one- I couldn't explain what had happened in my head, and that the little horse had been communicating with me at a level I could receive....I just knew that he had wanted me to come to him, and I think of that magic still today- over 20 years later.BTW- they christened him "Magic"- and he was.

4:17AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Some years ago while on holiday in Georgia, USA, I was taken to a horse farm by the friend I was staying with.As soon as I got into the large enclosure where quite a few were in stalls, I felt myself being called in my head....on looking across the enclosure i saw a young black colt looking fixedly at me, and I knew that he wanted me to go over to him- so I did. He immediately put his head next to mine, and, acting on instinct, I talked quietly to him, and breathed into his nose..we remained like that for about 10 minutes, and the feeling of love and togetherness was SO strong that it was almost palpable...the owner of the farm said "You've been around horses a lot, haven't you?",and I had to tell her that until that day I had never been near one- I couldn't explain what had happened in my head, and that the little horse had been communicating with me at a level I could receive....I just knew that he had wanted me to come to him, and I think of that magic still today- over 20 years later.BTW- they christened him "Magic"- and he was.

4:16AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Some years ago while on holiday in Georgia, USA, I was taken to a horse farm by the friend I was staying with.As soon as I got into the large enclosure where quite a few were in stalls, I felt myself being called in my head....on looking across the enclosure i saw a young black colt looking fixedly at me, and I knew that he wanted me to go over to him- so I did. He immediately put his head next to mine, and, acting on instinct, I talked quietly to him, and breathed into his nose..we remained like that for about 10 minutes, and the feeling of love and togetherness was SO strong that it was almost palpable...the owner of the farm said "You've been around horses a lot, haven't you?",and I had to tell her that until that day I had never been near one- I couldn't explain what had happened in my head, and that the little horse had been communicating with me at a level I could receive....I just knew that he had wanted me to come to him, and I think of that magic still today- over 20 years later.BTW- they christened him "Magic"- and he was.

4:16AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Some years ago while on holiday in Georgia, USA, I was taken to a horse farm by the friend I was staying with.As soon as I got into the large enclosure where quite a few were in stalls, I felt myself being called in my head....on looking across the enclosure i saw a young black colt looking fixedly at me, and I knew that he wanted me to go over to him- so I did. He immediately put his head next to mine, and, acting on instinct, I talked quietly to him, and breathed into his nose..we remained like that for about 10 minutes, and the feeling of love and togetherness was SO strong that it was almost palpable...the owner of the farm said "You've been around horses a lot, haven't you?",and I had to tell her that until that day I had never been near one- I couldn't explain what had happened in my head, and that the little horse had been communicating with me at a level I could receive....I just knew that he had wanted me to come to him, and I think of that magic still today- over 20 years later.BTW- they christened him "Magic"- and he was.

5:08PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

can this story be sent to congress so they pass laws that punish people who neglect,starve and beat horses. Can these stories convince our country,mexico and canada to stop slaughtering horses ? How about sending this to the corrupt ,disgusting BLM that culls wild herds and injures/maimes and terrifies the ones they don't kill?

6:58AM PST on Jan 21, 2012

Horses mirror our inner selves. They don't judge, they don't hold anything against us. It is a magical relationship. I use equine experiential learning in my retreats and mentorship programs to help people align with their inner selves so I am a huge proponent of the idea of equine healing for many uses. I love reading articles like these that are creating awareness about the field that is still so obscure to the general population. It really works!

4:49PM PST on Dec 10, 2011

This healing works .. I know:)

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