The presence of horses is an incredible balm.
Horses, by their very nature, are amazingly powerful healers.
The more time I spend in the company of horses, the more content I feel within myself. As someone who has been to the dark depths that only depression can take you, I find myself struggling sometimes. My self-awareness means I am able to take steps to nip these recurrent feelings in the bud, but the most effective method I have found is to be with the horses.
My friends at college laugh and tease me, calling me super keen and teachers pet. I’ve tried to explain it in terms of the fact I want to gain as much experience as I can and make myself as employable as possible. My lack of previous horsey experience means that I’m working really hard to try and achieve the standards that will get me a successful career in the equine industry.
The other side of it, however, is the fact that being around horses seems to soothe my soul. The experiences I had throughout my childhood and teens are responsible for who I am, including my severe trust issues and inability to deal with physical contact. It is hard to find the right words for the way horses boost my spirit and warm my soul but it is so much more than “I love horses, they’re so pretty.”
It is this that makes me realise how incredibly effective horses are as a method of therapy. Organisations like the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) are fantastic examples of how the presence of a horse can help people feel better. I have seen several documentaries about horses as therapy and the amazing impact a horse can have on the emotional and psychological trauma suffered by people.
I remember watching the calm manner in which a horse simply stood next to a woman who had lost her family in tragic circumstances. She was moved to tears by the simple act of a horse choosing to stand by her. There seems to be some innate emotional connection between humans and horses that makes it possible for us to influence and be influenced by them.
I admit that a great deal of communication between humans and horses is to do with exceptionally subtle physical signals but how can it be possible for a horse to know that a person is in a bad mood or feeling low before they have even come into physical contact with one another? Were horses not able to communicate emotionally, they could not possibly have moments where they understand what we want before we have asked it.
While humankind domesticated the horse for practical purposes, the happy by-product of this was an amazing enrichment of life.
To gain the trust of horses is to feel truly blessed.
It is hard to ask for anything more.