The Secret Relationship Between Horse and Human
Here Advanced Master Life Coach, Louise Cleland, delves into the secret relationship between the horse and human. Louise talks about how, when working with a life coach, we can understand more on how horses can bring therapeutic benefits to the lives of humans, impacting not only on our personal communication skills but our relationships too.
written by Louise Cleland
Sir Winston Churchill said “There is something about the outside of a horse, that is good for the inside of a man”, and I believe that it is this very statement that has been hugely instrumental in the evolution of horses helping people. That’s right, horses helping people in personal development, communication, relationship building and so much more.
But why do so many people find that horses are quite simply great teachers for humans? I believe that it’s because we have this deep desire to listen and connect with them, and when we do we can learn more about ourselves.
The concept of horses helping people has been around since the 1990’s, in fact it was Barbara Rector and Arianna Strozzi from the US who were among the early pioneers that recognised the therapeutic benefits that horses could bring to people afflicted by either mental or physical disease. Within our industry there is equine assisted learning/therapy organisations that focus on helping women, children, autistic children, Veterans of the Armed Services, PTSD, victims of Abuse/Rape/Violence – the list is positively mind-blowing.
But Why Horses?
So why do horses make such great teachers and healers of the human soul? What is it about the outside of a horse that is so good for the inside of humans, and allows humans to confront the parts of our being that we would rather hide from?
The therapeutic effect that animals have on lives is well documented, and is one of the reasons why millions of people in the UK are pet owners. Incredibly there are around 1.3 million horses owned by around 550,000 people in the UK alone. So there is more than just ownership involved here. But why horses? Why not dogs and cats? What makes the interaction with horses unique and therefore of such great benefit to humans. I believe that to truly answer this question we need to understand the basic instincts of the horse.
Horses are present and grounded, they live in the moment, moment to moment. They don’t have the luxury of wondering what will happen next week, because if they don’t pay attention to what is happening right now, they may no longer be alive. Who knows where that sneaky mountain lion might be lurking. It is for this reason that horses live in a herd, a family, as they find safety in numbers; and because they live in herds, they have to learn how to get along, how to communicate, how to work as a cohesive unit for the safety of themselves and the herd. The herd is where every horse knows his place, role, responsibilities and as a result order and unity is maintained. Similar to relationships between humans; you may be beginning to see how communication, relationships, teamwork and leadership for humans works almost in unison to, that of, the herd.
Horses are masters at reading energy and intention; they will instinctively know the difference between a predator resting nearby, drinking at the same waterhole as the horse; or whether they are in jeopardy and planned for supper.
It is this ability to read energy that makes horses such fine life coaches, as they are able to read our energy fields and connect to our emotional intelligence and this makes horses powerful teachers.
Horses become a mirror for our own emotions, helping us uncover parts of us that we would rather not examine; but which we so need to be healed. They speak to our soul and ensure that we are aligned and congruent.
Horses break down the mask that many of us wear on a daily basis and get to the truth within. They provide us with immediate 100% non-judgmental, observable feedback, mirroring our internal reality, allowing us to witness quite simply what is, and showing us the way to love what is…..simply US.
Horses challenge us to connect and find our true self and so eloquently teach us that it is who we are that impacts how we perform in life……not what and who we know.
Horses show us how to build trust, they teach us about authenticity and by helping us connect with our emotional intelligence, they give us insight and perception, by responding to our innermost emotions. Breathing, feelings, movement and posture give the horse a catalogue of information about us.
Our current conditioning often makes us ignore or question our innate instincts, lose our self-awareness and deny our emotional intelligence as we try to keep up with the fast paced, vast technological world that we live in. We lose our connection, and very often lose our sense of self and what we want and where we want to be along the way.
Working with horses through horse assisted coaching, allows us to connect to these unused and forgotten inner resources that we possess.
Louise Cleland is an Advanced Master Life Coach, Equine Facilitator and Horse Assisted Coach working with her small herd of Irish Draughts in Little Leigh, Cheshire. Louise has enjoyed working in the equestrian industry since 2006, assisting professionals from a variety of backgrounds including teachers, accountants, small business owners and veterans of the armed services. Louise also works closely with teenagers, and high schools in Cheshire through her horse assisted coaching business, Hoof Picks.
“A horse shows us what we truly need to do to inspire and lead people; however the most important person that we need to learn how to truly lead before we can inspire and lead others is Ourselves” Louise Cleland