There are many moves towards looking at the use of horses as therapists, and they can definitely be a mirror to any deep emotional issues we need to resolve. They have an uncanny ability to show us what we need to sort out deep within ourselves before they will allow us to be in the present with them.
Obviously we can put in levels of controls so we can ‘use’ our horses as society dictates, but in order to have a ‘real’ relationship with our horses we need to consider how we can be completely present…and this is a lot more difficult that it sounds. What is the present? Even putting words around the word ‘present’ means we are already talking about the past.
It can be difficult to throw away everything people have told you about horses and start again, firstly with yourself, and then with your horse. But, understand this, your horse will support you for as long as you need, because, in the end, it means a better relationship for both of you.
Risada was the horse out of my herd of five that started me rethinking everything about my relationship with horses. Because she told me to. We got into a horrible cycle of defensiveness on her part and anxiety on mine, until I couldn’t even get a saddle near her.
She has been with me since she was six and she has lived as naturally as I could allow. I stopped shoeing her within two farrier visits of her arriving with me. She has never been stabled or ‘lived in’.
Our story starts in the book ‘Musings from the Bench’ by myself, Camille Dareau and Meg Cicciarella. But this is only the beginning. She has showed herself throughout the last two years to be an amazingly intelligent and natural being that will not allow me to take any short cuts in figuring out ‘me’. She is now 13 years old and the best therapist I know. But I had to learn to listen and understand, and for that Camille Dareau at “HappyHorseHappyHuman” was my guide.
As Risada and I have wandered down our road and acknowledged and let go of our fears and anxieties, there is now so much potential in our relationship, which we will share with you as we take our next steps along the track.
Enjoy this short video of Risada and I having a little sit down in the mud and sunshine!