Fostering Healthy Relationships with Help from Horses.

Throughout our lives we look to build relationships with other people. This process starts early in life. Much has been written over the years of the power of childhood attachment and the role this plays in shaping us for our total life journey. However, as we start to explore the world outside  of the home  we start to form relationships with others. This process is key to developing a healthy social and emotional position for ourselves.

As children, we  form bonds with others at all stages of our  development. Forming healthy, positive relationships helps children and young people feel safe and supported as they grow up. Mutually beneficial relationships, with clear boundaries are a core element of developmental phases. Key theorists, such as Erik Erickson and Jena Piaget identify key developmental periods where children work to gain identity and  a sense of competence in their interactions with others.  Moving through these key periods can be challenging and may have impacts into later life.

Horses can help us build healthy relationships. The confidence that comes from working with a 500kg animal is powerful. Horses take you as you are. They don’t weigh and measure people based on what clothes you wear, how you talk or how much money you have. They will take you as you come- non judgementally. They will actively participate in a positive relationship and will reward you with trust and collaboration. As you work with a horse in this way, it promotes strong feelings of acceptance and self-worth.

Psychologist and author Brene Brown said

“True belonging never asks us to change who we are. True belonging requires us to be who we are.”

Equine Therapy and working with horses enables us to be who we are all the time. The horse doesn’t want you to be anyone else. You’re just fine as you are.