How the Acceptance of a Horse can Help us Feel Safe and Trusted

In a previous blog, we looked at how horses can be helpful in fostering Social and Emotional Learning [ SEL] skills. It’s widely acknowledged that SEL can assist participants nurture a positive sense of self, assist in the development of healthy relationships, and build capacity to manage emotions and behaviours.

Emotional management or regulation plays a key part in this. Author of the book ‘The Heart of Trauma’,  Bonnie Badenoch stated

“emotional regulation flows naturally from being in the presence of someone we trust”

But when your lens on the world is essentially focused on mistrust and where your experiences have taught you that the world is essentially unsafe and that trusting others can lead to disappointment or even worse – then giving trust to others can be profoundly challenging.

Equine assisted learning can be helpful to people looking to explore how to both feel safe and  give trust. Horses are non- judgemental. They accept you as you are and for who you are. They don’t weigh you up and then decide whether you are worth being involved with. As they live in the moment, they don’t care what you did yesterday or plan to do tomorrow – they only know you for how you are right now. 

Unfettered acceptance of this sort can be profoundly impactful and humbling. Participants feel safe with the horses- accepted for who they are. As participants work with our horses, we see them experience that sense of safety and the  building of trust-based bonds. Author of The Body Keeps the Score-Bessel van der Kolk said

“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.”

For more information on equine therapy  please feel free to call Annie on 0411 549562.