Opening New Horizons with Equine Therapy in Melbourne
When young people first come to us, for many, it is their first close experience of a horse. Up until then, their exposure to horses has usually been limited to parades or seeing them in a paddock – often at a distance. It’s rare for people to have had experiences with horses at liberty, where they can just be themselves in a natural setting. The look of curiosity and wonder on a young person’s face can be a thing to witness, as they watch the horses graze at close quarters. This is only enhanced when one of the horses wanders over to give them a sniff and say hello.
Experience with horses opens new horizons and possibilities for young people. We often work with young people who feel that they don’t ‘belong’. Maybe it’s that they have trouble making and maintaining friends or possibly there’s been a family breakdown that has left them isolated and vulnerable. Whatever the cause, it often leads to them pulling into themselves and becoming internally withdrawn. Over time, personal resilience becomes sorely tested as they fail to grow and learn from new and enriching experiences.
Psychologist Dan Siegel said ‘“We are always in a perpetual state of being created and creating ourselves’’. In order to do this, we need to have nourishing experiences- where we can explore our potential . For our clients, the horses provide this environment. To see the look of joy and achievement on a young person’s face when they first lead a horse or guide them through a small obstacle course is something to behold. You can almost see the confidence growing in them.