The Power of Acceptance- Part 1

EQUINE-HORSE-THERAPY-HEALDifficult emotions are an inescapable part of life.  At different times all of us will find ourselves at some point- sad, angry, diminished, dismissed and in pain . The thoughts and feelings around these situations drive us into negative and self-defeating behaviours as we try to block them.  This may include avoiding school, anger within the family unit, withdrawing from those who love us and angry behaviours. 

No one,  even the most ‘sorted out’ person,  is free of these emotions.  When these emotions inevitably do arise, there are two ways that we can react: resistance or acceptance.  For many of us, resistance is our default reaction.  After all, these emotions are not necessarily “pleasant” to experience.  In fact, it can, at face value, seem nonsensical to say that we must learn to accept what is happening to us, to allow room for negative feelings, but not allow them to define who we are.

Acceptance means “taking a stance of non-judgmental awareness and actively embracing the experience of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations as they occur” (Hayes et al., 2004).

As a first part of the journey to acceptance- many find great comfort in the horses.  A client said to us last week,  ‘I never thought he’d   (the horse)  allow me to come close to him.  But he allowed me into his space and accepted me.’

Horses have  a natural state of ‘non-judgemental awareness’.  They are also masters of experiencing an emotion, expressing it and then letting it go – getting back to grazing as we like to say.  They don’t allow themselves to experience being diminished  or dismissed.  It’s just not part of their psyche.

Legendary actress Sally Field said,  “It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.”  We see wonderful examples of the power of acceptance every day as people take the first steps towards acceptance alongside the power of the horse.

If you want to find out more about equine therapy – please call Annie on 0411 549562 or e mail her on