The power of the herd dynamic

equine-therapy-for-32One of the first things we talk to clients about is the relationships that exist amongst the horses.  As they observe the herd, clients are often surprised to realise that the horses have a very clearly defined hierarchy and pecking order. 

Horses are social creatures and find safety and structure in the rules of the herd. We ask clients to try and identify the pecking order by the behaviours the horses demonstrate.  Horses have quite subtle tells that often reveal the order.  As horses can’t talk, they communicate through their behaviours. They understand and accept their place in the herd.  Acceptance and mutual co-operation are vital because each member of the herd relies on the others for their safety.

Horses are non-judgemental. They do not have prejudices and they have no expectations. They are not influenced by status or appearance.  As they have no hidden agendas, they live in constant contact with the moment. They have no regard for external measures of success,  as we do.  Nor do they seek approval or permission. What’s important to them is the sense of calm and order that comes from the herd. 

Clients connect with this idea. The other day, a client said ‘Jenny is the boss. But she’s not bossy. She’s looking out for the others.’  This a powerful insight for those who come from environments where the social order is far from calm and where hidden [and not so hidden] agendas are the order of the day. 

If you want to learn more about equine therapy, please call Annie on 0411 549562 or e mail her on