Therapeutic Horsmanship

LEARN TO COMMUNICATE WITH HORSES AND BUILD POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS

WHAT IS THERAPEUTIC HORSEMANSHIP?

Therapeutic Horsemanship is based on the philosophy of natural horsemanship which is a way of working with horses based on the horse’s natural instincts and methods of communication. The understanding is that horses use non-verbal means of communication like ear position, head position, speed of movement to communicate and are quick to escalate if early warnings are not heeded.

Similarly, in natural horsemanship, the trainer uses body language along with other forms of gentle pressure with increasing escalation to get the horse to respond. Horses are quick to form a relationship of respect with humans who treat them in this fashion; The motto is usually “firm but fair”.

The building of any meaningful relationship consists of trust, respect, love, equality, two-way communication, listening, and growing. These things are the backbone and foundation of natural horsemanship and establishing a positive interactive relationship with a horse leads to self-discovery, enormous personal growth, greater confidence and self- worth. 

BENEFITS

  • Connects people to the power of nature and of living in the moment.

  • Helps people develop self-awareness, task focus, confidence and emotional maturity. 

  • Empowers people by profoundly increasing their self-esteem, leadership, communication skills, compassion and a stronger sense of ethics and morality.

  • Experience personal growth and gain deeper sense of self-worth by receiving the simple love, understanding and acceptance that comes by establishing a relationship with horses.

HOW IT WORKS

Most Natural Horsemanship approaches emphasize the use of groundwork to establish boundaries and set up communication with the horse. This can include leading exercises, long reining and liberty work.

During sessions, there is an emphasis on timing, feel and consistency from the trainer. The basic technique is to apply a pressure of some kind to the horse as a “cue” for an action and then release the pressure as soon as the horse responds, either by doing what was asked for, or by doing something that could be understood as a step towards the requested action, a “try”.  During sessions, people learn to communicate with the horse from a place of presence rather than going through motions, because the horse does not feel connection or trust if actions are mechanical.

Timing is everything, as the horse learns not from the pressure itself, but rather from the release of that pressure and a deeper self-awareness.