Johannesburg SPCA

Horses have amazing healing powers

You may be able to fool yourself, but you cannot fool a horse.

“Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquillity to troubled souls, they give us hope.” – Toni Robinson.

For decades now, horses have been included in therapy, but what is it about horses that helps people heal?

Horses have been used in Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) since the early 1970s. Horses are highly attuned to emotional energies and can sense what we’re feeling – sometimes even more acutely than we do.

Humans have become quite adept at hiding their true feelings from each other – sometimes, even themselves. But we cannot fool a horse. Horses can sense our deepest emotions and mirror them back to us, often showing us what we have been avoiding.

Obviously, getting to this level of trust with an animal takes time, but that is part of the healing, empowering process. 

Beneficial to children

Equine therapy has proved of tremendous benefit to children with ADHD, autism, eating disorders, depression and anxiety, as well as those suffering abuse.

The many ways of interacting with a horse – from offering it carrots and apples, feeding, grooming, and cleaning up after it to leading it around on a long line, saddling up and riding it help to develop children’s self-awareness over time.

In communicating with a horse, they learn patience, attention, compassion, and responsibility, leading to a greater understanding of themselves and others.

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