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  • Beth A Andrew (credit to Greg Kersten)

Why Our Horses are a Member of Our Team

We are excited to be getting ready to start our Spring season of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. The equine-assisted work we do here at Quakerdale Family Services honors the natural behavior of horses and herds. We have learned horses are experts at keeping themselves safe and are adept at survival; their behaviors are a model for mental and physical health. It seems as humans we have lost our instinct to keep ourselves safe and healthy. We entrust horses to show us the way back to health. Work and observation in the horse world lends itself to extremely powerful metaphors into our own patterns, strengths, and the nonverbal messages we communicate.

Unlike humans, horses are incapable of lying. They do not come into a relationship with hidden agendas. Horses hold us accountable for who we are in the relationship with them. Nonverbal communication is critical to all animals and while many humans believe we are primarily responding to verbal communication, we instinctively and unconsciously read and react to nonverbal signals in greater proportion than the spoken word. Horses are masters at reading subtle changes in body language, intention, emotions and energy. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy implements the power of equine-assisted philosophies and exercises to introduce therapy clients to themselves in a modality that has been found to be more efficient and less threatening than traditional talk therapy. (Credit to Greg Kersten)

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