Well-being is a very fashionable word right now. Wellness, mental health, physical fitness, the pursuit of what makes us feel happy or good.
We count calories, steps, meditate, create perfect photos on instagram or Facebook that show us in out best light (filtered of course). We feel under pressure to achieve certain goals, lose weight, be the perfect parent, spouse, family, employer, particularly at this time of year. Our New year's resolutions may be wearing a bit thin by now and its only just coming into February.
Sometimes we just need to STOP and smell the flowers, notice nature, listen to the still small voice inside us, and this is how horses can really help us.
Winston Churchill once said " There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man".
Horses are non-judgemental, they accept us as we are. They don't plan or worry about the future, they live in the present and react to what is now! They are great teachers, you can't hide your emotions from a horse. They are masters in the art of nuance and pick up on how were are feeling at any given moment and reflect it back to us by body language.
Horses are flight animals, their natural instinct is to flee from danger which makes them hyper-vigilant and also very good at working together as a team with their herd. They can teach us a great deal about the way we come across. Horses read us emotionally and sense subtle shifts in our feelings and behaviour. They can also teach us to be still, not just in our bodies, but also our minds.
In today's fast paced, technological world, having a still mind is something we find difficult to achieve. We are constantly stimulated by mobile phones, computers, and to do lists. Horses can teach us how to regulate ourselves, to find a more balanced approach to the way we think and behave. They can also teach us how to become more self-aware in our own personal development. This helps our confidence, stress levels, communications and relationships.
Equine Assisted Learning is a scientific and evidence based way of learning to live a more balanced life. It has had great results with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and grief. You don't always have to have a particular problem to enjoy the benefits that Equine Assisted Learning can bring, just bring a curiosity and opens and you may well be surprised at the sense of peace and well-being you can experience.
There is no riding involved or any experience of horses necessary. We can even work with people who are scared of horses in a safe and effective way to help them overcome their fears.
Next time you feel overwhelmed, slow down to be still and hear the still small voice.