Today we are learning with horses.  A graduate counseling class is coming to learn about therapy using horses.  I was reviewing what others have  

 said about this experience in the past and wanted to share. 

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“My experience in this class was different on so many different levels…… I was able to come down to the stables for the first time and be a part of a class therapy session. It was very therapeutic and psychologically stimulating. I had never spent so much time around horses. I learned that it’s easy to project my thoughts and feelings onto the horse. I like how we are able to see ourselves for the real state of mind that we find ourselves. It seems cool because, no matter what, we can’t pretend around horses… They already can sense what our  

 emotions are like. I remember the first day of class when Mrs. Adair told of a lady who was super afraid of horses. The white horse went over to her and stood by her ’til she stopped crying. I thought to myself that that was nobody but God. That story touched me because I could picture myself crying and in despair; then a feeling comes over me and I am comforted. “

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I learned that horses behave a lot like humans. I say that because horses are very instinctual and so are we. It seems like horses react to their circumstances before thinking, just like us. When things make me afraid, I tend to lose control of my ability to be calm and I react. Horses do the same thing. When they are afraid, they run away to find a safe place. Lately, I’ve been like horses in this respect. I wish I could finally stop running and find  

 that the things I am running from are no longer plaguing my life.”

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Sometimes the best thing we can do is just stay out of the way, both in therapy and as we work with children and others we love. As we went out to the pasture to harness a horse in a class activity I had this idea that we could walk up to the horse, begin to stroke its nose and slide the harness on. I was wrong. I quickly discovered that this approach would only lead to the horse positioning himself to where we could not reach him. Instead I just stepped back allowing my partner to communicate 1 on 1 with the horse, which resulted in the harness being placed over his head. Sometimes others do not need our help and we will only get in the way if we go into the situation with our pre-conceived methods of achieving a goal. Sometimes staying out of the way is all we need to do.

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I pray that these students are able to experience the powerful learning that can take place with these beautiful animals. 

Have a great day!