How Horses Help
There are a number of answers to the question, “why horses?” The most obvious being that it is virtually impossible to feel neutral in the presence of the horse. Their sheer size…
Philly Equine Partners Founded in 2012, Philly Equine Partners embodies social worker, Brigette Potgieter’s, vision for a just world with her passion for horses, nature, and…
Becoming a Practioner There are a growing number of training programs to choose from for person’s interested in becoming a practitioner in the field of “equine assisted therapy”…
I am a psychotherapist and had the pleasure of having a session with Brigette and Maggie, her horse. The experience was unique and had a profound effect on me. I bonded with Maggie, without having experience with horses prior. I went from frenetically brushing her and wondering if I was pleasing her, to just simply being with her (Brigette came over to me quietly and gently took the brush away). It was so calming. The next day, when I did therapy, I was so centered and tuned in to my clients. I was able to sit in their space and get who they are, without busily (in my mind) trying to figure out how to help them, and that in itself, was healing.
During my first session with Brigette, I made a connection with a horse, Sonny, which was very intense. I left feeling many things – happiness, empowerment, and elation. Though this experience, I was able to re-connect to a part of me that I had shut down – my ability to connect to others and to use my intuition. I was also reminded to stop and notice the needs of others. Taking this awareness back to my family, I became more emotionally available to them and more attentive to their needs.
The session, with Brigette, was special in strengthening the bond between my horse and I. He is a very friendly horse and, during the session, he was interested in what I was doing and the movement I made around him. I spend a lot of time with my horse, so I know he acknowledges me and knows who I am, but I didn’t know that there was more to that. At least not on the level I saw in the session. We were more than just horse and rider and that meant a lot to me.
The horses enabled me to work towards achieving my personal goals at a pace that felt comfortable to me. My communication skills improved as I learned to read their body language and become more aware of how my own body was reacting to each situation.