Learning about the healing power of horses
Did you know that horses have the power to heal? Mark Freeman didn’t until his daughter Barrett started working with them at the Center for America's First Horse in Johnson, Vermont. For years, she’d suffered from an auditory processing delay where it took her longer than the average person to process the sounds that she heard, especially the words of others – making communication challenging. Once she found the horses and started learning natural horsemanship (which relies on movement, gestures, and other nonverbal cues) she learned there were many other ways to communicate! The horses accepted her just as she was, never demanding more of her than she could give. All of this was exactly what she needed to find her courage, and soon her confidence began to grow like it never had before.
And the Freemans aren’t the only ones who are realizing the innate healing power of these beautiful, gentle, and majestic animals. Natural horsemanship clinician Tim Hayes, an instructor at the Centre, has written a new book on this subject – “Riding Home, The Power of Horses to Heal," based on stories he’s been collecting for the past twenty years.
He says horses make people feel good simply by offering them unconditional love and acceptance that is rarely found elsewhere. When an interchange happens with horses, people feel the love and walk away feeling great without really knowing why. He talks about veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder finding relief when working with the horses, and children with autism speaking for the first time ever – all because of the love. And Hayes himself is living proof of their healing power! Travelling the world at age 70 with his horse Austin, he’s still young at heart with tons of energy – if we didn’t know any better, we’d swear he wasn’t a day over 50.
To learn more, please visit the 'Wcax' website below.
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