Therapeutic Experiences with Horses: What to Expect

Are you a little curious about what it’s all about? You are not alone. We are often asked what one should expect when they engage in therapeutic experiences with horses offered by The Mane Intent.

First, it’s important to know that no previous horse experience is required and there is no riding – all of the activities are ground-based and supported by a qualified mental health or equine professional.

Each client or group experience is unique to the client and the horse or horses that step up to engage in a client session.

With most sessions, there is an intention that guides the experience or activity with the horses. For example, a team may be working on improved communication or problem-solving; a couple may be working on conflict resolution; or an individual may be working on how to establish healthy boundaries (or learning to say no).

Common themes or intentions include:

  • Understanding and working with our emotions
  • Understanding healthy relationships and connections
  • Practicing presence, mindfulness and impulse control
  • Enhancing communication and connection with others
  • Understanding the impact of stress and trauma on our nervous system and learning how to work with nervous system activation
  • Understanding how our energy, body language and attitude influences those around us
  • Building confidence and a greater sense of personal mastery

After meeting the herd, clients are invited to choose their horse (or a horse may step forward to choose them). You will be invited to engage in a facilitated experience with the horse that may have a task- or relational-orientation.  The unfolding of this experience presents an opportunity to notice, observe, and reflect on how our attitude, body language, energy and intent impacts our relationships and how we think, feel and behave.

By gently reviewing, reflecting upon and discussing each equine-assisted learning experience, clients get a real insight into how and why they behave the way they do, and the consequences and benefits of those actions both for themselves and others.

Horses don’t have a pre-existing agenda and they live in the moment. Like us they are wired for safety and connection and they have choice. They experience emotions. So when we work in partnership with them, they reflect back to us any self-limiting perceptions or incongruent behaviour – helping us close the gap between how we present ourselves to others and how we think we are being.

Most clients are genuinely surprised by the intuitive, sensitive and intelligent nature of our horses. That surprise often turns into a profound opening for self-discovery that invites transformative personal change. Witnessing these moments in particular is the inspiration that keeps my heart vested in this work.

The Mane Intent is welcoming new clients. Book your session today.

The Mane Intent

February 16, 2023

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