equine assisted mental health

Healing Traumatic Wounds on the Farm

From then on, the damage of trauma continually triggers the brain and body into continual activation or deactivation--“fight or flight”--whenever encountering any other stressful events. Therapeutic support may help repair the damage of trauma exposure you may be experiencing.

Receiving this therapeutic support on the farm may especially help you heal from these traumatic wounds by targeting a few key areas.

Four Myths About Horses

Myths relating to horses are prevalent in articles, books and movies featuring equine-assisted therapies. It’s important to understand that horses are not magical mirrors to solve all of our problems with a miracle flick of their ears and blink of their swirling eyes.

Here are a few popular myths we want to dispel right here, right now.

Mantras

We all experience tough moments where we need to buck ourselves up with a pep talk to power through. So when it gets gritty and you need to find the fortitude to persevere, a mantra is a perfect go-to! Even Thomas the Tank Engine had one with his classic “I think I can, I think I can.”  

Horses are wonderful muses to inspire your own supportive mantra boost! Check out a few of our favorite equestrian-inspired mantras to try when you need to feel strong and empowered!

Equine-Inspired Journal Templates

Journaling is an evidence-based approach proven to benefit both your physical and emotional health. When you write down your emotional experiences, you activate the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in the brain that helps to relax neural activity linked to strong emotional feelings. Not to mention, studies also offer that journaling is associated with improved outcomes for fighting diseases like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS and cancer. Overall, putting pen to paper to reflect on the day in your own words helps both physical and emotional wounds heal faster.

Here are seven equine-inspired journal templates to get you started on a reflective writing practice!

Three Equine Approaches to Optimize Mindfulness

A session on the farm today transformed into an impromptu mindfulness session when we discovered the herd laying for an afternoon interlude in their paddocks. Not wanting to disturb their naps, we met our horse where he was today--utterly relaxed with his hooves tucked under him, eyes gently closed and trusting of his environment. We sat together in a circle with the snoozing horse and guided the client through a meditation, grounded in the natural, bucolic environment.

Here are three equine techniques (no pony required!) to try as you delve into your next mindfulness practice, whether it’s taking a few minutes to focus on your breath or using a guided meditation on an app (Insight Timer, Calm, or Headspace).