Many people reading this blog, or watching my YouTube channel, are either equine-assisted practitioners themselves, or, they have gone for therapy, workshops or sessions in this industry.
Most of us are drawn to this work because we believe the horse’s wisdom is being honored and given a chance to breathe. We believe that the horse wants to help humans. And we also figure the horse is wiser than us, or more connected to Source energy/wisdom – so we come with an expectation that magic is going to happen within this container.
And sometimes, all of that is correct. But many times (most?) it’s not. There are serious issues in this industry that are not being adequately or honestly addressed. I first explored this back in 2016 with the head of an organization comprised of 2500 equine-assisted ______ (fill in the blank; learning, therapy, development, healing etc.) practitioners.
The biggest sticking point then – and now – is CHOICE.
IF you believe horses are fully sentient beings…
If you believe they are capable of discernment, emotion, desires, wisdom, sovereignty, etc.
Then you cannot use a horse. You cannot treat them like a slave who works for their keep.
The horse must CHOOSE to participate; when, how, and where – or not!
And this is where things get sticky. Because our dominant human nature thinks we’re giving a horse freedom of choice, when we’re actually not. Because we don’t really understand the difference between choice–coercion–compliance.
I could write a whole lot more, and get into the nitty-gritty of it, but I think it’s SO much better if you listen to these podcast discussions instead. Between Michelle Holling-Brooks, who’s had 20 years of experience in this field and is also a multi-dimensional psychic and animal communicator. Her story of evolution from paraplegic to being healed by a horse is truly remarkable.
And Ginny Jablonski, who woke up from a near death experience with pan-psychic abilities (able to communicate with animals, plants, multi-dimensional beings, dead people, etc), and who is often called in to consult for equine businesses who are having difficulties with their horses.
So this is truly a next-level conversation! At the same time, both these gals are absolutely grounded, down-to-earth horsewomen who really know their stuff. They are going to start with a case study; of a woman who started an equine-assisted learning business, became disillusioned, and started asking questions. They are going to tell stories from their personal experiences of what goes wrong and why.
They are also going to offer solutions for how we can create a better reality for the horses in this industry. Which will mean a much better experience for both owner/operator and client – one that actually creates a container for magic to appear.
I hope you enjoy this exploration (and excavation!) as much as I did:
PART 1: Sentience and Choice in Equine Therapy
PART 2: The Evolution of Equine Therapy Programs
If you are currently an equine-assisted practitioner, or someone who has had sessions, or attended workshops in this field, I would love to hear your thoughts on this discussion, and to hear some of your stories too…
Jini Patel Thompson is a natural health writer and Lazer Tapping instructor. She began riding at age 2 in Kenya, and got her first horse at age 8 in Alberta, and so continues a life-long journey and love affair with these amazing creatures.
2 thoughts on “Equine-Assisted Learning/Therapy Done Right”
OMG – so great to hear about the horses having choices – refreshing to hear that you are doing that. I have been so disappointed at a number of programs that are not paying attention to what our sentient partners are trying to communicate. I have seen so much presented in trainings that do not take the horse into the equation, let alone give them a choice. Well done !!
I would love to connect. I am in Central Oregon.
Hi Tammy, I removed your email from your Comment because bots regularly gather emails and then you will be spammed mercilessly! Best to email people directly from their website.
And if anyone would like to connect with Tammy, just say so here and I will pass your name/email on to her 🙂