People, especially traumatized people, have their nervous system constantly set on high alert which makes it difficult to regulate emotions. It is exhausting to our bodies to have our heads spinning, thoughts racing and body tensed for long periods of time. Added to this is the reality that many traumatized people have been taught to shut down their emotions so emotions spins out of control completely out of their awareness until it explodes (or implodes) into some destructive force.
As someone who has a trauma history and suffered from anxiety for years, I have experienced this gift from my horses. Some of the learning came about naturally. Horses are sensitive creatures, as am I, so I observed them observing me and we connected and learned together. Some of it has been taught thru riding green horses and my own sense of self-preservation (tight muscles + anxious mind = anxious horse!). Some of my learning came together while at a Natural Lifemanship clinic while working as an equine specialist. I also connected some of the dots in my horses and healing journey by way of Somatic Experiencing (developed by Peter Levine). I am taking my training journey to another level this next week at Eastern Mennonite University, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding STAR Program Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience Training.
I will write more on this subject soon with tips on how to learn more so stop by again or sign up for updates.
But before I go, the barn is calling. The sun is out and I want some horse therapy! :)