One of the great advantages of Natural Horsemanship is the knowledge that comes from learning how to communicate with horses emotionally and mentally as well as physically. When I know my horse and I are in harmony emotionally and mentally I am truly confident. When I am confident I am in a place of total trust. Then I can let go. I can ride with my heart and not my head. I can ride like the wind with true unity…Unconscious Competence. ©Tim Hayes 2015
Horses Do Not Fear Predators - By Robert M. Miller, DVMWhat precipitates flight is the perception of predation, not the presence of a predator.
see the story in the Canadian Horses Journal, www.HORSES Journals.com, Dec 2015, pg 18
Experiencing the pleasure of ‘Yoga, Horses and Tea’
Every second Thursday, Willaway Farm offers “Yoga, Horses and Tea,” and it’s a combination that hits the spot with older adults.
At Yoga, Horses and Tea, participants get an explanation on horse behaviour and how horses communicate, said Susan Allan, who purchased the farm near Almonte in 2004, where the motto is “Where there is a will, there is a way!”
“A lot of seniors have more memories of horses than we do in the current day,” said Allan, 54. “They have a draw to them, and all kinds of stories. It makes them feel happy to be near a horse. They get that excited feeling and feel alive. Being in the presence of horses is huge.”
Just touching the horses and stretching and breathing gives them a connection to their past, she said. “It’s also a very social thing. Many come with a friend, and often make new friends.”
After the introduction, they do exercises outside of a pen with two or more horses. “We provide chairs and some just do chair yoga,” she said. “Many people get a lot out of doing yoga in the country and don’t even need to go near the horses. Some go into the ring and do exercises next to the horses. Each horse has a handler. We also customize workshops and courses for seniors of any age, helping them become comfortable around horses, learning more about these wonderful partners and themselves. It is something everyone can benefit from in some personal way.”
Many participants at Yoga, Horses and Tea do yoga beside the horse and have no interest in getting on. “One client took the Connect and Prepare to Ride course twice, then Yoga, Horses and Tea, and she is now taking straight yoga at the farm to improve her balance and posture, useful in her daily life as well as if she ever gets on a horse again.”
Some people don’t qualify for more typical therapeutic riding, but want the opportunity to be on a horse. “We have people with replaced body parts like hips and knees and no prior experience, and so require assistance to mount or lead the horse. We have people who will help them get on, using a higher mounting block and side walk with them, giving them the confidence they need.”
Helen Howe, 69, came to Willaway “and said she didn’t know why the horses called to her, they just did.” Helen took the Connect and Prepare to Ride course; she requires a higher mounting block and assistance, and is continuing on with her lessons. “She is absolutely loving it, and is able to do grooming and exercises on and beside the horse.”
Diana Smith, 75, “was quite terrified but very determined.”
“We didn’t know if she’d even get into the ring with a horse at first. She now feels like a new woman. Both women say that being with a big live animal and learning how to touch and lead them — to really connect with them — has made a world of difference in their confidence outside of the farm.”
Pam Clements, 61, was awaiting heart surgery and came for a Yoga, Horses and Tea session before going to the hospital. “We did it so that when she was in her sterile hospital room she could close her eyes and bring back the feeling of how good she felt,” said Allan. “She loved lying by her horse, hearing him chewing and being able to bring in all the senses of nature, the smell of the grass, the sound of the birds, and feeling calm with the yoga breathing.”
Another woman going through cancer treatment also came for support from the horses. She left describing it as, “I never would have thought that horses and that experience would have been so profound. I benefitted greatly from it.”
A lifelong rider, as well as third generation realtor, Allan loves bringing the wisdom of horses to people of all abilities and needs. She is pleased to have hosted the Lanark County Therapeutic Riding Program, which provides individuals with a holistic approach to therapy, rehabilitation, recreation and the opportunity to experience freedom and movement astride a horse.
She completed her yoga teachers’ training a year-and-a-half ago, as well as achieving her FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning) certification, and is a member of the Equine Facilitated Wellness Canada group.
Among her staff, certified riding coach Gillian Phillips is also in the middle of her yoga training, and Cristina Pilon is a registered yoga instructor. Shelley Gvozdanovic, the farm manager, and Shannon Woolner are well-qualified horse handlers.
“About four years ago, I started to do various equine-facilitated workshops and brought in a yoga instructor to do parts of the workshops,” said Allan. “I saw how valuable the yoga was for people of all ages, including two women over 70.”
She said while some older people are afraid of horses, they are drawn to them and may have had a horse experience in their past. She offers Connect and Prepare to Ride to help people become comfortable with horses.
“People have family members involved in horses and want to understand more,” she said. “They may have had an unpleasant experience, or it can be a bucket list desire. We give two-hour lessons, six of them in a row, and most people take it twice.”
They learn how to be safe around horses, how to lead them, groom them respectfully and tack them up to ride. They do connecting exercises beside the horses, and poses to help them stretch. “They take their experiential learning into their bodies and can feel their experience in their bodies long after it is over.”
Allan describes her stable as “more middle-aged” focused than those that attract a lot of teenagers. “We’re non-competitive and quite wellness-based.” They also do private parties for Yoga, Horses and Tea.
“I love, love, love, doing this work,” she said. “The horses love it too! Even the ones who aren’t taking part come to the fence and do the breathing in line with the person. It’s very neat.”
For more information view www.willawayfarm.com, call 613-2577707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone interested in Equine Assisted Therapy a Session will be held at 3188 Eramosa-Milton Townline, Rockwood, ON, N0B 2K0, at UNBRIDLED Stables, contact Anne Porteous for details.
I am pleased to announce that I am now able to offer a specialized service as part of the therapy I provide. As an eagala member and trainee of the eagala model, the horse has joined the treatment model for human development goals. This treatment team consists of the MH (Mental Health) person (myself) and the (ES) Equine Specialist, as well as the Horse, providing the triangle to serve the client.
The eagala model is a regulated, certified profession facilitating skills which require continued practice, education and supervision. This model has proofed to be particularly successful in the treatment of PTSD, Addiction, Anxiety issues, ADD, ADHD, Autism and others. I am presently working with a certified ES in the GTA and willing to join other certified ES's in the Toronto area.
Here is a link to a recent Radio Interview at the CIUTFM 89.5 Station
My best recommendation for anyone looking for Treatment of Autism is the treatment modality and book by Jonathan Alderson
Reference Emotional improvement:
Being mentally and emotionally healthy does not preclude the experiences of life which we cannot control. As humans we are going to face emotions and events that are a part of life. According to Smith and Segal, "People who are emotionally and mentally healthy have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook in which they also remain focused, flexible, and creative in bad times as well as good" (2011). In order to improve your emotional mental health, the root of the issue has to be resolved. "Prevention emphasizes the avoidance of risk factors; promotion aims to enhance an individual's ability to achieve a positive sense of self-esteem, mastery, well-being, and social inclusion" (Power, 2010). It is very important to improve your emotional mental health by surrounding yourself with positive relationships. We as humans, feed off companionships and interaction with other people. Another way to improve your emotional mental health is participating in activities that can allow you to relax and take time for yourself. Yoga is a great example of an activity that calms your entire body and nerves. According to a study on well-being by Richards, Campania and Muse-Burke, "mindfulnessis considered to be a purposeful state, it may be that those who practice it believe in its importance and value being mindful, so that valuing of self-care activities may influence the intentional component of mindfulness" (2010).
Activity therapies, also called recreation therapy and occupational therapy, promote healing through active engagement. Making crafts can be a part of occupational therapy. Walks can be a part of recreation therapy.
Expressive therapies are a form of psychotherapy that involves the arts or art-making. These therapies include music therapy, art therapy, dance therapy, drama therapy, and poetry therapy.
Alternative therapy is a branch of alternative medicine, which includes a large number of therapies imported from other cultures. It also includes a number of new medicines that have not yet passed through the process of scientific review. Alternative therapies include traditional medicine, prayer, yoga, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine,homeopathy, hypnotherapy, and more.
Main article: Meditation
Increased awareness of mental processes can influence emotional behavior and mental health. A 2011 study incorporating three types of meditative practice (concentration meditation, mindfulness meditation and compassion toward others) revealed that meditation provides an enhanced ability to recognize emotions in others and their own emotional patterns, so they could better resolve difficult problems in their relationships.