Mindfulness for hors



a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations

I really enjoy what I do every day. And that is helping both people and horses. Sometimes together and often individually.

The Equine Assisted/Facilitated Learning my herd and I practice allows people to develop critical life skills, overcome emotional hurdles, forge new outlooks on life and sometimes brings healing.

C.O.R.E. Horsemanship (my brand of Considerate Open Respectful Empathetic Horsemanship) helps horses in whichever way they need. Some are young and need guidance as they grow and develop, learning what their person(s) want from them (often people’s ‘wants’ change through the process!) while others with varying degrees of life experiences need help, support and guidance in letting go of fears.

This is Mr K (pictured), a 16 year old thoroughbred who has had more than his fair share of homes in his short life. My guess is that he has bounced from one person to another as each has been incapable of handling his stresses, his separation anxiety, his disrespect for others . . . I wonder where he has learnt all these things? Anyway, there is no need to dwell on the past, but far better to look into the future and work out a way to help him relax a little.

Enter “Mindfulness for Horses”. A walk in the park, well, the State Forest if the truth be told. Easy for a horse? You reckon? Not so for poor Mr K with his separation anxiety and lack of trust in most things. We helped him on this occasion by taking a little friend (my mini Frank, who truly believes he is 17hh) and by playing with some mindfulness. We constantly brought him back to the NOW with carrot tidbits, reinforcements of positive outcomes. We played with him, encouraged him that we wanted the best for him, and gradually he settled into our way of thinking and even entertained the thought that maybe we were right!

It is very early on in his rehab but I do believe we can help him find a better, calmer and happier head space to exist in. Mindfulness will certainly be a very regular practice for him when with people.

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