"I have had many years’ experience of psychotherapy now, both as a client and as a practitioner. Working with the horses has been one of the most life-changing things I have chosen to do, and the reason for this, I think, is because I have been able to work with the same herd over a period of time, so learning gets reinforced each time and the changes are able to take root and become lasting.
“In working with the horses over time, they have reached me in ways that have not been possible through conventional psychotherapy. I have spent a lot of my life not really living in my body. For a lot of reasons it has not felt safe to be so. I think horses are particularly gifted at working with people who have been abused or traumatized in some way. If there has been sexual abuse for example, I believe that healing needs to come through the body, through physical experience since the original damage was done to and through the body.
“Horses are very much able to live in and through their bodies. I have been licked and chewed and sniffed by horses taking an interest in me, getting to know me. I have been pushed around and affectionately nibbled - as if I were one of the herd.
“It's hard to find the right words to describe the impact of these simple interactions. It has brought me to a greater awareness of what an embodied life actually feels like. I am kinder to my body, more attentive to what it needs. For example I am finding a more balanced attitude towards eating which has been a longstanding difficulty."