Healing Hooves: How a Bond with a Horse Can Transform Trauma

Sep 20, 2023

How can a bond with a horse help a human heal? 

Moving a human from trauma to healing requires the restructuring of emotional response. Both primary and secondary process emotions (conscious and pre-conscious) must be engaged and soothed (regulation of the sensitive limbic region of the brain). This must come in the form of new experiences. The experience of limbic neuroplasticity (the laying down of new neural pathways and responses) was deeply and beautifully expressed by a client in the following: 

"What I noticed more than ever today was how all of the horses responded to me. They came close with softness. I did have a story with some alarm come up around the big black, but then I took a belly breath and allowed him to come close. I touched him on the side of his face and acknowledged his presence by looking into his eye. I used to go into such deep states of disconnect that I could not even look anyone in the eyes and my body felt like it was made out of concrete.


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Growing Pains Between Friends

Jun 15, 2022

Do you have a close friend you enjoy spending time with? I remember when my close friend, Jenn, was planning to come visit us after we’d moved with her two boys, Mason, who was 8, and Isaac who was 6. I was so excited to connect with her in person and just to hang out together again.   

I also remembered some of Mason and Rylan's relational growing pains and a little anxiety crept into my awareness. My window of tolerance felt really stretched when I perceived disharmony between our sons. It found it painful and confusing how to stay self-connected when the unexpected happened, especially when I was looking forward to what I’d planned and it would get interrupted. 

I put a lot of thought into how I might engage with the boys differently if something unexpected happened. I recognized a post-hearsal opportunity for myself. A post-hearsal enables us to shape our experience of ourselves in the world by using conscious, reflective, autobiographical...

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