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Changing lives with the power of horses

Many people admit that when they signed up to our Equine Guided Learning sessions, they didn’t know what to expect. For anyone who thinks that they are going to immediately bound onto a steed, this is not the case!

So, how does Equine Guided Learning benefit us, and what is it?

Horses are ‘mirrors’ for our emotions – they sense what we are feeling and reflect this back. So it makes sense that through response and feedback, or, spending time with a horse and understanding how it responds to us, we are able to better understand our own and others’ emotions better and, very importantly, learn to slow down.

The pandemic has not been an easy time for anyone and many of the people who have participated in our courses have welcomed this chance to take time out, just for them.

At My Life we incorporate mindfulness and ‘being in the moment’ into our sessions. Course participant Lesley describes “laying in the field, looking up at the clouds (I find it difficult to relax)” being a stand out moment for her. Being aware of our surroundings and ourselves before spending time with the horses lays critical groundwork for our sessions.

Once with the horses, by using guided observation, touching, stroking and grooming them, we can begin to understand how they respond to each other and to humans. By building a trusting relationship, and guiding a horse in a way that prompts them to willingly follow their instruction, we receive instant feedback and gain confidence as the horse responds to us in the way we intended it to.

Cate, a busy full time working mum explains “the time spent observing the horses and just being with them was very powerful and unbelievably relaxing. I am usually a person that thrives on busyness and ‘doing’ and I hadn’t quite realised how hard it was for me to switch off and relax until after the first session. After each experience I felt calm and less stressed about all the usual things that actually really don’t matter such as shoes being left on the stairs or the lid off the toothpaste…somehow the whole experience for me helped to put things into perspective.”

In fact, being with horses in this way is often a catalyst to release emotions many don’t realise they’re holding in. Course attendee Steph describes this as “a timely reminder of the importance of creating space to acknowledge my thoughts and feelings but also being willing/able to let them pass.”

There are laughs along the way too! Maxine, who took the course to spend some time with a friend and experience some ‘me time’ after the isolation of lockdown, describes it as being “about taking back what I had lost through Covid…Enjoying life and laughing over the silly things. Feeling really relaxed, comfortable in the other ladies’ company, sharing everyone’s special moments and personal triumphs.”

And what do people take away from their time spent with our lovely horses? It’s different for everyone, but we like these wise words from Lesley: “It’s not where you finish, it’s about the journey to get there.”

We run regular Equine Guided Learning sessions throughout the year, on a one-off basis and as full courses, for teams and individuals. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you are very welcome! Please follow our Facebook page for details of future sessions.

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Registered charity number 1167858 - Registered office: Thompson House Equestrian Centre, Off Pepper Lane, Standish, Wigan, Lancashire, WN6 0PP

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