Horses have the most graceful, wise and dare I say, simple, way of meeting people right where they are. They see us for what we are on the inside through non-judgemental, curious eyes. Teens resonate with this, desperately crying out for the world to see and accept them for who they are, right here, right now. Horses are acutely attuned to the energy and emotion of humans. It’s how they have survived for thousands of years! Horses provide real time, immediate feedback to the changes we make in their presence as well as in between our interactions with them. This real time feedback offers teens the opportunity to gain awareness and greater understanding of their emotions and feelings right here, right now. What a teen may be struggling to describe using words, the horse is able to understand and communicate, non-verbally, bringing meaning to those thoughts, emotions and feelings that were at one point all jumbled and knotted up. Through all of this, our teens gain coping skills and a depth of personal awareness that can propel them forward toward a positive and fulfilling future.
THE END RESULT
After working with the horses utilizing EGCM, teens are offered the feeling of being more grounded, calm, centered and at peace – what we all crave! This state of groundedness offers our teens the ability to focus, learning more readily and easily. The horses also support the teen in improving their emotional expression and self regulation of their emotions, thoughts and feelings. Teens walk out of the round pen with a greater sense of control, empowerment, improved self-esteem, stronger boundaries, leadership skills and awareness, not to mention the horses help reduce anxiety. Research done by Ellen Kaye Gehrke, PhD, showed a reduction in heart rate variability between horses and humans = a boost in serotonin (our happy hormone). Suffice to say, the kid that steps into the round pen with a horse, is not the same kid that steps out.