Teaching about the Biology of Trauma
Grooming horses is calming for the nervous system. It also helps with keeping your attention in the present time, not the past, because it’s important to be aware of and connected to the horse’s mood and movements at all times. For people always triggered by the past, this can be a new state of being.
Fitting the Rope Halter
Fitting the halter is a beginning act of communication and connection between you and the horse.
You must be calm, in command and connected to the horse’s internal states when handling his or her feet. This connection to the animal’s state of being – whether it’s jittery, alert, content, or frightened – is helpful to gradually heal numbness, desensitization and isolation of PTSD. Related terminology: resensitization – opening up the senses to the world, mentalization – being able to tell the mental and emotional states of others, and empathetic awareness – being able to feel what another is feeling.
Leading horses teaches confidence, assertiveness, leadership and boundary setting, all of which could have been destroyed or impaired by traumatic life experiences.
Fun Pics of Horses
And it’s always nice to pet and enjoy the horses – our colleagues in healing.