WHAT IS HORSE ASSISTED HUMAN DEVELOPMENT?
Horse Assisted Human Development helps individuals to develop a sense of wellbeing.
It is a non clinical form of learning and development that is immersive and experiential. The horses provide instant feedback which enables participants to adapt their behaviour in real time and find solutions to issues they may be facing in their personal or professional lives.
Wellbeing is so vital to how we perform in our day to day lives. Known factors that improve wellbeing are:
Spending time in nature
Relaxation and stress reduction
Finding ways to to learn and be creative
At Beat we offer individually tailored programmes of Horse Assisted Human Development. Taking the time to work with the horses in a natural environment allows you spend that important time in nature. The horses will offer you a deep sense of connection, they will guide you in a totally non-judgemental way and will provide you with instant feedback to allow you to learn to adapt your behaviour and connect with your feelings. Being in the presence of these powerful animals has scientifically proven physical benefits. HeartMath has shown that the horses heart rhythm is strong enough to influence, like a magnet, the humans heart rhythm, put simply it makes you feel calm and relaxed and reduces feelings of stress. Through your programme you will learn a lot about yourself from your equine mentors, guided interactions will enable you to discover your own internal resources and work on feelings of hope and optimism, as well as working on resilience and self-esteem.
BENEFITS OF HORSE ASSISTED HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
The learning and mastery of a new skill – horsemanship - enhances clients’ confidence in their ability to tackle new projects and leads to improved self-esteem
Learning to communicate and achieve harmony with a large animal promotes self-renewed feelings of efficacy. A motivated ‘I can do it!’ replaces feelings of helplessness and empowers the person to take on challenges in other areas of recovery.
Horses help clients to develop a more realistic view of themselves. This can be especially important in helping clients with food issues or interpersonal aggression issues.
Horses’ sensitivity to non-verbal communication assists clients in developing greater awareness of their own emotions, the non-verbal cues that they may be communicating, and the important role of non-verbal communication in all relationships.
Learning to trust an animal aides the development or restoration of trust for those whose ability has been diminished through negative historical interactions with people.
Grooming activities and other types of care for a specific horse, enable clients to put aside the absorbing focus of their own mental issues and instead to direct their attention and interests outwardly toward safe, positive and caring interactions.
Many studies of human-animal interaction indicate significant reductions in physiological anxiety levels. Some clients are initially afraid of horses. But guided interaction with horses allays such fears, helping patients to embrace exposure therapy for their anxiety issues.
Many individuals suffer with fear of rejection. Gaining the unconditional acceptance of a powerful horse can assist greatly in one’s reintroduction back into a social way of living.
Many clients are initially concerned that they will do something embarrassing while learning how to work with horses. Yet clients quickly learn that the other participants are engaged in their own equine experiences, and observe the comfort of the horses in their own skin. Fears of embarrassment in public are thereby often reduced and self-acceptance increased.
The need to communicate with a horse calmly and non-reactively promotes the skills of emotional awareness, emotion regulation, self-control, and impulse modulation. Research clearly indicates that animal-assisted learning reduces client agitation and aggressiveness and increases cooperativeness and behavioural control.
A positive relationship with a horse is often a first, managed step toward practising the social skills needed to initiate closer relationships with other people.
Communicating effectively with a horse requires the client to demonstrate controlled assertiveness, direction, and initiative. These are important skills that enable the client to express their needs and rights more effectively in other relationships and situations.
Clients discover that a relationship occurs within a context of respect and that although physically powerful, each horse typically operates within the boundaries of this mutually respectful relationship.
The playful aspects of team equine activities can help restore spontaneity and an ability for healthy recreation and play.