Horses, unlike dogs for example, don’t give authentic, unconditional affection. Like (adult) human relationships, the individuals have to work at creating and maintaining a safe and whole-hearted connection.
Moreover,, safety and connection are not a “one and done” thing….they’re fluid…ever-changing, always needing awareness, monitoring, and care. Just look at any relationship gone bad or struggling. Somewhere safety was compromised.
Never leaving the present moment, always intuitively pushing for the health of the individuals and thus the herd, horses are great teachers of this.
This is one of the most useful ‘gifts’ that working with horses, in a therapeutic context, gives us towards our individual and relational health and wellness.
“What someone else thinks of you is none of your business.” I heard that in an Al-anon meeting almost 20 years ago and it changed my life. And even now, like today, I lean into it when I need it. No matter who it is or what the situation is, I will remember that for today the most important opinion that matters is the one of my Creator and the one I have of myself. I speak this affirmation over myself today and I send it out to you.