In the past few weeks several things have come my way which have spurred on this posting. Although they might seem separate and distinct, they have an accumulative effect in my mind.
The first was an application from a young woman who wanted to study with me as an apprentice "in order to have a spiritual sideline for her horse business".
Next came a request from a woman who wanted desperately to "hug a horse" in order to be healed from a serious illness.
Most recently a link was sent my way for an online course showcasing several presenters, all dealing with healing with horses.
I'll begin with the young woman wanting a spiritual sideline for her business.
I would think this is fairly obvious as to why this piqued my interest, but in case you are wondering I will give my point of view.
There is nothing about the horse that is not spiritual.
He is spirit.
When you come to the horse with a deep understanding of his psyche, his physical, emotional and social needs you are still only part way in knowing him.
The spiritual side of horse is all encompassing..... and unless you understand this at a very deeply ingrained level you will have nothing to offer the public except a heart string pulling dog and pony show.
Lesson One in discernment...... can you tell when the spiritual needs of a 'healing horse' are being met by simply looking at a website?
On to the need to hug a horse.
I understand this need.
I too have had this need in the past.
I have been broken and knew the mending would come through the heart of a horse and ONLY from the horse....but a lifetime of working with hundreds of horses has taught me well.....it is a very rare horse indeed who can accept the energy of an imbalanced individual (illness, disease) without first having an opportunity to entrain to the energy of that being and make a CHOICE if they would like to be approached and physically engaged with.
Lesson Two in discernment......if you are a caregiver or facilitator and you promote physical contact without first allowing the horse to entrain and make a choice then you are failing both your horse and your client.
If you are a client then take a close look at the horses at the establishment....a REALLY close look, not the romantic heart string pulling gloss over.....but rather look deep into the eyes of the horse and ask if there is happiness there.....
Now, on to the link for the online course.
Healing with horses.....is quickly becoming an industry.
History shows us that anytime an industry involves animals, they, the animals, will suffer.
Lesson Three in discernment......client or caregiver it matters not......LOOK at the horses on the websites. REALLY LOOK at them. Look at their overall body position. Pay attention to their eyes!! Their ears speak volumes if you will look at them and know what they are saying!!
If the horses are contained in an area where they have no option to move away from clients or are hand fed treats to bring them closer to clients, chances are high that horses are not being honored in a balanced way and that 'industry' has more meaning to those offering the services than the welfare of the horses in their care.
Many horses who appear to be engaged in a healing....are the ones begging for healing.....