Straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Equine therapy programs work because horses give unconditional love, while humans often get bogged down in the details of treatment, diagnoses, rules, and paperwork. Horses see from the heart. Horses meet people where they are and see them for what they are, without judgment.
Horses have big hearts, and our love emanates from our heart chakras into yours. Our hooves are shaped like hearts, and just like the human’s palm chakras are connected to the human heart, our hoof chakras are connected to our hearts. We take a person’s pain and suffering into our hearts, and transfer it into the heart of the earth through our hooves. The earth draws the pain down into its core, where it is heated and transformed into nourishing energy. By eating grass, I make the cycle complete. The earth nourishes the grass, and I am nourished by it so I can do my work. Human healers do the same thing when they eat food that comes from the soil.
Just as with human healers, therapy horses experience times when their help isn’t accepted by those who need it most. Sometimes we give everything we have to help someone, and it still doesn’t help. That person continues to self-destruct, and we suffer when they suffer. Or sometimes we help someone we love, and they do get better, only to be destroyed all over again by someone who doesn’t understand and accept them. It only takes one mean word, one judgmental look, one thoughtless deed to undo months of healing, and most people never even notice the damage they do to others.
As healers, horses must learn to love with detachment, to give without expectation, to take-in what’s given—even when it’s painful. We have to allow it to flow through us without absorbing it into ourselves. We’re not trying to ‘fix’ anything. We’re simply holding space for the transformation the person is ready to allow. We’re the loving, nonjudgmental witness to their surrender when a greater power assists them in moving through, out, and beyond.
Anyone who is a healer or a caretaker has to learn to care for themselves first. They have to take time for themselves, take time alone, take time to just be. To stop striving, stop thinking, stop doing. To be in stillness. For horses, it means having days out to pasture, hours to eat grass (even though we get most of our sustenance in hay and grain, the activity of munching grass takes us slowly along the ground, our hooves connected with the earth, our heads low, our necks relaxed as we reclaim the energy we’ve sent into the earth).
Sometimes the people who come to horses for healing are less in need of it than people who think they’re doing just fine. People who are called disabled are often ascended beings whose minds are calm, quiet, uncluttered, completely in the present moment. Others wish they could attain that kind of peace, but can’t manage to quiet their busy thoughts. Healers should know that those whom they’re healing have wisdom to offer, and healing to give back in return. We all need healing. And if we feel despair when it seems that our efforts are in vain, remember: Each of us has responsibility for our own actions. Whether others follow our teaching is not our responsibility. We can only do our small part, and know that our small part is enough. It is more than enough.”