The Healing Power of Horses
At Unbridled Way Forward, horses are a vital part of our team. In fact, they are the key to our services. We believe horses have the power to facilitate healing in a deep, profound way.
Horses have been held in high esteem through thousands of years and in all different cultures. They are extremely intelligent and intuitive. But unlike humans, they are always living in the moment, instead of worrying about the future or ruminating about the past. Being in their presence very quickly brings us into our own body and intuition. Research has confirmed that being with horses brings down humans’ blood pressure, slows breathing, and brings us to a place of calm.
“Horses are able to reach people at their core level in a gentle, confident, intentional way,” says Lynn Moore, Founder of Acres For Life Therapy & Wellness Center and mental health counselor. “Mental health and wellness services incorporating horses is experiential, meaning that the process bypasses the cognitive left side of our brains and goes into our bodies.This experiential therapy really only asks people to show up, be present and breathe.”
While Lynn and her company are located in Minnesota, she and Unbridled Way Forward founder Amanda Graham have been collaborating together for more than ten years. They facilitate Arenas for Change (ARCH) trainings for other professionals, are part of the ARCH Creators team, develop programs together, and mentor each other’s teams.
Both Lynn and Amanda agree that the power of horses provides a transformation from the inside out, rather than just providing coping skills. “Horses are inviting our body, mind, and spirit to synchronize and allow our wisdom to emerge in whatever form is needed,” shares Amanda.
“The horses respond to the essence of what is going on within us, as opposed to what we are saying is going on with us. Co-facilitating with the horses as team members helps provide a depth of awareness and change that is not as easily found in traditional therapies.”
In addition to psychotherapy, monthly Herd Meditations also provide a meaningful pathway for people to open and ground themselves. Amanda and her team provide guided meditation before entering the pasture that puts people in a state of relaxation and presence to start, which the horses feel before people even enter the gate. Moving silently into the pasture with the herd provides more grounding and creates an environment of psychological safety, which enables vulnerability. This is how transformation begins.
“I have seen and continue to witness miracles every day in my work with horses,” shares Lynn. “I have seen people who couldn’t leave their houses - other than to come to therapy - transform and thrive, restore old relationships, create new relationships, no longer use county services, pursue dream careers, laugh, be able to look people in the eyes, embrace their value and gifts.”
Our horses at Unbridled Way Forward can be the key to providing your transformation, too.