Feed on

For years I have looked on “equine-aided”, “equine-facilitated” and “equine-guided” activities with some misgivings. In the main this is probably because these terms impute a role to the horse which is secondary to that of the human. They also seem to suggest that it is acceptable for us humans to unload our emotional or psychological baggage onto horses. In particular, I have grave doubts about the use (I use the term advisedly) of horses in programmes designed to boost the profitability of private companies and, as such, increase the earnings of a privileged few at the expense of the many.

In my limited experience there are very few horses and humans, if any, who come to each other as creatures who have not been traumatised to some or other degree. The interaction of the two species with each other has the potential to benefit both. Examining my own situation, I must confess that I have truly benefited from my interaction with our horses, in general, and Pip, in particular. They have fundamentally changed my outlook on and approach to life.

Doing Equine Touch with our younger boy, Farinelli

Doing Equine Touch with our younger boy, Farinelli

Yet they have done so, not through any “equine-aided”, “equine-facilitated” or “equine-guided” activities but rather through one specific type. Quite simply, it is through helping horses that they have helped me. Not only was the latter not expected, it was not even sought. Perhaps it is through such commitment and intent that horses can truly help us become….

(Taken from “Lessons Taught Me by My Horse” in the book, When Horses Speak and Humans Listen. For more information see http://www.horsesandhumans.com/mainsite/whsahl.htm.)

Doing Equine Touch with our older boy, Gulliver

Doing Equine Touch with our older boy, Gulliver




4 Responses to “Lessons Taught Me by My Horse: Lesson 9. Helping horses can help humans!”

  1. Anne-Marie says:

    Very well said Andrew.


  2. Patrick says:

    Photo shows skinny horse standing in abundant pasture. Why is horse so skinny ?

    • Andrew says:

      Hi Patrick

      Gulliver has had difficulty putting on weight and keeping it on for some years now, especially as he has grown older (he will be 29 years old later this year). A thoroughbred with poor conformation and condition, including two wonky legs, he was scheduled to be euthanised the day after we arrived back from Europe at the end of May last year.

      We (mainly Vicki) nursed him back from death’s door and now, nine months later, he is looking much better as you can see in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK1d_0HlTOg.

      Thank you for your concern.

      Be well!