Animals: They were here first
Every animal is here for a reason. Birds, bugs, fish, they all have a raison d’être, just like people. Take horses, for example. We can think of innumerable reasons why we love having them around - and - some can think of reasons why they don’t want them around. But either way, it’s important to consider that all creatures have a reason for being. As humans, we tend to think that our raison d’être is more important than that of some random bird flying by, but then do we really know much about that bird?
Horses have been around since before our time. They got along just fine without us. When we showed up, they didn’t all get together and say, “What strange creatures these humans are; slow-paced and weak of nature. We will have nothing to do with them.” Rather, these great and powerful horses not only shared their world with us but also empowered ours.
Other than fueling our early modes of travel and plowing our fields, horses continue to provide a higher power to our lives - that of healing our emotional ills. Equestrian therapy, as it is called, is a proven way to alleviate various forms of mental stress, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Beyond the diagnosable illnesses that equestrian therapy can address, horses can help any one of us find serenity.
I have a friend who ran an equestrian therapy center for nearly thirty years. I got to watch a few sessions. I also got to hear Janet’s stories about the amazing progress that her clients made. Some were very young children with mental and physical disorders like cerebral palsy. Others were adults suffering from PTSD as a result of warfare or domestic violence. It was truly heartwarming to watch Janet and her horses help these individuals overcome their personal challenges so they could live more peaceful and productive lives.
Here is a link to an equestrian therapy center in Redmond, Washington where my daughter, Allison, used to volunteer as a teenager. Little Bit is a good example if you want to learn more.