Come on, we all feel anxious some times. Tests, blind dates, getting stopped by a police officer…these are the kinds of things that make most people’s heart beat a little faster. But for many, the simple daily things we do are anxiety provoking.
CNN has done a great piece about ‘surviving’ anxiety looking at this, at times debilitating, mental health issues from lots of different angles.
Through their work with horses, our clients learn to identify when they are feeling anxious. They learn how anxiety impacts their relationship with others, especially their horse and they get to practice a variety of techniques to help them deal with their anxiety.
Recently I worked with a young woman who is struggling to free herself from the memories of past trauma. She states that the nights are the hardest. She happens to be drawn to one of our biggest horses and I encouraged her to call on him as a ‘patronus’ (term most of us learned from Harry Potter!) standing beside her when she feels vulnerable. We also talked about the first time she rode Baxter “you guys wanted me to wrap my legs around him to hold on. But I kept my legs loose so that I could jump off”. We talked about how sometimes we just have to hang on for the ride to get past the fear. And I had the client stand with Baxter in the sunshine soaking up all the sensations so that she could call these images up as a way to visualize how she feels when standing with him. She felt that remembering how Baxter smells could be particularly powerful for her and spent a lot of time with her nose buried in his side.
If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, work with horses may be able to help. Call or email to schedule a visit. We will show you around and introduce you to our wonderful horses. We will learn more about the challenges you are dealing with and share how we might be able to help.