How to Rein in Stress with Equine Therapy
Although Calgary is an energetic and cosmopolitan city, our western roots are strong. The Stampede, the world-famous show-jumping facility of Spruce Meadows, and the countless working ranches that surround the city are all testaments to the locals’ abiding love of horses.
At Evolve Retreat Co. we partner with companies, like Homeplace Ranch, that embody these western roots and create memorable experiences for our guests. Spend a few minutes with proprietor Mac Makenny, and you’ll realize what a passionate horseman he is. With over 50 years of experience leading riding lessons and horse awareness sessions, Mac has the skills to maximize the wellness benefits you can achieve through equine-human interaction.
Here are three ways horses facilitate your journey to wellness:
1. Horses encourage presence and patience
Horses rely heavily on subtle physical cues to convey and decode information about their environment. If you’re tense, in a hurry or attempt to muscle a horse into something, you are not going to be successful. Successful communication with horses requires attentiveness, clarity, consistency, patience and focus. If you are present in the moment and act with intention, you will lower the volume in your mind, reduce anxiety levels and enhance self-awareness in your everyday interactions.
2. Build confidence
Many people will recall a first, and sometimes last, equine experience, accompanied by warnings of impending disaster: “Don’t walk behind a horse or you’ll get kicked,” or “Feed a horse with a flat hand or he’ll bite you.” It is true that there are inherent risks in working with or riding horses. They are prey animals and their “fight or flight” instincts can be easily triggered by the unknown. However, these simplistic warnings hide a deeper truth. Most horses do not kick or bite as a matter of course. They may do so if they are startled, frightened or hurt, or simply by accident. In short, equine unpredictability is often very predictable. Conquering a fear of horses is empowering and a great confidence-builder. It can also lead to an amazing sense of accomplishment when you and your horse become a team.
3. Quiet the mind
Sometimes we put things off that we know would help clear our minds – we’re too busy and any time away from our busy day would put us further behind schedule. Stepping away from the hustle and bustle and slowing down will do wonders for your wellbeing. Whether it’s the simple act of grooming or a quiet ride through the countryside, spending time with a horse will help rid your mind of daily stresses.
Have a look at our upcoming retreat schedule and let the horses guide you on your journey to wellness. For more information on booking your wellness adventure, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.