Updated: Mar 16
A question we are often asked, particularly by our younger visitors, is if the horses enjoy doing the learning sessions with people?
The answer is unequivocally yes!
Infact, the pandemic was quite a problem for the herd, with the dramatic drop in clients contributing to a stress-based illness and general low mood and depression.
Horses, like humans are social animals. They enjoy interaction and engagement, and a week filled with clients keen to see them and wanting to explore life together, is to them, a life well lived.
However, this isn't a situation to be taken advantage of. As custodians of the herd, our job is to manage their workload so it never gets overwhelming. We limit the number of sessions they do each day, ensure rest days between whole day clients and employ plenty of support measures to ensure they are kept in good physical and mental health.
The horses enjoy regular Reiki, podiatry and osteopathy as part of their care package
Balancing the horses workload falls to the humans in the team. Not every horse wants to participate in every session. Horses have "off" days too, and it's important their no's are respected, so that trust and rapport remains.
Conversely, there can be some annoyance if each horse isn't included enough! It's not uncommon to see jealousy if one horse is getting all the attention and the others aren't. This often shows up as fighting and body positioning to resource-hoard the client away from the other horses. Dainty and Jim are the top two most likely to do this!
It all provides excellent material for clients that are able to relate to similar incidences in their life. In watching the reticence or jealousy in another it becomes easier to relate to their own challenges and start to see them in an objective way. This facilitates new thinking from new perspectives, creating opportunities for new learning and new outcomes.
Leading by example
How we handle the horses is important too. When clients see that a horse has expressed it would like to be included or it is tired and has done enough and it is listened to, they know that their voice will be listened to also. It helps to make for a safer environment where everyone feels heard and acknowledged, and masks and guards can be let down.
I'm not sure the horses have a favourite type of client, but they definitely enjoy most those that enjoy their company also. There seems to be a mutual love and respect that forms in the time that is spent together, to the point where I worry they will be sad if a client chooses not to come again! But as all things, the herd are very much in the moment with these things; so long as a steady stream of people come and tell them how beautiful they are, they'll have enough to keep them busy.
Check our services page to see how you can enjoy a session or series of sessions with our human-loving herd.