Often during a session participants will see horses doing a number of behaviours. One of them is yawning.
Unlike humans, horses aren't likely to be yawning because they are tired and needing to get more oxygen into their blood, it is likely to be for other reasons such as:
1) they're stressed and they want the stressor to stop (known as a calming signal) 2) they're in discomfort, e.g. gasto-intestinal pain or other physical discomfort 3) they're asserting their dominance (more common in stallions) 4) they're releasing stress. Whilst the first 3 are possible in a session with a client, the most common reason you see our horses yawning is they are releasing stress. Whether it's their own stress (horses have issues too!), the client's stress or the facilitator's stress, we may never know, but the yawn is their way of bringing closure or harmony after something has shifted and gone.
Horses are amazing healers! When we step into their world, they consider us a part of their herd. In doing so, we become either their equal, a source of support or someone that needs support.
If we come with heavy emotions or high levels of anxiety or stress they may quietly sit with our stress (and ask us to do the same) until the intensity has lessened. In this time you may see them looking dozy or seemingly in a trance like state, when in fact they are actually being deeply present to the energy they are experiencing. Afterwards they may yawn, shake, lick or chew, or wander off and do a dropping. This is one of the reasons that people find being around horses so calming, because they are receiving healing!
If you are interested in experiencing the calming energies of a healing herd of horses, we offer 1hr sessions for both children and adults, and run workshops and corporate days to support adult mental health.