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Equine-assisted
Learning/Therapy

Healing through Horses

Journey to the Heart is a sanctuary that offers unique programs to help individuals heal from trauma and abuse with the help of horses. Our programs are designed to help women and girls who have experienced traumatic events such as domestic abuse and sexual violence, but all invited to participate. Through building a relationship with horses, individuals learn clear communication, self-regulation, and positive relationship-building in a safe and sacred space. Our programs instill confidence and help individuals regain their sense of  self-efficacy. 

What is Equine-Assisted Learning/Therapy?
Equine-Assisted Learning/Therapy is a unique form of animal-assisted therapy. Progress is made through hands-on activities with horses. Interaction with horses is beneficial for people with post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and other forms of emotional and physical struggles. Without judgment horses seem to have an uncanny ability to reveal dramatic truths to people, and victims of domestic violence are no exception.

How Horse Therapy Works
Horses are used in a variety of therapeutic settings, and do not need to be ridden to achieve healing benefits. Instead, a few deceptively simple exercises performed on the ground can make a world of difference. For domestic abuse victims, seeing people who look like their abuser can be a trigger, and this “looks can be deceiving” lesson is an important first step to confident living. It also awakens something inside of them when they realize they can overcome their own fear and be greatly rewarded for it.
Inner Nature of Horses Heals Humans

Horses are herd animals that naturally want to form bonds with the creatures around them. It makes them feel safe. Whether we realize it or not, we as humans want to feel safe in the same way. But first, trust has to be established, and it’s a two-way street. The person has to behave in a certain way to allow the horse trust them. If they are too nervous or aggressive, the horse will back off. Seeing how one’s own emotions are reflected in the horse is the first light bulb moment for many people new to horse therapy.

Trauma survivors can learn so much from horses, including how to control fear, how to be more assertive, how to be confident, and how to connect with others. They can even identify areas in their own lives that need work such as attachment styles and clear communication. If you’d like to experience the power of equine-assisted learning/therapy , please contact Journey to the Heart for more information.

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