How does EIT work?
Horses naturally calm and regulate the nervous system
Horses positively benefit the body mind and energy
Horses help us release the fear that lies behind our symptoms
What is the Natural Herd Model
An established natural herd form a balanced and peaceful community
Their relationships parallel ours
The peaceful energy of the herd is very healing
Each member of the herd helps with different aspects of ourselves
Enjoy the freedom to be listened to and heard, be seen, accepted and understood
Know the individual members of the herd, gently, one by one
Feel acknowledged, comforted, supported and included as one with the herd
Positively re-experience yourself
Spend mindful time with the herd
Notice, observe, learn, discover, release and heal the fear that lies beneath your symptoms
How does Equine Involvement Therapy work?
Equine Involvement therapy works on addressing the psychological and emotional effects of trauma on the nervous system, body, mind and energy. In the process we recognize, identify and integrate separated, fearful, parts of the self…..bringing those parts together into the one whole ‘self’. We use a combination of the Natural Herd Model, sensorimotor informed therapy, hypnotherapy, mindfulness and energy work. See What does a session look like.....
The Natural Herd Model
The Natural Herd Equine Therapy Model works with the concept of unity and wholeness….that all aspects of who we are can come together to create inner harmony in mind, body and energy.
An established herd works as a unit, they unite in balance to create a whole. In this way they are able to pool their strengths and find a purpose within their weaknesses. They identify with fear and experience fearlessness through understanding that without fear they would probably die. Fear is their friend and is there to protect them…a Protector. Fear calls upon Warriors and Leaders. Scouts come into their own and can be drawn from lower ranking horses who suddenly find themselves of service to the whole herd. Fear nurtures…it unites masculine and feminine energy and takes the Herd to a safe, calming place, away from danger. It calls for the most intelligent members of the Herd to rise up and use their ingenuity and strategy skills…..fear to a horse goes beyond duality to a place of balance and harmony.
Balance is vital, it creates equilibrium, saves physical energy and allows for inner stillness and silence. The stillness and silence allows them to hear, see and feel everything, not as hypervigilance but as a heightened experience of every moment and every breath of life.
Each horse has its own unique personality and combination of strengths, weaknesses, qualities and flaws. To the horse there is only balance, all aspects of who they are serves a purpose both as an individual and as part of the herd…part of the whole. These unique personality traits play out in the mirrored responses between horse and human. Each horse connects to a different part of us, allowing us to feel that part through the horses’ energetically balanced perspective. In the presence of purity, acceptance and stillness, all that is being experienced can become gently integrated and absorbed into new and profoundly healing memory.
The collective energy of the entire herd allows for the dawning of another new experience ……a sense of unity and a deep experiential understanding of the calm simplicity that lies at the heart of the horses’ very being.
As traumatized horses come into the herd, we see this in action. The members born within the group have only positive loving experiences to draw upon…..they are natural, free and at one with themselves and their environment. They will spend many hours standing motionless in the company of the newcomer, doing nothing, simply being. Without action and over time the troubled horses find peace, a purpose and their place within the herd.
As humans in the company of the Herd we become witness to this absence of duality……this discovery of quiet, accepting, strength in the midst of turmoil. We also become privy to the purity of loving intention behind the patience, self-discipline and stillness that comes with the horses’ desire to bring us into harmony…..as one of them.
At Hopethruhorses our horses are kept naturally. They have freedom, companionship and plenty of good nourishment, company and love. Horses without conflict create an environment of harmony and peace and in their company you can begin to learn their silent language and absorb their gentle energy. Horses naturally use energy healing….we are all made up of mind, body and energy…by healing through energy we can heal all three elements, mind, body and soul. Energy is nature in action, naturally healing, replenishing, sustaining and maintaining all aspects of the natural world around us. Communicating and connecting with these remarkable animals allows the impact or trapped negative energy of the past to be released and the possibility of a new and positive future to be created.
The way we think and feel is reflected, often almost imperceptibly, in our energy, intention and body language. Horses are prey animals, sensitive, intuitive and intelligent; they are acutely receptive to the subtlest of changes and watch for them naturally when communicating with each other. The horses’ responses serve as a mirror of our inner state.
Horses have a deep understanding of fear and how to manage it. A stressed or frightened horse responds to fear by fleeing - they run from perceived danger until they feel safe and then stop. Having reached a safe distance their stress response dissipates…with a series of body motions and breaths, they release all trace of stress from their system and relax. They are constantly aware and vigilant of the possibility of danger….their senses remain fully open and aware, but in the absence of immediate threat they remain present and mindful, conserving energy. It is from being in the presence of their ability to remain present that we can learn to value experience and master the art of pure mindfulness.
Humans are their natural predators and yet these beautiful creatures have chosen to work with us. They will give magnanimously and unconditionally if in return we make the effort to understand them and provide them with what they need most; freedom, companionship, natural nourishment and love.
Why the Natural Herd Model?
...wouldn't just one horse be enough?
'A Relationship with the Herd is the relationship you have with all aspects of your 'self and soul' '
Relationships are key to both horses and people. It is through relationships that we learn to have an understanding of self and others. At birth our first relationship with Mother…held warm, protected, nourished and nurtured is vital, it creates the foundations for regulation of the nervous system and a sense of safety. All future interactions and relationships with others, both healthy and unhealthy, stem from those first informative moments of life.It has been proven through studies of indigenous tribes that humans and animals flourish and find a sense of self when born into a safe and nurturing community….supported and safe within the group they form robust and enduring relationships. Mental health disorder is almost
unheard of in such healthy environments.
The Hopethruhorses Herd is that healthy and balanced community. Here everyone can find their fulfilled and purposeful place in society, through experiencing a relationship with the herd and its individual members.
From our experience for this to work in practice, the herd needs to run free and live a natural existence…..they need to be ‘horses’ with all the true responses of a horse. Healthy relationships are formed spontaneously in this nurturing and safe environment unhindered by fears of reprisal, exclusion or failure. They are a loving, compassionate, community, living for the greater good of themselves and others with love and compassion…including humans.
Just a very few of the phenomenal benefits of working with The Herd Model
• Location…outside with nature and horses
• A sense of belonging, acceptance and acknowledgement
• Building resilience and confidence
• Observing and learning from community dynamics within the herd
• Experiencing the value of kindness
• Relating to the qualities of individual members of the herd
• Observing, watching and listening
• Stress and anxiety management
• Feeling and applying empathy
• Creating healthy relationships
• Spatial awareness and personal, emotional and physical boundaries
• Raising self-esteem….value of roles, a purpose and equality
• Understanding the value of relationships
• Compassion…positive impact on others
• Preventing overwhelm and isolation through inclusion