Equine Assisted Women's Discussion Groups - Sky Riding Long Island
Women experience transitions many times in their lives. These may include changes of employment, self-actualization, divorce, mourning, post-partum or emotional difficulties of any kind. When women come together to share their stories and challenges in a safe non-judgmental environment, the experience often is very grounding, validating. Equine assisted activities and discussion groups offer the participants an opportunity to achieve emotional awareness. Group members gain empowerment and personal insight while connecting with the natural world.
Why horses? Horses possess “unique attributes...as members of the therapeutic milieu” (Vidrine etal., 2002: 590). They are inherently non-judgmental, representing the true unconditional positive regard so crucial in helping relationships (McLeod, 2009). Despite their physical size, which in itself elicits respect, horses are prey animals with instinctual hyper-vigilance and flight instinct. Their extreme sentient abilities and immediate, honest, nonverbal feedback prompts many commentators to describe horses as ‘mirrors’ for human feelings and behaviors thereby facilitating personal exploration (Rector, 1992)