Horses for the soul.


I think horses are good for the soul.

I am not sure how that is, or why it feels that way, I just know that, for many of us, it’s true.

Sometimes I wonder if it is because they are ‘in the moment’ all the time, and require us to be present as well.

Perhaps it is simply their persistent honesty in all their interactions with us.

The horse seeks relationships as a herd animal and since we seek that too, finding that connection with something so close to nature seems to have a healing affect as well.

But every now and again over the years we will see something that suggests there is an energy that surrounds horses…an energy that is an almost mythical mix of great power and great gentleness. And this energy can have a remarkable affect.

For example, once we had a little autistic boy come to the farm when we were having an Open House. His mother asked if her son could have a ride and so we set him up with a helmet and proper shoes.

But it was then that the trouble began. Upon seeing the horses, he began to scream, loud, irrational screams. His mother was apologetic but still hoped her son could calm down long enough to sit on a horse.

We removed the more excitable types of horses from the arena and chose Decks for the young boy to ride.

You could see a mild apprehension in Decks as the screaming child drew nearer but there was also a flicker of understanding. It is not something I can really can put my finger on but it was a clear enough signal from Decks that we decided to risk lifting the little boy onto the horse.

Decks stood quietly, saint that he is, as the wailing child sank into the saddle.

And then, all that ear-piercing noise stopped and suddenly there was silence.

With rapt focus, the little boy reached forward and gently touched Deck’s shoulder. Then he began to stroke Decks, gently and silently.

I can’t remember if we led him around or if the act of sitting on the horse was enough for him. All I know is, that for that moment in time, that little boy felt something from Decks that calmed him down, some connection or aura that at least temporarily removed his anguish.

I hope the mother of the boy pursued this therapy for her son because the transformation was miraculous.

It was one of those experiences that even now can make me feel a bit weepy.

Horses can heal. They are good for the soul.

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