What can horses do for couples trying to conceive or already pregnant couples? Surprisingly enough, quite a lot!
Horses are gaining recognition in the world of therapy as being effective facilitators for healthful change. We have witnessed what they can do for war veterans, inmates, youth at risk, and children with disabilities. Now it is also possible for couples to benefit from the physical, emotional, and spiritual effects of being in the presence of horses when it comes to their fertility and pregnancy through a method called Equinistic Healing.
Equinistic Healing is an energy-based wellness technique that relies on the delivery of positive vibrations and biofeedback to the client through direct or indirect contact with horses. Equinistic Healing encourages mindfulness and develops insight for personal growth. Sessions can be done individually or together as a couple and can be structured to meet the needs and current challenges of the clients through the help of your Facilitator.
Within our brain lies a structure called the amygdala. This structure is responsible for linking a sensory experience to an emotional memory. Once a positive memory is stored through the amygdala, the nervous system has an automatic calming response. When a couple experiences a pleasant and successful interaction with a horse during an Equinistic Healing session, the hope is that the brain will remember that, and the next time the couple engages in that experience, they will automatically go to that happy place in a faster amount of time. At some point, it could even be possible that the simple smell of a horse might trigger those feelings. It is suggested in many studies that decreased stress has a positive influence on fertility and growing fetuses.
Nothing is more efficient than a horse to mirror what one feels. Being hyper-vigilant prey animals, horses rely on reading subtle body language and states of awareness for survival. Even if a couple is not consciously aware of being under stress, horses will respond directly to what they perceive at that exact moment. In such a situation, they might think there is reason to be on high alert and therefore become agitated and fearful. This feedback is very helpful for the couple, as it demands an immediate emotional adjustment on their part to put the horse at ease. When the couple adjusts to the horse, and the horse then adjusts to the couple, this is referred to as co-regulation. Co-regulation aims to attain a balanced and attentive state of awareness together.
Equinisitc Healing sessions can offer couples an opportunity to practice co-regulation. It is a helpful tool for remaining connected, open, and supportive throughout the ups and downs of conceiving and pregnancy.
Horses were domesticated around 13 000 BC. Out of necessity, humans and horses developed a mutually beneficial relationship for survival. As a result, they developed an effective communication system. Some sages and scientists speculate that humans and horses have the inherent ability to communicate with each other. They believe that the DNA of both species contains this ancient knowledge.
Some native cultures believe that horses live between earthly and spirit worlds, and can send important messages to us. It is also thought that horses can relay telepathic messages to humans with whom they share an intimate relationship. They believe that these messages are transmitted through intuition and dreams. Many animal communicators claim that horses and humans can communicate through pictures in their minds.
In Equinistic Healing, couples are encouraged to be open to these unconventional ideas in order to add to the richness of their experience with the horse. Regardless of one’s belief system, at the very least, sessions can reinforce the need for couples to trust their instincts.
Scientists recognize that on a psychological level, horses fulfill an innate human need to take risks. They have a unique combination of being unpredictable, intimidating but also protective, and loyal. Interacting with horses requires letting go of control and facing whatever happens. Couples experiencing the pressure to conceive or experiencing an atypical pregnancy can appreciate wanting to feel strong when facing unknown outcomes. During Equinisitc Healing, some couples report feeling a sense of self-mastery over anxious thoughts.
“ Spending relaxing time with the horses is something we both enjoy. We find it neat how the horses teach us things about ourselves. We always leave the barn feeling great and look forward to our next visit.” Joey and Anna Anicete
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Mandrell, Patti. (2014). Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Comprehensive Overview. EAGALA-advanced
Mitten-Ryan, Liz. (2007). One with the Herd. Buena Vista: Publishing Works