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 Being new to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, I didn't know what to expect when I decided to attend a HorsePlay Demo led by Cori Nichols, EAGALA certified Equine Specialist and founder of HorsePlay, and Alix Sugarman, Licensed Creative Arts Therapist and EAGALA certifie...

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Prince, Stripe & The Mad Hamster

Sunday, January 31, 2016,  -- It was a beautiful, balmy afternoon for HorsePlay. We were an assortment of adults,  some 'tween-age girls and 3 horses --  engaging in a variety of activities.

 

By observing the horses and then interacting with them we came across the following themes :

 

  • ​Giving directions - what's it like to be the leader/instructor/"responsible one"? Am I/are we comforatble with this? Are there times when I have to be in this role? How do I feel physically when I am in this role?

  • Taking directions -- what's it like to be given directions? Am I/are we comfortable with this? Are there times when I have to be in this role? What's that like for me? How do I feel physically when I am in this role?

  • Pushing vs Not Moving -- Some HorsePlayers were unable to move Prince during an activity. What is it like to try to move something/someone when they remain unmovable? Why or when do we try to move something that is stuck? What do we do when this happens? What's it like when we/you want to remain still? Why or when are we unmovable? What's it like when someone or something is pushing us at this time? What advice would we give Prince when Prince was unmovable? What would Prince have advised us to do?

  • Synchronicity -- we were doing an activity while leading horses... and we discovered this idea of being in sync. .... in sync with the other people, with the horses and with ourselves. What's it like to be in sync? What's it like to be out of sync? How do we get in sync? How do we get out of sync? What areas of our life are in sync - or would we like to synchronize?

  • Awareness -- we noticed behaviors and patterns amongst the herd of horses -- did we notice them all?