Horses are very much like humans in that they are social animals with defined roles within their herds. They are sensitive to non-verbal communication and pick up on even the most subtle cues. They read and respond to what messages the client gives them in an immediate and authentic way, giving HorsePlayers instant feedback as to what's working and what isn't! Their distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods mimic those of other people: self, siblings, peers, parents, teachers, co-workers, etc.
Guided by seasoned facilitators, participants begin to recognize opportunities to experiment with different ways of seeing, approaching, interacting and interpreting behaviors - those of the horse, theirselves, and those of other people in their lives. The horses become very real symbols of these relationships and allow clients the opportunity to work through change in these aspects of their lives in an experiential, in-the-moment and emotionally safe way.
Horses provide opportunities to develop work ethic, responsibility, assertiveness, communication skills, and healthy relationships. They are large and powerful, which creates a natural opportunity for some to overcome fear and develop confidence. Accomplishing tasks with horses, in spite of those fears, raises self-esteem and provides for wonderful metaphors when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life.