Hello. My name is Nitro, and I like to play with horses.
Now hold on, wait a minute. I said play WITH, not THE. I do not go to the races or the bookie and place bets on horses. And I am not a cowboy who likes bucking broncos or cattle herding. I just like BEING with them, you know? Like pets!
Well, any real horse person will tell you that horses are NOT pets. In fact, it is dangerous to treat them that way. Try to cuddle them, and, big as they are, they can strike at you, kick you, and even walk all over you. In other words, they can really hurt you. As prey animals, they are hyper-vigilant, often fearful, and need to be mastered and managed, not pandered to. Although I like to think of them as big dogs, they are NOT! They have a totally different mindset, and have less than half the intelligence!
Still, I do like to cuddle them. It is also true that they are very sensitive to emotions. For that reason they are often used by counselors and psychologists in helping troubled individuals. Horses have power. And, that is something in which I have had some experience
Let me tell you my story. Some years back I actually took a three-day course with a company I will call EAT – Equine Assisted Therapy. We were shown all these tasks that one could do with horses, none of which included riding. These involved catching, haltering, walking, and generally being with horses. We were shown how the attitudes and emotions of the person working with the horse affected how the horse would respond to these tasks.
Then on the last day, we had our “test!” Basically, it was role playing. I got teamed with two women, who happened to have a strong background in working with horses. Me, I had had relatively little contact before this time except as a trail rider.
Our role play was to provide a treatment plan for a young boy who was angry at the world, hyperactive, and belligerent. My partners were to be the therapists. I got to play the boy!
Wow! I REALLY got into this. I was myself at the age of 10! We were placed in a corral with two horses. I immediately ran around the pen climbing the fence, digging in the sand, being a general nuisance. One of my partners asked me if I would like to take a halter and go and get one of the horses. My immediate response was NO! I am busy doing MY thing. Then I looked up and saw one of the horses was white. I thought, “Hey, it’s Silver, and I am the Lone Ranger!” YEAH! So I grabbed the halter, shouted, and went running after the horse.
Well, if you know anything about horses, you can guess what happened. Both horses looked at me, put their ears back, spun around, and ran in the opposite direction. No way could I get near them.
I stood in the center of the ring, threw the halter into the sand, and yelled out some obscenities. My partner at the edge of the ring then asked me gently to think a bit as to why the horses were running from me. So I DID think. And I realized that they were afraid of me. Oh. Well, then, I picked up the halter and then walked slowly over to the horses saying, “Here, Silver, here boy!” They still looked back at me wild-eyed and stayed as far away from me as they could.
Oh! I was SO sad. The horses did not like me. I sat down in the center of the ring and really felt like crying. All my childhood feelings of being lonely, afraid, and unloved were reverberating within me. I sobbed, and said, “All I want is for the horses to come and lick my hand.”
Then the most amazing thing happened. Both horses turned to face me, and then very directly and deliberately they walked over to me, and leaned their heads down over my shoulders.
This was unbelievable! The horses came to ME! I was totally overwhelmed with positive feelings. I forgot about the role play, and got up and walked back to the group that had been watching the whole performance. The horses stayed right with me and would not leave me. I did not need the halter. I felt so wonderful. And loved!
You know, there really is something to this horse therapy. It worked for me. As a result, horses will always be a source of contentment for me. I do like to play with horses, and I WILL cuddle with them. Horses DO have power!
The story you have just read is true. Some names have been changed to protect the innocent (aka: ME!).