Serenity and Peace were once considered routine states of being. They were nothing that we had to plan for or arrange; they just were there for the taking. During summer months we would spend long hours sitting on the porch watching fireflies sparkle about on warm summer evenings. Gently moving back and forth in the wooden rocking chairs, or slowly gliding in the old wooden swing that always gave a familiar creaking sound, we would sit and listen contentedly to stories told by our grandmother or other family members or maybe neighbors who had just stopped by. These were the good old days. Things were slower and more quiet.
As we grew up many of us moved away from our childhood towns and settled lives to relocate in the city. With this choice came many opportunities and of course there
were losses as well. It is the price of these losses that create holes for many of us who now have to work at recreating a sense of timelessness that brings a slower pulse and deeper breathing. Today’s world is filled with numerous events and situations that are very stressful and make a negative impact on the health and well-being of millions of us.
Subsequently, stress management is a topic that is frequently discussed. Many people search for things that can bring them a sense of calmness even if it is only a temporary state. Taking up a hobby, getting a manicure, going for a serenity walk, reading a book, journaling, puzzling, and getting a massage are just a few of the many possibilities that are considered helpful. Plant therapy and of course pet therapy are other options.
It is important when searching for the most effective stress management technique to remember to make it personal. Just because our co-worker, neighbor, or friend has found something that is fun or gratifying doesn’t necessarily mean that it will bring us a similar benefit. So, as I share my positive beliefs and rewarding experiences with equine therapy, keep in mind that although my bias is that I have never met anyone who is not blessed from interacting with a horse I realize that person might actually exist. But, I really don’t think that will be you.
There is something special and spiritual about being in the presence of horse. So, you say does it matter what breed of horse? The answer is, absolutely not. It only matters that you can connect with the horse of choice. The breed, color, gender, age, height, or weight does not determine or dictate the ability to join up with an equine companion.
We are blessed to have always had an Equine Team as part of our treatment process at Canopy Cove. Our program began in 1990 and has provided Equine Assisted Therapy to our participants at Canopy Cove in an ongoing manner since that time. Regardless of whether an individual is struggling with Anorexia, Bulimia, or a Binge Eating Disorder, they can be helped in their process of Recovery through the inclusion of Equine Therapy. Our horses are on campus and are readily available to assist us as we go about the business of therapy with almost any issue. We have seen the trauma victim who is having a difficult time with Bulimia develop a sense of trust and establish a partnership with an equine member. Just this week we have been fortunate to watch a trauma victim overcome her fear of horses and actually touch a horse while smiling and laughing. Later in the week she asked for additional time with our horses and has participated in grooming and giving baths. The next equine assisted activity that this client has requested is our symbolic painting of the horse. She is currently designing her symbols and is looking forward to carrying out her plan.
Anorexia often can leave its’ victims feeling helpless and insignificant. Round pen work can facilitate a sense of empowerment as the client actually directs a horse to move forward, stop, and turn wit non-verbal cues. The smile on the face of these victims reflects the story of special contribution horses can make.
Lynda A. Brogdon, Ph.D., C.E.D.S., C.E.A.P.
Call us today at 1-800-236-7524!
Canopy Cove’s Eating Disorder Treatment Programs offer compassionate, comprehensive treatment for females, males, adolescents, and adults, who are struggling with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorders and Co-Existing Diabetes, Depression, and Anxiety. Equine-Assisted Therapy is an weekly part of the Recovery process at Canopy Cove.