Horses have a log relationship with humanity. They have been around us since the beginings of our civilisation. First horses were tamed around 4000 years ago in the Near East, although the exact date is not known. In that time most of the work needed in the farms was done by domesticated cows. However horses could do the same work faster. Horses were also used for transportation, because they could go much further than humans. They also served us in the battlefield as they gave andvantage over armies composed only from humans.
Horses also provided us with companionship and were a source of fun. Not without significance is the use of horses for therapeutic purposes. It was the Greeks who first found the horse’s therapeutic value in 600 BC, later in 1875 the French physician Cassaign came to the conclusion that equine therapy helped certain kinds of neurological disorders. Now the equine based therapy is a well established field of treating psychological disorders from autism, addiction, deppression to even PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) in traumatised soldiers.
Equine therapy cosists on different interactions between the patient and the horse. It involves activities such as feeding, grooming, haltering or leading a horse. These activities are monitored by a psychologist, often also accompained by a horse professional. Both during the activity and after the patient has finished working with the horse, the equine therapist can observe and interact with the patient in order to identify behavior patterns and process thoughts and emotions.
While equine therapy is for handicapped people with disabilities be it mental or physical, everyone can benefit from encounters with this wonderful animal. Unfortunately most of us don’t have time for such activity or live in a city and don’t have a stable nearby.
In this way you can feast your eyes and have at least a substitute of the beneficial effect that the horse has on the human heart. As Winston Churchill once said: “There’s something, about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”