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  • Writer's pictureAnnette Nilsson

Coaching with horses - why?

Many of my clients ask me why I also coach with horses. I am really grateful for those questions as they allow me to share my enthusiasm about my wonderful four-legged colleagues, and the wisdom they have to offer us.

Often, the curiousity is paired with sentences like:…but I am actually afraid of horses, or…they are big animals, or…do I have to ride?

To answer the first question, I think it is perfectly reasonable to be afraid of horses if you have never met one, or have otherwise experiences with big animals.

Horses are domesticated animals, but they are no pets. That means, they have and actually look for a bond with humans, but they are not suitable to live our lives, like cats, dogs, and other pets.

That said, horses want to connect with humans, and as much as we should respect them, there is no need to be afraid of them. The magic of the interaction with horses lies in their ability to mirror our inner status. The brain of horses, like all mammals is equipped with mirror neurons which enables them to detect emotions through our behaviour.

We have all been conditioned to trust words more than our body language, and to rationalise instead of trusting our emotions. This often causes conflict, within ourselves, and with our social contacts. The horse can re-awaken and strengthen the skills of non-verbal communication and teaches us to trust our intuition.

At the beginning of a coaching session with the horse, I will share some basic information about the horses, their anatomy and their senses with my clients. Knowledge is the best antidote to fear, and once my clients understand how horses perceive us, the fear is replaced by curiosity, and mostly by a desire to touch and be really close with the horse.

Horses are social animals, they depend on a herd to survive, just like us. Because they are prey animals, their prime reaction to danger or fear is flight. They rather avoid a conflict, and they show us without any doubt if they do not feel comfortable.

In a Horse Coaching Session, we can look at

  • the congruency between spoken and body language

  • your intentions

  • the clarity of your vision or goals in life

  • emotions, for example, fear of judgment, lack of confidence

  • leadership skills

  • relationships

  • burn out and fatigue

Each session is tailored to my client’s individual needs, depends on their emotional status and goals. In a briefing session, I will prepare you to safely interact with my horses, we will discuss your needs and ideas. No matter your background, questions or emotions, you will always be safe, guided by me, and you will leave with deep insights about yourself, the people you are close with, and the world around you! Send me an email or give me a call if you like to know more!

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