Psychology

Horses as Healers, Margaret Evans, Spirit Gate Farms, Horses helping people coping with post-traumatic stress disorder ptsd, Horses increase self-awareness, Horses teach importance good communication respect, horses bring people together, horses mirror human body language

By Margaret Evans - A group of teachers enjoying a leadership workshop at Spirit Gate Farms in Victoria, BC, have the task of moving a loose horse. One man takes an aggressive lead as he focuses on a young Arabian mare called Grace. The two women in the group are uncomfortable about the man’s approach but say little and follow his lead. They apply pressure to Grace’s back to get her to move. The horse braces, refusing to budge. By now the man is flustered, the women are not feeling emotionally safe, and group unity is failing.

By April Clay, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist - Okay, so training means the obvious: attempting to learn, and scheduling time for that learning. This we all know very well. What is less familiar, less practiced, are elements that support and facilitate this learning

By April Clay, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist - In any sport, it is crucial to know the amount of energy or intensity that is optimal to your performance. But equestrians can’t forget they’re part of a team, and our partners have their own preferences when it comes to energy.

By April Clay, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist - Ian loved to talk about his mental game. I think everyone can learn something from what Canada’s most successful rider had to say about the psychology of his ride.

By April Clay, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist - Just think positive! You have likely heard this familiar advice at some point in your riding career. There are mixed reviews on the effectiveness of affirmations. If they work so well, why are we not all wealthy or draped in first place ribbons?

By April Clay, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist - Riding is a relationship-based sport. You have a teammate who must somehow be made aware of your goals and develop a willingness to follow you. For beginners this is a given. For the rest of us, there is simply no excuse for not becoming well versed in the art of connection.

By April Clay, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist - If you are like many riders, there are times when you wish you could relax on command. Of course, it’s very difficult to will yourself into a pleasant lull when you most need to. Fortunately, you can learn how to truly relax your body so you can “push the relax button” in times of stress. It just takes a little work.

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