Research shows that one of the most common causes of failure in relationships points to a breakdown in communication. According to Mehrabian’s communication study; only 7% of what we say verbally with words actually communicates, 38% is based on tone of voice and 55% is communicated through body language. This is where we believe that horses can help couples to either establish or improve their communication and in doing so improve their relationship.
Today is unlike any other day in the life of this horse girl. It is morning time, and a chilly one at that. Feeling my body’s pain I gingerly prepare myself for the bitter cold weather that has blanketed my field overnight painting it white against the early morning light. It is definitely a day to bundle up as I tentatively make my way out to feed my horses. Greeting me with their sweet sounds of horse’s eager to be fed I begin my routine; one that I have done so many times before. Moving slowly, but surely I feed each one of the fifteen rescued horses and ponies that participate in our Equine Assisted Skills for Youth Program until all are happily ensconced in their favorite morning ritual of eating.
The story is a common one. If you have spent any time in the saddle it has probably happened to you or someone you know. You were on a horse and somehow, someway they knew that you were a little, maybe even a lot afraid to be on their back. Sensing this, at some point during the course of the ride your horse decided to do something about it. Perhaps he spooked at something, drug you through some low hanging branches, decided to run back to the barn, or all of the above. Your horse’s attempt to dislodge you may or may not have been successful. Either way you’re even more afraid to ride and convinced that every horse you get on knows this about you. It’s true, they do so let’s take a minute to look at our equine angst and how we can go about getting to the other side of the equine fear factor.
Jacque wants to work in a therapeutic riding program when she grows up; Isabelle aspires to be a veterinary technician and Laitaita has intentions to study equine massage. And if she can ever get over her fear of both giving and receiving shots, Jamie has great aspirations of pursuing a career as an equine veterinarian. What do these four engaging young people have in common besides raging teenage hormones; cell phones attached to the ear and the need to text anyone and everyone about everything or nothing at all? They have a passion for horses and there is no greater place to satisfy that need than at the Howarth Park pony corral in Santa Rosa.