Working with horses, you learn to separate your emotions from the rest of you so you don’t fear those emotions, but deal with them. Breathtaking trail rides and lessons in Retorno’s horse arena help you discover new ways to connect to yourself. Therapeutic horseback riding can be an important factor in your recovery from addiction.
How does therapeutic horseback riding work?
There are two parts of me: the thinking part that makes decisions and acts, and the emotional part. My emotions are important, but when they make decisions for me, I get into trouble. The horse represents the heart — my emotions. The rider represents the “me” that thinks and makes decisions. When I allow the horse (my emotions) to lead instead of the rider (the thinking part of me), I get into trouble. How do I allow the rider to make decisions instead of the horse? How do I allow the thinking part of me make decisions instead of my emotions?
Through therapeutic horseback riding, you learn to separate the horse from the rider. You learn to separate your emotions from your decision-making process. Horses seek to escape pressure and find release. When you push him on the right side, he moves toward the left to escape the pressure. When you pull back on the reins, he stops in order to relieve the pressure. Like the horse, we also want to escape from pressure. Once you can identify where the pressure is coming from and understand that there are safe ways to escape from it, you no longer need to resort to unsafe ways. You learn to deal with your emotions, not run away from them. Click here to learn more about how therapeutic horseback riding can help in recovery and learn more about the evidence.
Working with horses at Retorno is part of a broader movement towards evidence-based equine assisted therapy. At Retorno, animal assisted therapy is available, in addition to therapeutic horseback riding.Please share this post!