Across the Great Divide – Humans rediscovering horses
In my work as an equine educator, I’ve had the privilege to work with a variety of humans introducing the horses in my herd. One young woman was in remission from cancer and gripped with fear. In the span of twenty minutes this same woman successfully lead a 1,000 lb. horse around the arena, and over a jump pole marked CANCER! In this process, with the help of a horse named Caesar, her troubled spirit was lifted and set out on the road to recovery.
Horses are sentient beings capable of healing broken spirits and reconciling troubled souls. Today there exists a chasm between those who relate to horses primarily as tools, existing only for human pleasure, performance and blue ribbon wins and those of us who relate to and love horses for their wisdom, companionship, beauty and spirit.
As evidenced by their plight throughout history, horses are often and easily disposed of when they become elderly, injured, and/or unable to carry riders weight on their backs.
The Ancient Horse
Since the beginning of recorded time, horses have danced through our art, shared our mythology, and shaped our history. Together, humans and horses have waged war, tilled soil, explored new lands and engaged in great contests. Kings and commoners, heroes and villains, saints and sorcerers have ridden into history on the back of the horse. Equines bring us as close as we will ever come to flying on our own.
These powerful beings are at once mysterious yet noble, wild but manageable. And yet, for as long as horses have been in our consciousness they remain a mystery. Perhaps, no other creature in our lives holds the sweet paradox quite like the horse.
The size and power of the horse is naturally intimidating to many people. Partnering with a horse creates confidence and provides for some wonderful metaphors when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life.
In my 15 years as an equine educator, I have facilitated hundreds of sessions for a wide variety of humans – abused children, people struggling with addiction and people with health challenges.
A trouble teen, who had seen her mother murdered in front of her, had not spoken in two years when she came to the ranch. After grooming and communing with a grey Appaloosa named Tizzy she broke open and spoke her first words. Tizzy had “whispered” to her.
Nine Latino 6th grade boys and girls on the verge of dropping out of school, become inspired to read and write about horses during a four month pilot program, called Horse Sense for Readers.
The Horse as Messenger and Teacher
Horses have been an every day feature of western human life until just 50 years ago. As our industrial need for the horse greatly diminished, the horse of today seems to be transforming and reinventing itself.
The modern horse signals the emergence of teacher, healer, mentor, guide, coach and mediator, at the very forefront of human self-development, education and recovery.
Humans are learning the intrinsic value of the horse. People in the corporate realm are venturing out to a pasture, on a ranch, letting horses teach them about leadership. Veterans damaged by war are regaining confidence and feeling understood by horses. At risk teens, who have never experienced wide open spaces are bonding with horses. Those recovering from addiction, illness, grief and loss find a gentle ally in 1,000 pound animals.
I am so privileged at Medicine Horse Ranch to facilitate these programs, and witness first hand the horses healing influence and power.
For me, horses evoke a fierce love, and a unique relationship, that will never dim with age nor fade with time. My life’s work is to honor and celebrate the horses healing presence, across the great divide.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Finding North Horse: Discovery, Recovery and Transformation Through the Call of the Horse. Alyssa Aubrey, CEGE Incorporates horses in human development through Equine Guided Education. www.medicinehorseranch.org