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Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

Healing with Horses

Apr 01, 2021 03:32PM ● By Joan Summers

For thousands of years, our most trusted friends have been horses. They are deeply connected to our spiritual evolution. They have willingly carried us through wars and pulled our burdens, farmed our fields and won our races. They have remained present with us and know us better than we know ourselves. Through this partnership they have never stopped offering us their most powerful gift… The Essential Gift of a Horse.

Horses see the person we have lost contact with, the one who is authentic and at peace. They show us what we are unable to see. The energetic vibration of a horse is higher than ours. They can lift us out of sadness simply by standing next to us. They hold no judgment of our past behaviors because the present moment is all that matters to a horse. They support us as we struggle and rejoice with us when we find joy. For centuries, horses have been waiting for us to accept this amazing gift.

As prey animals, their survival depends on their ability to see and feel energy and intention. When these are in integrity, horses feel safe. What is so amazing is that a horse will move closer to a human who is suffering with incongruence. They see our truth, know what is in our hearts and move closer so their heart can touch ours. 

The Equine Gestalt Coaching Method was developed by Melisa Pearce, a core founder since 1989 of the horse-human healing movement. The experiential nature of the method involves the horse as an active partner with the coach in the client’s exploratory process. The integrative approach of the equine’s interaction, combined with positive coaching, somatic awareness, guidance and Gestalt methodology, assists the client in examining their life and choices made with a focus on designing a positive future. 

Traumatic events are events that can be experienced firsthand or by the observation of an event. They can be obvious and terrifying or considered small and fleeting, leaving us with physical and emotional pain or loss. Experiencing a traumatic event does not mean we will have PTSD. Just like all animals, we are programed to process these events. If the process is interrupted, however, the energy of our response to the event becomes frozen and can turn into PTSD. The severity of the traumatic event varies with age and support systems.

There is hope. The Gestalt healing process of finishing what our body started during that original event is the key to releasing stuck energy and reorganizing the brain’s response, also known as “a trigger”. Gestalt encourages people to bring the mental, emotional and physical elements of the experience into the present moment. When we are present and in our bodies, the horse will step in and share the wisdom of our truth. They express this in many forms, including pantomime, energy release and sharing their huge, loving heart. This discovery, and the process of bringing what is in our subconscious to our conscious awareness, can result in deep and long-lasting healing. 

We all have the power to heal and we do not have to do it alone.

Joan Summers, owner of Step Into Joy Healing Arts, is a Gestalt Life Coach and Intuitive Reiki Master specializing in the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method. For more information, call 267-272-9343, email [email protected] or visit