Scarlet smooth

Horses are remarkable healing animals. There is so much more to them than just getting on their backs and telling them what to do. There are valuable life lessons we can learn from horses. 

Horses teach us

To Become More Balanced and Centered Within One's Body

Horseback riding is known to be vastly beneficial in developing great balance and coordination. It provides a healing movement for our human bodies and minds, and can help release physical and emotional blockages. 

Horses are not known to be very vocal animals. They communicate mostly through body language. As we interact with horses we must develop a clear awareness of what we do in our body to communicate the message.

To Build Strong Relationships & Secure Attachment

We humans are unique in the way that we can enter into a relationship often not really knowing who we are and what we want in our lives, or from that particular relationship. We can fool our partners by not being honest with ourselves. 

Horses can help us in the process of getting rid of our idiosyncrasies that often prevent us from forming secure-attachment relationships. Gaining trust and bonding with a horse requires us to obtain the skills we need to build happy and healthy relationships. 

To Set Boundaries

Much like young children, horses depend on solid, reliable boundaries to feel safe.

We cannot become confident leaders if we aren't able to hold firm boundaries about our own personal space, and how we let others treat us. This is one of the greatest lessons we can learn from the horse.

To Become Just and Confident Leaders

In the horse’s natural habitat, the herd, horses determine leadership daily. Most horses are born followers. There can be only one leader in the herd. And it is always the one who is not only the most emotionally fit, but the one who kicks and bites the hardest. It is the responsibility of the second and third ranking horses to challenge the lead horse consistently, to make sure she/he is still a fit leader. 

As humans, our disadvantage is that we cannot kick and bite as hard as another horse. However, the only way we can truly bond with a horse is to become a strong leader for them. Therefore, we must use our human gifts, such as, cleverness to become the leaders horses need us to be.

Trust and Bonding

The horse is a prey animal. Its first instinct when perceiving danger is to flee. It has no other self defense, and it will not stand its ground to fight unless it is cornered or otherwise prevented from fleeing. Horses have a strong instinct to fear predators and can sense them from miles away. It can stretch our human ego a great deal to be able to truly win the trust of a horse.

Honesty and Congruity

Horses never lie! And even more so, we cannot lie to a horse. Horses have an excellent ability to tap into the nervous systems of others. This is a survival mechanism that the horse received from Mother Nature. Many other animals possess this same ability. We humans have it as well, although perhaps not quite as fine tuned as the horse. However, unlike the human race, who are masters of incongruence and are able to fool each other perpetually, we cannot fool the horse. The horse cannot be made to believe that we are feeling something we are not.

Horses additionally become unsettled and distressed when they sense incongruence in us. It is only when we are able to face our true emotions that the horse will show up for us and will be able to hold us in the most healing and harmonious way.

Problem Solving and Seeing Another's Point of View

Learning how to see the world through the eyes of a horse, and figuring out what makes each individual horse tick is a journey that frequently brings up every emotion we humans possess, often simultaneously. 

Traditional training methods have proven that a horse can be forced to do most anything we want. However, throughout time it has also been proven that there is a better way to interact with these noble, magnificent animals. Natural horsemen and women around the world have emerged to bring awareness and understanding to the nature of the horse, and to teach us how to inspire this prey animal to want to work/play alongside human, the ultimate predator, willingly as a partner rather than a servant. 


Although quite independent and capable of surviving in the wild, once domesticated the horse becomes very dependent on us. Horses were meant to roam wild, covering approximately 20-30 miles of terrain in a day. They spend 60-70% of their time grazing on the variety of plants, trees, and grasses available for a vast array of nutrition. Their hooves are strong and healthy due to walking on rough ground and they can live up to 40 years. Most of the habitat and natural ways of the domestic horse are altered by us. We must embrace the responsibilities of gaining the knowledge as well as providing the care needed for our chosen companion, the horse.

© Kirsi Kesaniemi 2016