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Our experienced ponies and horses have provided thousands of therapeutic instructional hours. The ponies and horses utilized by Bridges can accommodate both children and adult participants, and allow the instructors to partner the participant with the pony or horse that best meets individual program needs.
There are several reasons we choose to use horses in this work, but primarily it is due to their nature as a social and prey animal. As a result of this nature, they have an extraordinary ability to read our nonverbal communication – picking up on messages we are sending which we are not always conscious we are doing. With this, they start responding to us in familiar ways reminding us of other people and things in our life. It is through this they become metaphors (symbols) providing us the opportunity to work on ourselves in relation to those aspects of our lives. The horses tend to play out our life stories, and then may either show us or provide opportunities to change what those stories look like.
Horses do not know our past, education, gender, race or other labels we may apply to ourselves and each other. They are in the moment and can be a part of this relationship without the biases we humans put on each other. This provides even more value in the insight they can provide us about ourselves.
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