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Third Day of Equine Therapy

The students arrived and had more confidence today, getting a feel for the routine and expectations. The horses were loose and grazing.

Students explored trust and attachment by participating in group discussions and activities that fostered insight and self-awareness. The group created a list of 5 important aspects of building trust with others: empathy, reliability, honesty, integrity, and investment / caring. Each word was written down on a 3x5 card and later placed on top of one of five barrels. The students were to create The Bridge of Trust and draw lines in the sand for “slats” in the bridge.

As they led the horses through the course, students shared their thoughts on each aspect of trust and which was most important to them, rating them….”I give 5 slats for honesty, 4 slats for reliability”, not going over the total sum of 20. The horses had to follow and students were attuned to the horses’ behavior, willingness, hesitations, and cooperation at each barrel.

Students then walked with CT around the outside of the arena to process individually what they learned and who they most need to work on rebuilding trust with and what their action plan will be to begin.

“As we were talking about the traits for trust I was interested because as I thought about it they were true. Empathy, integrity, honesty, reliability and investment/caring. I think they all work to gain trust. I was nervous to go first because I didn’t really know what to do, but I had fun leading George around.”

“I learned that it takes a lot of time and honesty to get the trust back. I found out that the biggest part of my trust is honesty and the second biggest is integrity.”

“I learned that we have to have a certain amount of trust for the horses to listen to us and do what we say and the horses have trust they can give us in return.”