Horses have a unique ability to provide a therapeutic experience of which life skills and functions of cognitive, social and emotional human capacities can be acted upon and developed in the current moment in the session taking place. Horses are sensitive beings with highly developed social intelligence and emotional agility, enabling them to live in harmony with one another and their world in which they exist. Their survival has depended on being precisely attuned to body language, innuendo, emotional tone and in-congruence within ones' self. In this way, horses respond to our body language and energy (such as emotions and what we are feeling and thinking). As a result, horses mirror or react to what is going on within us and the issues we may be experiencing, and give us immediate feedback on the state of our inner and outer lives. Through this, one will learn that our behaviours and actions trigger responses in the horses and that if we modify or reassess our behaviours, communication style and body language, then the horse will give us a more positive outcome, just as is true in our human interactions.
For this reason, this experiential approach to mental health and learning is so effective, as changes within the person are put into practice in the current moment that the session is taking place and results can be felt immediately as the horse begins to respond to the participant/s more positively. In other words, horses pick up on your dynamics and provide immediate feedback, therefore, participants can bring about positive change within themselves right away because they are able to judge the quality of their communication, body language and emotions by the response they get from the horses. Participants get an immediate opportunity to change and do something differently. Participants can then transfer these skills from the arena with the horses back into everyday life.