“Since horses communicate primarily through body language and feel, they interpret our actions in their own terms, not only to understand what they are saying to us, but to also know what our position, posture, and movements are saying to them.” According to author Cherry Hill.
This form of communication is what lead us to start our Emotional-Support Teen / Horse Program. Understanding non-verbal communication is so important, especially with teens because they aren’t so inclined to want to freely communicate or express their thoughts and emotions, as it is.
Let’s go back to the basics…cavemen had their own means of effective communicating and subsequently, so do horses, most animals, and teenagers.
Do you see the correlation? First, by allowing the teen the opportunity to study a horses’ behavior, they too are learning about their own non-verbal communication and body-language.
Second, this simple and basic distraction is allowing the teen to think about something else, by tending to the horses’ basic needs and wants, taking the teen out of their head, if just for a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days.
To sum it up, each time the teen is interacting with the horse, they both are having a conversation with each other. Through time, they will learn to understand one another’s behaviors, needs, and wants, without verbal communication. And with this, with time, will come a stronger ability to trust, not only the horse with the teen and visa versa, but the teen with themselves, their peers, and their family.