Western Daily Press

Get life back on track with equine energy therapy

Friday, October 15, 2010, 07:00

Good horse people know that these wonderful animals have a knack of understanding how we are feeling, if we aren't quite aware ourselves.

They are "tuned in" to our body language, to our heart rate and to the energy we give off, whether it be positive or negative.

So it makes sense that horses can be very useful as therapists, with people like Elaine Tyley, who lives near Cerne Abbas in Dorset, there to guide and advise.

Elaine says that her brand of energy therapy has been used for centuries, but only in recent times has our ancient link with horses been explored.

She explains: "Horses live in the here and now, they are a spiritual being and they communicate using energy. By studying and working with them, so much can be learnt about ourselves and how other people see us, and they can help bring to the surface many stored up emotions which hold us back."

One of Elaine's clients is a teenager, Zoe, who is a bundle of fantastic energy which she has not yet learnt to control.

Elaine said: "She could not understand why sometimes her teachers became exasperated with her because her energy is so high that she fails to listen and fails to channel it in a way that can help her.

"I decided to see what the horses made of Zoe. She entered the arena with my two mares, Sam and Grace, and they whooped it up with her.

"They were bucking, rearing and having a great time while Zoe was trying desperately to calm them down. I walked into the school and they instantly became calm and came to me, because my energy is controlled.

"I asked Zoe to work with Sam, to approach her and see if she could persuade the horse to follow her. Sam was having none of it as Zoe's energy was too high even when she stood still!

"So I then did some deep breathing exercises with Zoe and we focused on bringing her energy levels down to a controllable level. She grounded herself by imagining a white light coming down through her head, through her body and down through her feet into the ground. We did this for a couple of minutes and then Zoe went over to Sam again.

"I told her to approach Sam with her energy low and see if she could persuade Sam to move by channelling her energy into the horse at different points on Sam's body. Within a couple of minutes, Zoe had Sam following her round the school, turning and stopping, controlling the mare only by increasing and lowering her energy. Zoe was amazed and has promised to start the new term controlling her energy and to try and communicate better with her teachers.

Grace is another of Elaine's " wonderful" four-legged helpers. A former brood mare, Grace was a physical and mental wreck when Elaine found her having been traumatised when her foals were taken from her.

Using natural horsemanship methods, Elaine has managed to turn Grace into what she described as "a beautiful grounded healing horse".

"She is kind, gentle and loving and I decided to use her with Sue, who contacted me because she was fed up with her past blocking her future. None of her relationships worked out and she was depressed, very anxious and not at all confident around horses.

"I started our meeting with what I call 'green therapy': we walked and concentrated on breathing and focusing Sue's mind on the here and now – not what had happened in the past, not what could happen in the future, but channelling her thoughts into the moment.

"When Sue was relaxed, I introduced Sue to Grace over the stable door. Grace was her normal welcoming self, but Sue stood back from the door. I gave her a few minutes to focus on Grace and then quietly asked her to approach the mare and stroke her head.

"Eventually, Sue took a couple of steps forward and reached out her hand to Grace and very timidly stroked her head. I left them like this for a minute or two and I asked Sue how she felt. Sue looked at me with tears running down her cheeks and smiled. She said that normally when faced with a situation like this she would have walked away.

"Sue said she would rather walk the three miles into town rather than find the courage to be able to face the people on the bus. It was a huge thing for Sue to realise that she does have the courage to take the first step to overcoming her demons."

Elaine adds: "Horses can help us through life's rocky road. There are so many pressures put on us in our everyday lives that it is easy to lose our way. But it is possible to find your way again with the help of our four-legged friends.