There are five different types of Equines at Lily Brook Farm. A horse, a pony, a donkey, a mule and a mini horse. You will be able to meet them all by clicking on the meet the herd section of this site. Why do we partner with equines, and does it matter what kind we are working with, what are the differences?
I will use the common word horse when describing the nature of equines, It will just roll smoother. Most people are familiar with the word horse. Jenny the donkey doesn’t have to know I’m not saying donkey.
Horses have survived for thousands of years out in the wild among predators that feed off of them. Horses are prey and have developed a very specialized set of senses and a fine tuned intuition to survive. I believe we humans also have a sharp sense of what is going on around us, and very good intuition, but we don’t always listen or pay attention to these skills. We have to learn how to use these skills, and there is no better teacher than the horse.
Unlike four wall therapy (office, chair, walls, words, body language) when a client is working with a horse there can be no lying, no pretending , no BSing. What happens is clear and change can be seen instantly with a change in behavior. What could take months in an office can happen in a field with a horse in minutes. How a client reacts to the horse, how the relationship is forming, how the slightest awareness and change of behavior will change the situation is therapeutic. 90% of communication is non-verbal and because the horse doesn’t talk with words the other signs of communication are clearer. Attitude, fear, sadness, joy, relief, grief are all held in our bodies and in the horses body. Standing there next to a horse, breathing in unison, brushing, touching, smelling, being, holding that space that the horses so generously give us, when we give up on holding on to thoughts that are dragging us down, the horse is there to allow us a safe space to fold into.
We at Lily Brook Farm are dedicated to mental health and healing with the animals. There are times that those four walls are necessary and we have to sit down and talk..especially if a ‘noreaster is happening. But we will always end up another day out in the field with the animals. Taking time to sit and talk about the experiences and what happens in the field with the horse is part of the process.
Lily Brook Farm is a 501(c)3.