Of Herd and Healers -- Horses Helping Humans - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Of Herd and Healers -- Horses Helping Humans

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They're gifted.
They're healers.
They're -- horses.

  "They're more than just animals.  They're actually a spirit, just like us.  And they have this ability to heal," says Jon Eagle, Sr., Board Member of the Northern Plains Equine Assisted Practitioners.

Experts say it's the herd mentality of horses that draws us.  "They care about each other, and so, I think, it's really the herd thing that causes them to catch our attention all the time," says Greg Kersten, Founder, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.  

While these horses are not particularly trained to interact with humans, that's the point, they say.  It's just horses being horses.  

From gang members and inner city kids to returning veterans and corporate employees, professionals are successfully using horses to address physical, emotional and mental distress in humans.  "That's the neat thing about using horses is they are so basic in their communication, in their demonstration of emotion, trust, fear, anything like that.  And humans love to complicate things.  The horses bring us back down to 'hey, let's keep this more basic,'" says Kersten.

Today, Kersten is in Bismarck training the practitioners -- including social workers and law enforcement -- who will be working with people through horses.  Some of training involves a group dealing with an obstacle.  With the horses.  Without talking.  "As human beings, we sometimes can get stuck -- and horses just seem to have this ability to help us move through that process and find acceptance," says Eagle.

These trainers say they have, literally, hundreds of horse and human interaction success stories.  To learn more about Equine Assisted Philosophy and Northern Plains Equine Assisted Practitioners, go to www.harmony-stables.com or www.okcorralseries.com.


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