REFLECTIONS ON EQUINE WELFARE AND HORSE-HUMAN CO-EXISTENCE

IMG_8615

…and on relationship building in general.

I hear, meet, speak to, more and more people who choose to fully remove themselves from almost any kind of interaction with horses (not so much other animals), and any kind of equine assisted interventions (EAI). Because they feel that the way we humans typically (and traditionally) are interacting, have been interacting – with horses, does not feel good to them, does not sit well with them.

I have struggled with this for years. To me it looks like plain avoidance. Instead of being, staying in a difficult relationship, that can be hard to navigate, but rewarding, many choose to give up, to remove themselves. And decides that humans are, in general “bad” for/to horses (and I often the reasoning is that unaware, highly emotional “clients” would be the worst humans for a horse to be around). But there are several different parts to this – from what I have seen and heard. Some of it has to do with convictions that us humans are not allowed to request anything from a horse. As they have not chosen to be here, with us. While I understand that argument, I also do not believe in one-sided relationships. In relationships, requests go both ways. As responses do.

Continue reading
  1002 Hits

Emplaced.... you are in relation to where you are…

IMG_8953

There is a lot of talk about embodiment these days. But what we forget is what I call “emplacement”. Where we live, in what environment we live in. And how that affects us.

We too come from nature - we are nature...

I study Cognitive Science – and one branch of it is called 4E Cognition. It stands for embodied, embedded, extended and enactive. Some also add “ecological”, turning it into 5E Cognition.

Continue reading
  2134 Hits

The Imitation Game...

The Imitation Game

During our EiT/L training in Kent a week ago – I was privileged to see something I knew existed – but never before so obviously have presented itself before my eyes – when I had a camera in my hand and was in an observing role. Now I had the opportunity to see the whole interaction play out and take photos of it. It felt like someone had given me a precious gift! I was watching a horse during those moments she understood a human was imitating her. It was fascinating to follow the exchange of communication between them. How the horse first wondered what was going on, then had the though (a hypo...

Continue reading
  2285 Hits

I am an EMHP – an Equine Mental Health Professional…

20190624-DSC_7867 Reciprocity - Mutual grooming

Or – how do we get to know the inner life of horses? How do we really get to know them? How do we know what they feel? Experience? When I work in teams in equine assisted activities and therapies – this is what I am. I am an EMHP – an Equine Mental Health Professional. It took me 7 years to figure that out… or at least I am testing it out… I "went" from being an equine specialist to an equine cognitive scientist/professional – to just being an equine professional – and considering calling myself an equine behavioral professional, but stuck with just equine professional, EP. I think I a might c...

Continue reading
  2053 Hits