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Horses make us human

The Power Of Horses To Heal

Anita Bonnarens
Visual Storyteller

is a photographic project that depicts a different type of horsepower. The project aims to go beyond documenting the visual beneficial effects of horse therapy for children and adults experiencing physical, mental, emotional or social challenges. The images seek to paint a portrait of the remarkable healing interaction between a horse and human.

earth had been a giving planet

Everything humans have needed to survive, and thrive, was provided by the natural world around us, yet, we have become disconnected from the natural world. The rise of technology and industry may have distanced us superficially from nature, but it has not changed our reliance on the natural world. Beyond physical goods, the natural world provides less tangible, but just as important, gifts. 

Why Horses?

Congruence: How Horses Can Help You Connect

"Horses don't flip our emotions magically, 

the magic is in their gift of their energetically reading and 

bringing alignment in our emotions and beliefs, 

assisting us in connecting with ourselves and ultimately with others."


Sharolyn Wandzura, Ears Forward Coaching

A lack of deeper connection to ourselves and others leaves us feeling empty at our core - adrift in a sea of strangers, unable to know who we are, what we want or how to get it. Never in history have we had so many gadgets and ways to help us to connect with other people - and yet I doubt that we've ever felt so disconnected from our souls and tribe; from our passion and compassion.


Mental health studies tell us how many days are lost in the workplace, and how many teenagers and pregnant women's lives are blighted by mental health problems and lack of connection (ironically) to the help they need. We see far too many homeless drug-users or alcoholics who have been traumatised by life and made to feel like an outcast. They are disconnected from the care they need and they soothe their pain in any way they can... which only makes things worse. What's missing is the lack of meaningful connections – the root cause of most of our ailments and woes.


Horses know when we are comfortable and they know when we are anxious and scared. What they don’t understand is when we act differently than we feel. When we send those mixed signals it’s called incongruence. Incongruence also describes the wall we put up when we meet someone new and aren’t sure we trust them, but we let them in just a little bit. We send mixed signals for many reasons. Sometimes it’s because we don’t feel safe, because we discount our own feelings, because we want to feel differently than we do, or because we want to please someone else. Horses read incongruous energy loud and clear. Energy is not something you can see or hear or taste, but you definitely feel it. It occupies the space between. It can draw you in or keeps you at arms length. Authenticity is congruent. When someone’s behaviors and intentions are consistent and in alignment, they are congruent.


Horses are social beings just like us but they are still deeply rooted in their basic instincts of fight or flight. When humans choose to interact with horses, we have the opportunity to join and be accepted by the herd, and to build relationships with them. This kind of joining up is a powerful experience and one that lends insight into our own understanding of ourselves and our society.


Interpersonal relationships are an art as much as a science and horses can help us to refine our skills because they are present in the moment. They take us at face value. There are no walls and there is no incongruence. It’s plain and simple. If you’re congruent, everyone is comfortable.

Story Of Healing
A story of healing
want to learn more about Equine Therapy?

Explore the healing possibilities that equine  assisted activities and therapy has to offer and find a program that is right for you.


Familiarize yourself with the different fields of therapy and terminology to research keywords to find facilities close to your home.

The following slides offer an overview of the different therapy options in the field of:

Physical Health

Mental Health

Facilitated Wellness

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