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Horses - how have they helped to improve your health?

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        07-09-2012, 03:51 PM
      #21
    Super Moderator
    Thought I could freshen up this thread... I talked a girl I know into giving a try for horses. She is currently learning to do groundwork by natural horsemanship principles. The special thing about is - she is suicidal, suffering from maniacal depression. Or rather - was. After 4 months of lessons that have turned out to be the best therapy, she has finally found a reason for living, her social skills have improved dramatically and she is now a more happy, self-conscious person. We're all very happy for her at our barn, because she is a real proof of how wonderfully horses can change - and save - a life.
         
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        07-12-2012, 04:44 PM
      #22
    Weanling
    My health issues are more mental (lots of anxiety and stress). I find whenever I go out to my horse, all negative thoughts are gone. My mind could be racing about everything I need to do, money issues, etc. as soon as my car gets to the dirt road that goes to my horse, all of it disappears. I only think about my horses' needs and what I want to accomplish with him that day.

    This is a little embarrasing admitting but in high school, I had to see a therapist for my panic attacks/anxiety because it interrupted my schooling. As soon as I was able to buy my horse, all that anxiety vanished and I was more social and involved in things. Horses are amazing healers.

    I would love to someday start up a program for at-risk youth, disabled veterans, disabled adults/kids, etc. where they can just come and ride, learn new skills, meet new people, and forget about their troubles for awhile.
         
        07-13-2012, 10:55 PM
      #23
    Foal
    Horses are amazing healers.

    The whole idea of me being a rider has truly impacted my health. My commitment to the art/sport/lifestyle has inspired me to be in good shape. As a rider, I want to be stronger, and I am much stronger. I want to be tougher, and I have become much tougher.

    I've achieved heart-changing results emotionally and mentally, as well. I feel as though I'm at more peace with myself. I've started and stopped riding again numerous times, and I believe I am meant to be a rider because I've found myself at it so much. There is a peace and happiness about a relationship with a horse that is so priceless and valuable to me (when I say riding, I don't just mean physically riding but also working around the barn with my best friend). There is something about being best friends with a horse that is impossible to achieve with a human. I love my girl so so much, my best friend...

    I also believe that riding ties into my spiritual life. I'm Catholic and I love Jesus above everything, so much, and I believe that the gift of horses in my life is a message from God, I believe that God placed horses in my life and that He placed me with my horse. It's incredible to think about.

    Riding.. synonymous with life-changing, right?
         
        07-13-2012, 11:37 PM
      #24
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saranda    
    Thought I could freshen up this thread... I talked a girl I know into giving a try for horses. She is currently learning to do groundwork by natural horsemanship principles. The special thing about is - she is suicidal, suffering from maniacal depression. Or rather - was. After 4 months of lessons that have turned out to be the best therapy, she has finally found a reason for living, her social skills have improved dramatically and she is now a more happy, self-conscious person. We're all very happy for her at our barn, because she is a real proof of how wonderfully horses can change - and save - a life.
    That's my experience too. I'm bipolar with anxiety and social anxiety, and horses have helped heaps. Just hanging round doing stuff like exercising them or mucking out levels my mood much better than meds and with less scary side effects. They also helped build my confidence, it always goes up a few notches when I'm around them. I'll actually go up and talk to people and make friends.

    Having Brock did save my life a few times - I hit some really terrible lows, but knowing he needed me there in the morning to feed him or pay the bills while he's agisted out at pasture, meant I had a lifeline. I couldn't shirk my responsibility, no matter how much I thought the world would be far better off without me.
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        07-13-2012, 11:57 PM
      #25
    Weanling
    My horses are my motivators to stay in shape and assist in my emotional well being as well. I don't know where I would be without them. I can unwind with them after a stressful day at work and they never judge me. When I am having a bad day they help me put aside any worries and I can feel the stress of the day melt as we trail ride in the woods. They help me notice the wonders of nature that we often disregard as our lives can be moving by at such a frantic pace. The beauty in the change of seasons, the baby deer we encounter in the summer, the first buck we spot,the fire flies on a summer nights ride, riding through the deep snow at gallop that seems to unfold in slow motion, and my favourite season of all-the comforting crunching sound of the fallen leaves of fall under their hooves. I am thankful for every day I have been graced by their majestic presence.
         
        07-14-2012, 01:45 PM
      #26
    Green Broke
    My horse gives me a reason to get out of bed, to go to work in the morning, to keep on living, to keep on caring. Riding and caring for my horse is a reason to live.
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        07-21-2012, 11:26 PM
      #27
    Weanling
    I have clinical depression and anxiety. I've lost count of the different antidepressants my doctor has prescribed, none of them worked for me and I got every side effect under the sun (including making my depression WORSE). I was having an average of almost a panic attack a day, and everything was messed up - physically and mentally.

    Somehow, when I'm with the horses, my anxiety just fades away. I know that they need to see me as a strong leader and somehow that trumps the inner voice telling me to freak out. I don't understand it, but it's helped tremendously. I'm still recovering, I still can't hold a job, but thank God I have an understanding supportive husband and an amazing horse. He has commented many times how much better I seem when I'm spending time with her.

    I doubt I'll ever be completely free of mental illness, but if I can keep it manageable (with help from my four-footed friends) that's still a huge step forward.
         
        08-05-2012, 01:16 PM
      #28
    Foal
    Horses have helped me in what seems like every way possible. I found myself stronger, not just physically, but emotionally as well.
         
        08-05-2012, 08:59 PM
      #29
    Foal
    My horse has helped me in so many ways. Physically, obviously riding makes me stronger, but mentally also. It never fails that however I get on my horse, I get off calm and secure. All the crap and everything else I go into the barn with are left there. I don't know where I'd be without my beastie. <3
         

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