Gentle Feeling, Quiet Moments, Slowing Down
“I have learned more about being a person from a horse than I ever learned about being a rider. I wouldn’t be alive, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them in my life,” says Stella (Warm Beach Horsemanship student and wrangler alumnae with autism).
Imagine experiencing clanging symbols, flashing lights, and prickly textures all in what a neurotypical person would term an ordinary environment or scenario. For a person with autism, life can quickly go from peaceful and calm to an overwhelming sensory experience.
Horses help counteract this. The larger-than-life presence of the horse allows for tangible and measurable positive responses. The big muscle movements of the horse help reregulate an overstimulated and emotionally dysregulated rider. While riding, heart rate and breathing slows. Physically touching the horse is a soft, pleasant experience.
The warmth and texture of a horse’s hair on her hand helps Stella calm down. She loves to kiss the tip of their nose, where it’s especially soft, and feel their gentle breath. “I really like the gentle feeling. It’s a quiet moment and I feel like things slow down,” Stella said. “The world is just… a lot. When I’m with a horse and have a bond, the world doesn’t really matter. It’s just…us.” She continues, “being with a horse heals wounds that living in a world like this causes. It fills my soul.”
The Lord created intelligent creatures who choose to partner with humans. Horses heal in ways unique to their own calling. They are authentic, sympathetic, and reflective. Through God’s provision, Warm Beach Horsemanship is blessed with responsive and dedicated equine partners in ministry. They engage with each client and make a difference with every encounter.
-Ginger Reitz, Assistant Director
Warm Beach Horsemanship