Why do women and girls love horses? It’s an age-old question, so Wellness Ranches asked author of ‘Leadership Wisdom From The Herd ', Marina Parris to use her expertise to share 4 amazing reasons women are naturally connected to horses.
With the popularity of wellness vacations at an all-time high, we’re very used to thinking of beautiful wellness retreats mainly involving yoga, mindfulness and meditation.
But not so commonly associated with wellness vacations, are horses.
For many years now, horses have been used for physiological, psychological and behavioral therapy, helping humans find their way in life again – and this is no coincidence.
Photo: Bitterroot Ranch
Inexperienced people are often scared of horses because they are large and strong, and use this power when they need to.
However, there's also another side to horses as innately gentle, peaceful and grounding souls.
Spending time with these beautiful animals can be hugely therapeutic, no matter who you are or where you’re from.
The transformational experiences that bring mind, body and soul together in a poetic dance with the horse reawaken something inside of a woman, something yearning for expression and waiting to be integrated into daily life.
Horses as healers
In preparing to write this blog, I reflected on how and why I was first drawn to horses in my 30s.
I helped out at a small center offering riding for the disabled and what I saw there touched me so very deeply, that I moved out of the corporate world and into the horse world.
Here is a powerful 1000-pound animal that was ever-so-patient and careful as it interacted with the children that simply came to groom it, or were led around while on its back.
The same horse with an experienced rider can show up very differently.
It was knowing how strong horses are and seeing them demonstrate this gentle behavior that fascinated me.
‘What would it take for me to interact and work with such a majestic animal?’ I asked myself.
Fast forward to today, interacting with horses has contributed to my own personal development and wellbeing in countless ways:
They have nourished my body, mind and soul beyond words.
Here are 4 amazing reasons women are naturally connected to horses
Even though horses are strong and powerful, women feel safe, not only physically, but also emotionally.
In an image- and media-driven world, being around horses is respite – they do not judge – and give women permission to be who they are deep inside.
Feeling safe and nurtured in this horse-human relationship means a deep bond develops, and there’s a beautiful celebration of connection and oneness when this occurs.
This touches something deep inside of a woman, as if an old memory is being reawakened.
When this happens, there is often no turning back and these women set out on a journey to live their own life and no longer settle for anything less.
Connection to the Self
Another reason why some women and girls love horses so much is because they offer them a chance to step into and acknowledge their own power – a power of which men are subconsciously afraid, else there would not be such a long history of oppression.
While society seeks conformity, horses seek authenticity.
While generations of social conditioning have left women searching for their true purpose in life, interacting with horses reconnects them with a deeper part of themselves, one that has been covered up by family, societal and cultural obligations.
Working with horses in a way that they become true partners requires skills long-forgotten into today’s fast-paced world.
It’s about drawing on qualities from within, more than using physical force. It’s about seeing the other as equal and finding a way of working together based on mutual trust, true connection and authentic communication.
Photo: Echo Valley Ranch & Spa
Evolution of power
I believe young girls and women are subconsciously drawn to horses at an early age because of the evolution of power over generations.
Women have had little or no voice until now, yet their needs as human beings have remained unchanged: to feel safe, understood and seen.
Most parts of the world have traditionally been – and still are – governed and ruled by men.
Men tend to use force to get and maintain power, thus there are very few models on how to use power in a healthy way to influence others, a way in which everyone benefits.
Just look at the state of the world today. This explains why women are often not keen on leadership positions, if this is the current definition of power.
Horses give women the chance to work with another kind of power, a power that is free from an unhealthy ego and integrates the wellbeing of others into the decision-making process.
Interacting with horses allows women to learn about the mature use of power, as modeled by horses and when the opportunity to interact with powerful forces comes in the form of a horse, everything changes.
Alignment with human nature
The horse’s powerful yet gentle nature is very often in alignment with the true nature of human beings.
But what's so different about horses that makes such a unique bond, with women in particular, possible?
As prey animals and as mentioned above, horses model a different use of power, one that is not predatorial and territorial.
Thus, horses give women the chance to learn about using power in a way that is much more in alignment with the true nature of human beings.
This power is less about ‘me’ and when used in a mature way to influence others, becomes more about ‘we’, and ensures the safety and wellbeing of all group members.
The relationship between a girl and her horse is a very special one and can be life-changing; why not take a moment and reflect on your own experiences?
What first drew you to horses?
What have you learned from and about them, that has helped you in your relationships at home, at the office and most importantly with yourself?
If you like the sound of doing something a little different and spending time with horses on your next wellness vacation, you should seriously consider a wellness ranch vacation!
Wellness ranch vacations are restful wilderness retreats that celebrate and nurture mind, body and spirit, and are all located against the pure and stunning backdrop of ranch country.
Take a look at our beautiful wellness ranches with yoga, massage, meditation and more – or read more about how horses will help improve your yoga practice. Namast-neigh!
Original article written by Marina Parris, Coach for Equine-Assisted Learning
Co-written, edited and created by Kate Hammaren; luxury and adventure travel writer, editor and world traveler.
Thanks to Lazy L&B Ranch for the beautiful banner image
Marina Parris was born and raised in California, and went to UC Berkeley before moving to Switzerland in 1992. She later discovered horses and left her corporate job to pursue her passion of working with people and horses, and now works as a certified Coach for Equine-Facilitated Learning (Eponaquest Instructor). Marina lives in France on a beautiful farm with her two horses Riverdance and Hummer, and brings a message of transformation and healing to her work in Switzerland, France and soon to come in 2023, to Wyoming. She is also multi-lingual and speaks English, German, Swiss-German and French.