Horses and Equine Gestalt Create Better Lives for Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

photo of woman nose to nose with horse, healing grace, equine healing

A woman and a horse meet in the middle of a round pen. The woman is disconnected, she feels like she is floating out of her body, hovering amid the rafters of the barn. The horse notices her but stays still, her energy moves outward, feeling for the human in her midst. The energy she sends draws the woman’s attention; she feels herself coming back into her body. She clutches the teddy bear she is holding tighter as she feels herself settle back into her skin. The feeling is uncomfortable, vulnerable, and she considers running for a moment but then feels the mare’s supportive energy and settles into herself. In that moment, the horse shifts her weight and moves toward the woman, bridging the distance between them. She settles her muzzle on the woman’s heart and breathes her warm breath. The woman exhales, a small tear escapes her eye. She wipes it quickly and then allows the energy of the horse to wash over her like healing salve over an open wound. In a whisper, she tells the horse one detail about what happened. No human can hear, but the horse hears — and listens as the woman finds her voice.

Childhood sexual assault is an ongoing trauma that is hugely affected by the age of the child. It may have happened before the child had words — or the words may be stuck in a mire of things that didn’t make sense to the individual at the time. In the example above, the woman started experiencing trauma as a baby and it continued for many years. Over time, she developed the strategy of separating herself from her body and that way of being became natural because it felt safe. Because as a child, it was the only way she could survive what was happening to her. Now, this state of being was not congruent with the way she wanted to live her life. Especially when interacting with her children. She began seeking a way to understand herself and found Equine Gestalt.

Equine Gestalt is the practice of building awareness around our inner and outer selves and seeking to attain an understanding great enough to allow us mindful choices in our actions. It assists in taking any pieces of ourselves that have been shattered through trauma and, with purpose, reconnect them until we achieve wholeness with no separation and can live fully in the present moment.

Horses are master Gestaltists — they are most comfortable in their bodies and are always fully present in the moment. They are also energy gurus. This is part of their evolutionary survival toolkit and it allows them to “feel” out around them all the way to the horizon. In that space, they have energetic awareness of predators as well as herd mates. They also have a deep relationship with humanity, having journeyed alongside us for many generations. All that shared energy and experience has led to horses being experts on humans and understanding the nuances of our beingness that even we sometimes miss.   

Adults who have experienced sexual trauma as a child many times share an experience similar to the example above. They walk through life with a physical and emotional resistance that they don’t always fully understand because it lives under the surface in the form of tight muscles, feeling stuck, hesitation around physical interactions with others, and a thousand other small but powerful ways. The unresolved state of their trauma changes the way they live day to day, and they may never feel like they are being true within themselves. This leads to many things society sees as “dis”orders including depression, sadness, disconnection, learning disabilities, and more.

When a client who is living in this state walks into a Gestalt session, they begin to become aware of their body and their experiences so they can resolve the trauma from the inside out. During an Equine Gestalt session, the horse is a fully active partner to the Gestaltist, adding their keen awareness and essential gift of energy healing to the session. Equine Gestalt is a creative tool both inside and outside the round pen and draws on using experiential experiments in which the client embraces all their senses to deeply understand themselves in a way that feels safe even if it feels unfamiliar.

Although nothing can change the past or make it “all good,” Equine Gestalt is a path that allows us to find our balance and work toward joy all while following a beautiful horse who knows the way to peace. 

If you’d like to experience Equine Gestalt, contact Evie at the links below.

WRITTEN BY:

Kimberly Beer and Evie Rose, Gestaltist

Evie Rose, owner and founder of Voices From The Scars, is an international speaker, certified Equine Gestalt practitioner, and Brainspotting facilitator. After working with several amazing practitioners and various modalities herself, to help heal from her own trauma, Evie Rose found her authentic voice. She is now very passionate about empowering individuals who have experienced sexual abuse, to heal from their scars, and then find their voice to live a happy and healthy life moving forward.

Additionally, Evie Rose is also a part of the Awakening Giant TV series.  In this series, our mission is to inspire others to transform their own life by breaking the emotional chains that hold them back.  

“It’s been a rough ride, however, it hasn’t been without its moments of glory.”

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