How Horses teach us Emotional Agility

Horses are masters of emotional agility. “The Power of the Herd” author, Linda Kohonav, discovered this process through her extensive observation and research on emotional intelligence.

She explains it in four points:

1. Horses feel the emotion in its purest form

2. Horses get the message behind the emotion

3. Horses change something in response

4. Horses go back to grazing

Horses don’t ruminate over the details of uncomfortable situations.

As a horse owner of thirteen years my favorite activity to connect with my horses, myself and nature is to trail ride. I’ll never forget the time I was riding on a looped trail when my horse stopped dead in her tracks. I knew right away she had sensed something unfamiliar. I quietly asked her, “what is It”? Her head raised high, ears perked forward, eyes became wide open and her breathing came to a halt. As I focused my sight in the direction she was looking, I saw bushes swaying back and forth, (something big was coming) I held my breath also. In a matter of seconds out jumped a mountain lion onto the trail. My mare stood still as I gazed in awe and fear of what was happening. I wasn’t sure of what my mare was going to do next, but it surprised me. As the mountain lion took a quick right on the trail, my mare waited until it disappeared and began walking again.

What? That’s it? I was shaking in my shoes wondering what that lion was doing in our woods. My mind got to spinning and ruminating for hours after we made it back to the barn safely. I was surprised that she didn’t bolt and run away with me. That was the first time that I began to understand the secret of emotional agility and how horses can help us learn how to “feel and deal” with our own emotional states.

Written by Linda Yopp, Equine Specialist and Equine Alchemy Life Coach

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