A recent session involved a middle-aged man who was recovering from an illness, partly related to stress and burnout. We had 3 horses in the session with us and 2 of them stayed on the edge of the area for most of the session. The large white horse very deliberately lay down in the middle of the area and stayed there for a time. The client pointed out that the horse looked very relaxed. He hadn’t seen the horse do this before. He didn’t want to approach it, though it was a horse he like to be with.
The horse changed position a couple of times, though stayed laying down. It eventually got up very slowly and stood quietly in the edge of the area until the end of the session.
The client talked about how he had felt guilty about the need to rest in the last few weeks whilst feeling unwell. This was partly related to his difficulty with self-care. He wondered if the horse was showing him how to rest, even though it was difficult for him to acknowledge.
“It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol” - Brené Brown