I am a therapeutic counsellor with an equestrian background. I combine these skills to help you to get the best out of your relationship with your horse.
Building a better relationship with your horse is about how you work as a team. . Sessions will include ‘talking therapy’ without the horse, to gain self-awareness and to explore issues going on for you, such as loss of confidence and anxiety. We can also work with your horse, to improve how you function together.
Understanding your Horse
Being flight animals, horses are very aware of non-verbal communication and our body language, noticing how calm and confident we are, or not. This applies to all aspects of horsemanship – whether we are riding or handling them, or simply in their presence. They pick up things about ourselves we are not even aware of!
What happens in sessions?
We can discuss your worries, and fear, and the impact life events, such as trauma, may have impacted on your riding. Trauma may be a result of a fall, or personal experiences, such as bereavement. What affects you personally can turn horsemanship from a pleasurable experience into a nightmare! Talking about strategies and a game-plan off the horse in a calm environment can help you to work through problems before putting them into practice.
I can offer a ‘package deal’ of 6 sessions, Personal sessions without the horse can be on-line, using Zoom. I can also come to you to work with you and your horse in a ridden/handling session, for up to an hour. (Travel costs may apply.)
I am thrilled to have such lovely reviews this month from both Equestrian Trade News and Therapy Today. It is so exciting that this book appeals to both the horse world and the mental health profession! I learned so much more writing it: a real learning curve which has given me a greater understanding of my horses, and myself as a human being, horse owner and rider.
Horses are fascinating and perceptive creatures. Developing a thorough understanding of how a horse interprets the world around them and deliberately being self-aware as a rider, are the essential skills to a successful and fulfilling partnership. In The Psychology of Horsemanship. well-known equestrian author and horse expert, Claire Lilley, shares her passion and knowledge about horses and riders developed from over forty years’ experience in the equestrian world, and more recently several years in the mental health profession. Divided into three sections, the book covers:
Equine psychology – the horse’s senses, primary responses and emotion
Training psychology – the rider’s communication, training and learning from past experiences
Relational psychology – the goals, the development and the challenges faced in successful horsemanship
With high-quality photographs, diagrams and extended real-life examples, this book explores the application of psychology to the world of horses and how the understanding and evolvement of the horse-rider relationship impacts on both mental and physical development.
Claire’s latest book is available from Crowood Press on the link below;
As the Countryside Counsellor, I fully understand that rural life is not easy and comes with a whole range of stressful situations. Solo working can be lonely, with no-one to share your fears and concerns..
With long term stress, anxiety can take hold, affecting your self-confidence and self-worth. Fear is hard to admit to yourself, but it has a far-reaching effect on handling and riding horses and other animals, and affect personal relationships..
As an equestrian professional myself for many years, I understand this world and how tough it can be, especially in the long, cold and dark winter months. Long days with little rest can have a negative affect on mood and wellbeing.
Losing a beloved horse or pet can be devastating, as can taking the decision to end their life if they are suffering. Letting go is so difficult, and finding support through this dreadful experience really helps.
Coping with Injury
Personal injury is common, and can be hard to deal with if you are a fit and active person. Physical jobs such as vets, farriers, farmers, horse trainers, for example, demand physical fitness and stamina: injury can knock this for six, and the mental impact of not being able to do what you need be very stressful.
Being very good at reading people, with equine assisted counselling the horse is part of the therapy session, alongside me. At our initial session, we can discuss if horses would be of support to you in your individual counselling process.
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