This great ability for observation is one of the things that makes horses so useful in therapy of various sorts. The EAGALA model of equine-assisted therapy makes use of the horse’s ability to spot incongruities in human behavior and react to it. For instance, if you’re uncomfortable but trying to act like you aren’t, you may fool other humans, but you won’t fool a horse. The horse may not know precisely what you’re doing, but it will be aware that the inside doesn’t match the outside, and it will react to that incongruity in some way. That reaction can help both therapist and client better understand the true nature of an issue.
Practising mindfulness will both help horses understand you, and help you understand horses.The more you learn to see the world as a horse does, the more you’ll understand about the ways in which other creatures interact and cope with the world. And as you practice mindfulness, you'll find that your ability to relax and jettison unnecessary worrying will deepen - and almost all of us can use that!
(If you want to know more about the EAGALA model and how it works, check out “Transforming Therapy Through Horses,” by LynnThomas and Mark Lytle. If you want to learn more about the practice of mindfulness, try ”The Miracle of Mindfulness,” by Thich Nhat Hanh.)