Horses and Anxiety

Anxiety can be overwhelming. It can determine what you do and how you do it.

If you would like help to find ways of coping with your anxiety, let me tell you how horses could help you…..

I have loved horses forever! Growing up I spent a lot of time at the stables and little did I know back then, just how much these beautiful creatures were so good for my mental health. It wasn’t until years later that I recognised I had always struggled with Anxiety. But I, like many people, hid it, denied it and struggled in silence.

I took a long break from horses after becoming a young mum and just 5 years ago I entered back into he world of horses. Since this time, I have spent lot of time, studying and spending time with my herd, learning just how great horses are in helping with Anxiety.

Firstly, spending time outdoors, taking time to notice the world around us, breathe in the fresh air and just relax is something we don’t seem to do often enough! Then when horses are added into the equation, something quite special happens.

Horses have a sixth sense that enables them to recognise emotional states in people such as anxiety, stress and fear. Through spending time and taking part in activities with the horses, this helps us to identify emotions in ourselves. The horse acts as an emotional mirror, responding to the feeling state we are presenting which creates the opportunity for reflection with the therapist.

Horses are prey animals and live in herds. Being a prey animal, survival is the most important factor for life! Although horses are now domesticated and don’t need to be on the look out for predators looking for their next meal, the strong emotional sense which is used as part of their survival tool has never left them. This tool, in the wild, would be used to sense any danger around them and to communicate between the herd. Horses do not talk for communication but are able to read through body language and sensing emotion, how their herd members are feeling and the message they want to get across. It is this skill that helps people look deeply into their selves and be able to explore further from the non-verbal feedback given from the horse.

Spending time with horses in this experiential therapy form allows the opportunity for self-reflection and self-learning. Observing the interactions between horses can help find coping techniques that are transferable to into your life situations.

Horses are unbiased and non-judgmental and will only respond to peoples intent and behaviour that is there in front of them – this is where the magic happens.

So horses will help you with Anxiety by being part of guided sessions with you, they will reflect back to you an emotional sense that they pick up – sometimes this may not be immediately recognised by you but from exploring with the therapist it will help you to recognise where it is. Help you to learn about your body processes and where in your body the anxiety may lie. They will also help you identify coping techniques by assisting you in developing a greater confidence to be able to deal effectively with your anxiety.

What actually is Mental Health?

I work with mental health…..

I have a mental health…..

You have a mental health…..

We all have mental health…..but what actually is it?!

I believe this question is not asked enough! General perception of anything around mental health is usually because someone is struggling or is acting out of character or doing things that that are not good for them like drinking too much, stealing or bullying etc – I could go on! The words ‘mental health’ are far more used nowadays and awareness is spreading however… we have always had a mental health, the same as we have always had physical health too! Let’s look at a definition….

‘Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps to determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life from childhood to adolescence through to adulthood.’ ( 5/8/19 online defintion)

So from this definition, the way I see it, our mental health can be positive or negative. We can all have good days or bad days and it’s about how we deal with it. Since we are all different we would all deal with it differently. The way we are bought up and things we have experienced would have a massive affect on this too.


I googled the words ‘mental health’ – up popped the words mental illness, clinics, disorders, suicide, diagnosis and treatment – all very clinical and somewhat negative… no wonder there is such a stigma attached the words! Having a mental health is normal, we all have it and most of all, we all NEED it!

It’s true, some of us struggle with our mental health, and if we are struggling what do we do about it? Some of us have a supportive network around us and can call on family and friends to help. But what if you don’t have that and really need help? I spent some time looking online for support networks. There is certainly a lot of information online about mental health. There is also a lot of online help by way of online counselling and phone numbers of organisations such as the Samaritans, all of which are very helpful but also, some can be costly to you. I would certainly recommend going to talk face to face with a counsellor but that too can be costly, but please do contact counsellors as they may be able to help you with a reduced cost or put you in touch with another service that could help you.

Please take a look at my website for further help and contacts that could help you. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please use my contact sheet and I will do my best to help.

It’s ok not to be ok. Be kind to yourself and do what you need to do to keep going. You ARE worth it!

If you are struggling with your mental health, please don’t suffer in silence. Go to your GP, talk to someone. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there that probably feel very similar to you, you are not alone! There are support groups out there and lots of useful information to help such as mindfulness techniques and Self care tips.


Firstly, thank you for visiting! This is my first blog so please bear with me – I am learning how all this works!

I am a therapeutic counsellor. Its more than a job and I feel so privileged to be able to work with so many wonderful people who may be experiencing issues in their life and decide to share it with me. Together, we work through it with a clear view to finding a place where they want to be, whatever and where ever that may be. I meet many inspirational people through my work, it truly is a very special type of work which I love.

I’ve been thinking about blogging for a while now. I often throw things about in my head, usually when I am on my own. I might have heard something on the radio, a song or a conversation or seen something that has given me food for thought and I spend ages just thinking about it and wondering if anyone else thinks the the same or can relate! So why not put it out there!!

So I am going to try to get a blog out there on a weekly basis. I hope you enjoy it, please feel free to comment along the way! I will learn how to add pictures to make this more interesting but like I said, I am very new to this and tend to learn as I go, its not always very quickly but I will do my very best!!

I will be back!

Lucy :0)