The healing power of horses

  16.02.2024 Gstaad Living, Charity & Support, Healthcare, Behind the Scenes, Business

On a crisp January morning, wisps of steam curl from the nostrils of the horses as they quietly gather around the feeding trough; it is the embodiment of a tranquil scene. I am meeting Carine Morier-Genoud, a dedicated horse therapist who exudes warmth and vitality as we join the equine assembly, her smile a beacon of welcome. Among the herd, each horse, from the affectionate Lili to the stoic Abi, possesses a distinct persona nurtured in an environment that respects their innate inclinations.

The horses move freely between the stable and the pasture and are given hay at will. These paradisiacal conditions are the heart of the therapist’s philosophy: “For therapy with horses to make sense, they must have living conditions that are as close as possible to their deepest nature. Only then are we dealing with a being that feels comfortable on its hooves, and only then can we experience an authentic relationship with this majestic animal.”

Healing people through the well-being of horses
Carine’s therapeutic philosophy, inspired by the humanistic principles of Carl Rogers, centres on cultivating self-awareness, emotional understanding, and meaningful connections with horses as indispensable partners in the journey of healing.
Hippotherapy, as championed by Carine, extends an array of benefits, from enhancing emotional intelligence and confidence to providing solace for individuals with motor or mental disabilities. Notably, horses exhibit remarkable adaptability, displaying patience and empathy toward individuals with disabilities while prompting those with dominant personalities to reflect on their demeanour and interactions. The rhythmic heartbeat and unwavering presence of horses offer a soothing balm, particularly beneficial for those grappling with attention deficits or the aftershocks of trauma. “Sometimes, young people with attention deficits experience a state of total presence for the first time. This is very positive because this state can also be reproduced in other situations,” says Carine.

A horse-friendly attitude
Carine’s bond with horses traces back to her upbringing in the Jura, where she forged a profound connection with these majestic creatures as she would slip under the fences to stroke them. Her decision to embark on a journey of horse therapy stemmed from a deep-seated desire to honour their natural state of freedom and establish relationships grounded in mutual respect and trust. Embracing the challenges inherent in horse therapy has not only transformed her as a practitioner but also fortified her connection with her daughter with special needs, serving as a testament to the transformative power of equine-assisted interventions.

Amidst the picturesque backdrop of Carine’s sanctuary, characterised by the horses’ exuberance and her own fulfilment of childhood dreams, lies an invitation to experience healing and joy. Crossing the threshold into Carine’s equine haven offers not only a glimpse into the profound connection between humans and horses but also an opportunity for personal growth and renewal.

In this idyllic setting, the horses embody a sense of freedom and vitality, frolicking with gentle madness at the slightest hint of snowflakes. Each interaction with these magnificent creatures serves as a testament to the transformative potential of equine therapy, where barriers dissolve and healing begins.

As Carine tends to her four-legged companions with care and reverence, her dedication to providing them with a life true to their nature is evident. It is this commitment to honouring the essence of the horse that underpins her therapeutic approach, fostering an environment conducive to authentic connection and growth.

The harmonious coexistence between humans and horses in Carine’s sanctuary is a reflection of her unwavering belief in the inherent wisdom and healing power of these majestic beings. Here, amidst the tranquil rhythm of hoof beats and the gentle rustle of the wind, individuals find solace, strength, and the courage to embark on their journey towards healing and self-discovery.

In the quiet communion between horse and human, barriers dissolve, and souls find solace. Through the gentle guidance of Carine and the unwavering presence of her equine companions, individuals are invited to embrace vulnerability, cultivate resilience, and reclaim their innate sense of wholeness.

The healing journey, guided by the wisdom of horses and the compassion of a dedicated therapist, unfolds amidst the serene beauty of Carine’s sanctuary, offering a glimpse into the transformative power of equine-assisted therapy: All you have to do is cross the fence of Carine’s little horse world.



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