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8 reasons horses are good for human health

Horses and human health: 8 reasons horses are good for you

"If you are not a horse person, it might be hard to understand why some people love their horses so much," writes HuffPost blogger, bestselling author and relationship expert Margaret Paul, Ph.D. "There is something about a horse's energy that creates a powerful shift in me. Whenever I'm at all tense, I have only to hug Stryder and I can feel my whole system coming into alignment. His heartbeat slows my heartbeat until the stress completely leaves my body. His soft eyes bring me into the present moment and I can barely contain the love I feel."

While this kind of experience is far from universal, there's a lot to recommend spending time with horses. For the people who love them, time riding and caring for these animals is full of natural, organic interactions and a deep sense of fulfillment.

Luckily, you don't have to be a horse owner to spend time with them and reap the accompanying benefits. Horse stables nationwide often accept grounds volunteers enthusiastically, and as well as offer riding lessons and trail rides -- and not all of these opportunities are restricted to rural areas. In fact, you just might be surprised by the unexpected places where quality time with horses is an option.

When spending time with horses -- from brushing their manes to guiding them along wooded trails -- we naturally sense a connectivity and closeness to them that, turns out, is rooted in science as well as our intuition.

“There are striking similarities between horses and people,” Dede Beasley, M.Ed., LPC, an equine therapist at The Ranch, told Elements of Behavioral Health. “Like people, horses are social beings whose herd dynamics are remarkably similar to the family system. As a sophisticated herd animal, horses immediately begin building relationships with people as members of their herd.”

Read more at The Huffington Post

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