I’ve addressed before how horses help support your mental health, but beyond just assisting with mental health, horses can be excellent and undemanding emotional support for introverts.
Introverts Can Recharge With A Horse For Company
Now, I want to be clear—there is a difference between being an introvert and being shy or having social anxiety. An introvert is someone who is drained by social activity, but they don’t necessarily dislike socializing. In fact, plenty of people who are introverts enjoy social activities, but what makes them an introvert is that they become drained by the interaction.
Think about the last time you were emotionally drained. If your main thought was that you just want to go somewhere quiet and alone to relax, rather than tie one on with friends to recharge, then that’s a pretty sure sign you are an introvert.
Problem is, even if an introvert wants to be alone to recharge, it can be tough to be alone, especially if they are struggling with something emotionally. That’s where horses come in. Some of the ways that horses allow introverts the company they need while recharging emotionally and mentally are:
Horses aren’t demanding - Okay, if you have taken care of a horse, you know they are demanding. What I mean is that horses are emotionally demanding. Horses allow you to relax with them, whether you are just hanging out, going for a ride, or just giving them a good brushing. Research has shown that just spending time with horses can help improve self-esteem and provide the same amount of social support as another human.
They can provide comfort silently - Most people aren’t overly comfortable with just being quiet when they are in the company of others. Rather than making endless small talk, you can choose whether you talk to your horse beyond simple praise and commands. It makes horses far easier company than someone who feels the need to fill the silence.
Horses don’t judge you - Introverts can catch a lot of grief for needing time to be alone. It can always seem like someone is nagging at you and asking what is wrong when, in reality, nothing is wrong, you just want some alone time. Horses are a great excuse to spend time “alone,” just you and your horse with no judgment coming from your horse whether you want to hang out.
Horses Can Help Facilitate Socialization
However, there are times where introverts want to socialize. Problem is, some introverts have been so effective at seeking alone time that it can be difficult to break the ice and start socializing with others. But horses can help facilitate socialization.
For instance, equine therapy is highly reliant on horses. This form of therapy utilizes horses to build up self-esteem, new skills and can help people make meaningful connections with others who also are healed by the horses they are working with. It can even help troubled teens relearn appropriate socialization techniques.
While you may not need an intensive round of equine therapy, you can still use your horse to help socialize with others. Find your local riding group, or if you board your horse, try striking up a conversation with another owner. At the very least, both of you can talk about your horses, and it’s likely that you have other activities in common.
So, even if you are an introvert who is drained by dealing with other people, you can always rely on your emotional connection with your horse to get you through the tough times.