Research into equine therapy has shown that people can come closer to understanding themselves with the help of horses. A business in Sunshine Coast is making waves by moving from a consulting couch to the yard and utilising horses to bring about greater self-confidence and self-awareness in people.
Skerrett Equine: An Innovative Way to Understand Yourself
Started by Ben and Linda Skerrett, Skerrett Equine makes use of a team of ‘horse therapists’ to help people out. Phoenix, one of the most-loved Arabian-cross geldings used to be terrified of people before the Skerretts rescued her. She is now helping the Skerretts help people who are in need.
How it all began?
Ben’s grandfather Brian was the first to establish a Jackaroo- Jillaroo school in 1983 in Australia. Ben’s parents have also been in the business of horse caring and have passed down their knowledge of lassoing, livestock management, mustering, riding and more to their son.
Ben went straight into horses the moment he was done with school. People came to acknowledge him as a horse whisperer. He began to teach riders methods of natural horsemanship and that is when he noticed that horses tend to mirror the people they are with. All along he had been trying to train horses to adapt to people but now he thought of working at it the other way.
Ben decided to help people learn about themselves so that they could change internally and the horse would then automatically mirror that change. Mr. Skerrett went on to train himself in Equine facilitated personal development that worked according to the Eponoquest model. He strongly believed that a horse would honour a person’s vulnerability, unlike the real world.
A Deciding Factor
It was one of Skerrett’s individually tailored sessions at their Kulangoor property that really hit a chord. A lady had asked for a reflective session but when she went into the horse pen, the horse did not want anything to do with her. She finally realised that the horse was mirroring her exact behaviour in her search for love. With Ben’s assistance, she later understood that she had to honour herself first in order to get love and acceptance from others.
Ben’s wife Linda admits that she has seen people interact with these horses and then feel far more grounded than they were when they came in. This form of equine therapy really helps people understand themselves better.
Another one of the Skerretts’ clients had an emotional breakthrough while interacting with one of the horses there. The power of the horse had overwhelmed her and she did not understand it till a bad childhood memory put the situation into perspective and she was then able to work her way through it.
Where Things Stand
Equine Therapy is an alternative therapy that is certainly changing lives due to its effectiveness and power. This kind of therapy is more experiential. For people who have never had any connection with horses, it develops confidence and they start to realise how friendly horses are.
The best part is that people start to understand themselves better by just being with these horses, without feeling the need to open up to another person and share their personal woes with them. This is what makes this kind of therapy a more appealing option.