Having kept horses all her life, it was only relatively recently that Jo became fascinated by them as sentient beings, rather than as creatures utilised by the human race. She began to study their family lives and the importance of their communities, which are vital to their survival, being prey animals at constant risk from predators. Their communication skills are virtually all non verbal. They involve awareness, focus, powerful sensory input and their reliance on their fellow herd members to constantly scan their environment, sharing relaying observations and warnings to allow the herd to react safely.
Jo also became aware that they were willing and able to share these skills with humans once the human relinquished their desire to command and control and became aware of the other world that horses inhabit. The world of equus from which we as humans can learn so much:
This is a world without ego or dominance, a world where the focus is on the survival and safety of the herd, the continuation of the species.
Jo trained with Eagala (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) a worldwide professional organisation which originated this therapeutic model, and she has worked in the UK and now in Ireland running programmes of EAP ( Equine Assisted Psychotherapy) for groups and individuals for the last 12 years.
Horsethinking in Ireland now offers 10 day residential retreats where clients can combine these powerful therapy sessions with a break in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland.
To learn more about retreats at Horsethinking, she invites you to meet her in a video call.