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How Formerly Wild Horses Are Helping Weary Humans Recover
posted 11.21.2016

By Blaine Scott

Compassion fatigue, also called “vicarious traumatization”, is the emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those in need and suffering. Symptoms of stress, distress, and burnout in caregivers, family members, and providers can occur without realizing it.

Compassion fatigue is not a disorder. It includes symptoms so that you can identify it in yourself and in others. Once identified, you’re able to take action to manage the distress and symptoms. More importantly, you can be empowered to shorten the recovery time and increase resilience toward future fatigue.

A Unique and Powerful Practice

Horses are as brilliant in their bodies as humans are in their brains. Therefore, we can learn how horses receive and give messages utilizing their fine-tuned non-verbal communications as feedback for our own health and relationships.

As prey animals, their “flight” instinct offers people instant, non-judgmental, feedback. During the challenging and rewarding encounters with the horses, participants manage their reactions, communicate more effectively, and become more congruent and authentic with their actions.

Why Partner with Formerly Wild Horses?

Former free-roaming horses are masters of adaptability and resilience! And the principles we learn from them can be applied in non-judgmental and non-anxious ways, because the stories, metaphors and skills engage us beyond the often heady clinical, medical, theological vocabulary.

For example, by just standing nearby a horse, a person’s heart rhythm synchronizes with the horse’s heart rhythm very quickly, regardless of the activity with the horse. Studies have shown that shifting into a coherent heart rhythm is restorative, releasing chemicals that positively affect your entire being. The practices and techniques that you learn while partnered with a horse such as “Saving energy for true emergencies” and “grazing as you go” can then be applied to the work and home environments. You’ll learn these and other practices in the webinar on December 1.

Brightly Shining Instead of Being Burned out During the Holidays

Whether its personal plans or work-related stresses, the holidays tend to magnify your busy schedule. And in the aging human services industry, you may be providing care for those who are hurting during the holidays. The webinar is your opportunity to pick up some tips for managing your wellness and energy in order to keep shining brightly through the December darkness.

Blaine Scott, M.Div., CFS, is with Senior Care Family Guide and Steadfast Steeds of Western Colorado.

Image credit: Erick Forsberg via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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