Horses can help us improve our emotional, physical and social well-being. Caring for horses requires concentration, selflessness and teamwork, which can result in helping people improve self-esteem, self-awareness, confidence and empathy. Spending time with horses or other animals is a proven way of reducing stress and boosting your mood, reports WebMD.
Limited research by the Heart Math Institute suggests that there’s an electromagnetic field between horses and humans, which may explain why people feel good around these animals.
“There is scientific backing that their hearts are way larger than ours, right? They have five times the electromagnetic field,” explains Crystal Birchmeier-Diehl, the founder of Happy Hooves Equine in Dexter, Michigan. “So, when we step into their presence, they actually affect our heart rate variability, which affects our emotions. And that's why it calms our anxiety down.”
Horses can teach us valuable lessons about well-being, such as:
Mindfulness: Horses are highly attuned to their surroundings and emotions. Interacting with them can promote mindfulness, helping us become more aware of our own feelings and surroundings.
Nonverbal communication: Horses communicate through body language. Learning to understand and communicate with them nonverbally can improve our interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.
Patience and persistence: Building trust and rapport with horses often requires patience and persistence. These qualities can be applied to other aspects of life, promoting resilience and determination.
Stress reduction: Spending time with horses in a calm, natural environment can reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Physical activity: Riding and caring for horses provide physical exercise, which is beneficial for our overall well-being.
Connection with nature: Horses can reconnect us with nature, fostering a sense of serenity and connection to the outdoors.
Empathy and compassion: Caring for animals encourages empathy and compassion, which can enhance our relationships with both humans and animals.

Learn more in this Blue Cross Virtual Well-Being℠ webinar featuring Crystal Birchmeier-Diehl, What Horses Can Teach Us. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and individual well-being webinars and meditations here, where you’ll also find past webinars and meditations on demand.
Photo credit: Getty Images

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