Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

by Harmony Carter with assistance from Suzanne Carter MA, LPC

Hello, my name is Harmony Carter and I am an 1100 pound Thoroughbred, and a great grand-daughter of the famous, Secretariat. Yes! That is true. However, I never raced. Though I was born into a bloodline that created magnificent race horses, my soul mission included something more important than being a horse that humans could watch run. My human owners wanted me to race but I wound up with a knee injury during my training and so I was to be a brood mare. However, after breeding 2 champions, I lost a baby at birth and was then donated to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF). This was very upsetting to me. Not only did I lose my 3rd baby but I felt I was just “discarded” because I lost this baby.

At TRF they did not know what to do with me and thought: “well, she is a horse with a famous pedigree; maybe she can become a jumper.” My knee issue came up again, and finally, they began looking at the bigger picture: There was something far greater that I could do and be rather than just a horse who runs, jumps and makes champions. The whole picture about horses is our amazing ability to understand humans and to almost “psychically” perceive their feelings even when they are out of touch with them. Horses are actually very good “therapists”, and finally there is a field emerging that lets us be co-therapists with a human therapist. This field is called Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP).

At TRF, they decided to let me begin fulfilling my true soul passion, that is to help humans by being a co-therapist doing EAP. However, in the mean time I was in deep grief about the loss of my baby and even more about the loss of my human caretaker.The humans did not get the whole picture about horses having grief, however, and they mostly just figured I needed to spend time in a stall. This was ghastly for me. I was all alone and left in a tiny room with 4 walls. However, in my determination to not die of grief, I found a way to help distract me from my pain. I developed an addiction much like a human will develop an addiction rather than deal with their own painful feelings after a loss. My addiction is called “wind-sucking” in the horse world. I anchor my teeth on a fence, and then breathe in deeply. Because of my huge race horse lungs, I get a rush as big as a race horse. This deep inhalation stimulates endorphins, and wham, I have a natural high! It can be a serious problem; I am however, very good at helping people deal with their addictions as part of the Equine Therapy that I do with my co-therapist, Suzanne.

One reason I am so good at this is because my Grandpa Secretariat had a HUGE heart. (When he died, they looked at his physical heart and it was one of the biggest horse hearts ever!) Of course his heart helped him win races, but his “heart-genes” have been passed down to me to use this heart capacity spiritually. I invite you to start seeing the whole picture today by using your heart to see the truth.

People House: a Center for Personal and Spiritual Growth