Equine therapy is a form of therapy where those suffering from emotional trauma and other mental health disorders conduct therapy with the assistance of a horse. I’m not making this up. There is a powerful psychological projection onto the animal the individuals with trauma express, and there is a belief that an exchange of some kind occurs, promoting documented growth and change. The horse is a sort of blank slate that can’t talk back as a person deals with intense feelings of pain and grief.
How many of us can relate to an attachment to an animal that we knew loved us, even though we could never hear it speak? In “War Horse,” Steven Spielberg’s newest film, the story of a boy and his horse is brought to life through a horse’s journey. We see the horse in battle as soldiers ride it, in sadness as death occurs around it, and we see it become an emotional catalyst for many different characters.