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"when an individual is traumatized in any way, energy from the trauma is stored in the body. Animals in the wild are very good at expending the energy of a trauma, often by doing little more than running or standing and shaking. There are stages that the body goes through during the trauma. The first stage, the doctor explained, is that the body prepares to either fight or flee by releasing certain chemicals and making physiological changes (i.e., increased heart rate and breathing). In the second stage, the body does what it needs to do—either runs away or fights. The third stage is the experience of the trauma, followed by the fourth stage, when the body decelerates and resets. Having gone through these stages, animals in the wild can move on with their lives very quickly, with little or no emotional ill effects from the trauma itself. Conversely, humans who are traumatized seldom expend the energy of the trauma, so it is stored in the body. Over time, this becomes an issue for us, often in the form of mental disease or physical problems. Humans do not expend the energy of a trauma (perceived or real), so we live in a permanent state of low-level panic. Because we interrupt the natural flow our bodies need to go through to expend this trauma energy, any kind of stressors, even small ones, create a tendency to become far more worried than is warranted. In other words, because we live on the edge, it doesn’t take much to push us over it. As far as domesticated animals—like horses, in our attempt to keep them under control, we seldom, if ever, allow them to expend their trauma energy, whether a human caused the trauma or whether the trauma is real or perceived. As a result, they often begin to have the same types of emotional and physical problems that we humans experience.” I read this last night and it’s what I teach in my yoga, Movement helps us to release our own traumas, that have landed and locked away in our bodies, but as adults we spend a lot of time holding ourselves in “ways to behave” even when we move, through following structures and rules, but in order to release this trauma/stress we need freedom and exploration. Our horses need the same freedom to release, if we hold them down, constrain them with gadgets and even time we just aid in the locking in process, so to let our own barriers down, and therefore freeing our horses too we can both release our own trauma but we can help our horses to release theirs too.

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