By Kate Donnelly | via The Wall Street Journal
nteracting with horses are hardly unknown. In around 400 B.C., Greek physician Hippocrates touted the effects of horse riding in his writings, as did Italian physician Girolamo Mercuriale in 1569 and French doctor Clément-Joseph Tissot in 1780. These days, the herd animals are being tapped to facilitate communication, nourish creativity, build teamwork and even inspire leadership—without the saddle.
At Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa in Tucson, guests can enroll in a class called “It’s Not About the Horse,” in which the takeaway is how to lift and clean a horse’s hoof with a pick. Taught by Wyatt Webb, the charismatic creator of the resort’s Equine Experience, the two-hour course is meant to help people overcome fear and self-doubt. When Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan participated, he had to make two attempts to raise the hoof. “It’s learning how to train and condition yourself to calm down in stressful, emotional situations,” he explains. Webb’s take is, “What works with a horse works with all living things.”