Horses Equal Happiness Which Equals Health

It has been said that people who are happy have lower blood pressure, less stress and live longer. Those who are always miserable and grumpy have higher blood pressure, more stress and don't live as long. Why! Because it takes more energy to be miserable than it does to be happy. People who smile and laugh a lot tend to look younger and have fewer wrinkles.. Why? Because smiling uses fewer muscles than frowning. Laughing releases oxygen and hormones that us feel lighter and better. People who are depressed or upset or stressed have more issues with weight and health than people who are relaxed and happy. They say that people who own pets are happier than most, not all but most. 

Dogs, horses and even cats have been and are being used as therapy animals. Dogs help the physically disabled;cats keep good company and horses help the physically, mentally and emotionally disabled.
In Sussex field horses are used to help people with addiction, mental and even post traumatic stress issues. Horses help take our minds off of the problems at hand. They require our full attention from bringing them from pasture to trotting figure eights in the arena. We must relax before riding and focus on making sure the horse listens and moves smoothly. When we are focused on these big animals, we forget that we had a fight with the boss;or we got a C- on a science test. The horse is a gentle and caring animal. It'll stand and listen to our problems and allow us to poor out our hearts and souls without interruption. When we get in the saddle, and close our eyes and take a deep breath;we can feel the days stress rolling off as the horse becomes your world. Riding provides a means of escape for everyone. It is hard to focus on drugs when you have to make sure this twelve-hundred pound animal doesn't hurt you. Some people see riding as a challenge or puzzle that they cannot wait to dive into. It thrills them to solve one issue just to have another occur. Others see riding as a way to vent. While you rant your horse stands there patiently waiting, and is there for you to cry on when necessary. Others see the riding as a way to relax and escape from all reality. When I ride I escape whatever is bothering me and enter a world of bliss. I am usually so focused on the horse and what I'm working on I forget about my algebra or bothersome relatives. It's another world I can escape to, just me and my horse. 

Dogs help the blind to see without actually seeing. The dog is man's best friend. Always there with a wagging tail and pleading eyes no matter what you do to them. Dogs are not deterred by harsh voices or heavy hands, instead they come back with forgiveness and love spilling over. Dogs and horses are Christians. Cats are not.  

Cats both in the wild and in captivity are not affectionate. They do not give affection nor do they receive it very often. Cats will hiss at you and arch their backs when you try to touch them. They look at you as though you are the mouse they're allowing to live. Cats are antisocial, not wanting to be near you or around you. Cats just cannot be Christians. God doesn't turn you away. That's the beauty of it all. Dogs, horses even cattle will come to you and be with you. It's amazing how they can have the perfect timing at times where you need them the most. God is the same way, always there, waiting for you to turn to him in times of need. He has the eternal shoulder to cry on;the forever listening ear and tender touch. No matter what He is there.(
Ok, so maybe cats aren't evil, and there are some cats that are very affectionate and they make great companions for the single or old. Some cats are good, some are bad. It depends on the cat I s'pose).

Cats Helping People

Initially, dogs were the go-to animals when it came to animal-assisted therapy (AAT). There was, I think, this mistaken notion that cats wouldn’t be good at it — that they would squirm, scratch and freak out in general.

Fortunately, that notion has fallen by the wayside, and cats are coming into their own as furry therapists. A couple of my friends are in the process of getting their cats — one of them a three-legged rescue with the unfortunate name of Legolas — trained to be pet therapy volunteers.

Therapy cats help all sorts of people. For elderly people like Bunny, they provide stimulation and non-threatening contact. They stimulate seniors’ mental faculties and help them recover more quickly from illnesses. One study conducted in nursing homes in New York, Missouri and Texas showed that AAT resulted in patients’ medication costs dropping an average of 69 percent.

Then there are children and teens with autism and other disorders. Cats seem to be able to unlock the person trapped within by sheer virtue of their quiet understanding.

Jake the Natural

Obviously, certain cats are better suited to AAT than others. Jake, a handsome ruddy Abyssinianbelonging to writer-photographer-cartoonist Coco Koh (The Daily Abyssinian), took to it like this was the work he’d been born to do. Abys are generally pretty sociable cats, and Jake has a sort of Cary Grant charm and aplomb.

Jake is a therapy cat. By: Coco Koh

Jake is a therapy cat. By: Coco Koh

He has been a therapy cat since September 2010. Koh got him certified through Pet Partners (formerly the Delta Society), the oldest AAT organization in the country.

She herself had to take two eight-hour classes to learn “how to read your animal’s body language, how to behave around sick/elderly/mentally handicapped individuals, and how to deal with situations like someone wanting to keep your animals.” The instructors even touched on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws.

“To be a therapy animal,” Koh explains, “a cat needs to be sociable and like people, but they also have to be calm and not easily startled. They need to be immune to loud noises, people yelling, other animals (dogs in particular), and unusual machinery and equipment (and the sounds they make), and they need to be comfortable in a strange environment. Having the stroller helps a lot because it’s a piece of ‘home’ in the middle of a strange space.”


People say the goal in life is to be happy. Couples divorce because the one spouse didn't make them happy. People who live their lives feeling angry, holding grudges and generally being miserable aren't very healthy. It's been proven by doctors and scientists that the happier you are and more relaxed you are then the healthier you are. 
Horses make me happy which makes me happy. 
What people forget is that you CHOOSE to be happy and to be miserable. Happiness is a choice to be made by us all. In any situation you can choose to be happy. 


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Comment by Paula Stevens on November 26, 2014 at 1:50pm

Wow. No I didn't know horses guide the blind, how cool! Yes, there is a barn cat at the stable I ride at, and he is in love with my belt. Unfortunately I am allergic to cats. I like cats but I prefer horses and dogs more. 

Comment by Jackie Cochran on November 26, 2014 at 1:19pm

Did you know that horses can also guide the blind?  Personally I've know 2 horses that guided blind pasture mates through the pasture.  Plus now mini horses have been trained as seeing eye dog substitutes for humans!

A little hint on approaching cats--don't look into their eyes (dogs too), and when you ask them to approach look away while they make up their minds and finally approach.  Cats are very good at telling a person where they want to be petted, though you are right that when they don't want to be petted or don't want to be petted any more they can be rather blunt about it.  My universal signal for a cat I want to meet is to hang my hand down where the cat can see it, wiggle my fingers a little bit, do a few little kissing noises, and patiently wait while the cat makes up its mind while making sure I am not looking at the cat.  Cats are little, they fear predators as much any small animal.

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