Heart Rhythms – Horse Whispering

By: Deb Kitchenmaster
“I can feel your heartbeat. It’s the same as mine. I am part of you. You are part of me. Neither one alone but together we can strengthen the pulse of the world.” Kate McGahan.

Hearts! Heartbeats are crucial in sustaining life on our ordinary days, our celebrating moments, times of grieving and disappointments, achieving and accomplishing, and forgiving and loving one another. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for EVERYTHING you do flows from it.” Scripture is clear that the heart is hugely important as far as one’s well-being and health are concerned.

God’s greatest command to us is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.” Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” Perhaps another way of saying it, especially as it applies to horses and their humans is, “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you (some horses would say a BIG ‘thank you’ to that). Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

When we dismount from the rhythm of grace, our feet walk down various paths. Other than paths of righteousness that strengthen our hearts with joy and peace, our hearts can become troubled, afraid, greedy, hard – even wicked, e.g. an “irregular” heart beat.

Research shows a horse’s HRV (heart rate variability) rhythms, although somewhat slower than human HRV rhythms, oscillate within a similar frequency range (0.01 to 0.4 HZ) indicating that the same instrument setting can be used to accurately measure HRV in both humans and horses. Boulder Creek, California, is involved in research showing how people and animals affect each other. Research Director, Dr. Rollin McCraty says, “It appears that there is a type of communication occurring between people above and beyond body language or verbal communication. I believe we’ll see in future research studies that we are affecting each other’s moods and attitudes both positively and negatively by the electromagnetic fields we radiate. In our work with pets and their owners, we’re seeing that a pet owner can create what we call a heart-filled environment when practicing heart-focused techniques. The pets respond by becoming more affectionate, more animated, and more connected with the pet owner.”

Electro probes connected to both human and pet showed that when the human petted/groomed and emotionally bonded, the hearts of the owner and pet started to synchronize and then match each other. This research is especially exciting to me because synchronizing is what animal B.E.S.T. is all about.

By monitoring the changes in the heart rhythm patterns, emotions can readily be distinguished. When an emotion, such as sadness, fear, anger, or frustration is experienced, heart rhythms become more erratic and imbalanced. Joy, appreciation, and love produce ordered, balanced heart rhythm patterns. Regular rhythms appeared in the human’s HRV when they were sending emotions of appreciation and care toward the horse. One research study showed that it does not matter if the horse already knew the human or not. The person’s HRV was more important than whether they had a relationship with the horse. That meant that when a horse interacted with an unknown human, the horse’s stress level was entirely dependent on the stress level of the human.

This highlights the NOW that horses live and remain in. If someone had an unstressed, balanced HRV, then the horse was interested in interacting with them which was reflected in the horses’ HRV readings, indicating they were relaxed. In cases where the horse is relaxed and the human is exhibiting stress, it is possible that the horse’s calming feeling may be transferred to the human to help the person relax. Research also indicated that it may be the responsibility of the human to promote bonding. For example, when a horse is experiencing positive emotions from a person, the horse will approach and stay close to the person, which may instill a mutual trust between the two.

Consider the unforced rhythms of God’s grace (for by grace are you saved, healed, delivered, and made whole). Guard your heart simply means to remain or abide in PEACE. Keep your heart open. You may be led to a horse. Whether connected to a horse or not, the end result is to “RECEIVE” unconditional LOVE so that each time and every time becomes a defibrillator that jump starts the very core of your being (heart) into harmony, peace and well-being.
By: Deb Kitchenmaster