When not suffering from trauma or when not shut-down through bad interactions with their human handlers, horses are fully present in their own body at all times.
Unlike us, they don't run away from their instincts and emotions. Instead they can't help but feel them AND respond to them.
Therfore, they are the ultimate Emotional Intelligence beings.
And the ultimate Embodied beings.
Making them great teachers for humans who are mostly disembodied, i.e. not connected to their body, its sensations, messages and wisdom; and who are mostly incongruent, i.e. lacking the internal and external permission to be with their emotions in all their messy, embarrassing and often painful ways.
An empowered horse can never switch off their responsiveness and sensitivity, and quite right too. I never want to "desensitise" or disempower horses. I do communicate to them that they need to react sensitively to my needs too, i.e. that they respect my personal space and not walk all over me. But, if that horse NEEDS to respond by moving away, running or resisting in some way, then that is what they need to do.
Just like we should never insist that people should "behave appropriately at all times", especially women who are taught never to be wild, spontaneous, vivacious, angry, empowered and out-spoken, nor should we seek to shut-down our horse's spontaneity and vivaciousness, only in terms of safety should we ask our horses to take care around us, our clients or students.
Angela Dunning, December 2015