Recent studies conducted by the Institute of Heart–Math provide a clue to explain the two-way “healing” that occurs when we’re close to horses. According to researchers, the heart has an electromagnetic field larger than the brain: a magnetometer can measure the energy field of the heart that radiates from 2.4 meters to 3 meters around the human body. While this is certainly significant, perhaps more impressive than the electromagnetic field projected by the heart of a horse is five times larger than that of a human being (imagine an electromagnetic sphere around the horse) and it can influence straight into our own heart rate.
Horses are also likely to have what science has identified as a “coherent” heart rate (heart rate pattern) that explains why we can “feel better” when we’re close to them. Studies have found a coherent heart pattern or HRV to be a solid measure of well-being and consistent with emotional states of calm and joy-that is, we exhibit such patterns when we feel positive emotions.
A coherent heart pattern is indicative of a system that can recover and adapt to stressful situations very efficiently. Many times, we just need to be in the presence of horses to feel a sense of well-being and peace. In fact, research shows that people experience many physiological benefits by interacting with horses, including lower blood pressure and heart rate, higher beta-endorphins (neurotransmitters acting as pain suppressors), decreased stress levels, decreased feelings of anger, hostility, tension and anxiety, better social working; and greater feelings of empowerment, confidence, patience and self-efficacy”.
Want to experience Heart-Math for yourself? Join us for Heroes Connection Day each month, free for Veterans! Check our events page for dates!