May 24, 2018 / 12:07 PM / 3 months ago

Spain horse whisperer's animals mirror stress sufferers' state of mind

MADRID (Reuters) - In the Guadalix mountains outside Madrid, Argentine horse whisperer Fernando Noailles uses his animals to help people suffering from stress and anxiety.

Fernando Noailles, emotional therapist, caresses one of his horses in Guadalix de la Sierra, outside Madrid, Spain, May 31, 2016. Noailles uses his animals to help people suffering from stress and anxiety. REUTERS/Juan Medina

The 57-year-old, who spent many years in the Patagonian wilderness living with horses, uses the animals as a way for patients to interpret and control their emotions.

Fernando Noailles, emotional therapist, lays on top of his horse named Madrid in Guadalix de la Sierra, outside Madrid, Spain, May 31, 2016. Noailles uses his animals to help people suffering from stress and anxiety. REUTERS/Juan Medina

People who come to his sessions spend time with the horses and learn through the movement of the animal what mental state they themselves are in, says Noailles, who charges up to 120 euros per session.

“The horse is a mirror,” he says. “They are gregarious creatures, born to live in herds.”

(Click reut.rs/2J5bmBk to see a package of pictures.)

Slideshow (16 Images)

The therapy consists in monitoring how the horse responds to the client’s moods. From watching the horse’s reaction, the client learns how to identify and control emotions, he says.

“People in the first session, when they are in a difficult state of mind, see a horse that doesn’t stop, that moves, that even gallops. The horse is showing you a mind that doesn’t stop, that is tormented,” he says.

Loreto Garcia has spent two years in sessions with Noailles to help her cope with stress.

“Fernando sees the reaction of the horse - he can tell if I’m centered in the moment, how I feel. He uses the horse as a guide to let him know how the session is going,” she says.

Reporting by Juan Medina; Writing by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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