The woman recovering from abuse or other stressful life situations may feel she’s in no way in charge of anything, least of all her own world. She faces the horse with trepidation. The horse senses the fear and becomes tense and concerned. The wise instructor starts small. The woman is handed a soft brush and sent to fuss over the horse. It’s pointed out that if she stands close to the animal, she will be out of range of a well-aimed kick. She is warned to watch for tell-tale signs of fear in herself and the horse. She’s warned to keep her feet out from under the horse’s stomping hoof. They’re both allowed to back away and regroup and try again until they reach an accord regarding personal space. Calm prevails, and within a few minutes, hours or sessions, interaction becomes friendship. It happens almost every time a woman is allowed enough time and space to work through the situation.So a woman whose daily life is overwhelming her learns to step back. Is this a cure for her endless problems? Of course not. Simple is not simplistic.