The Horse ... El Caballo

My name is Isabela Vega, and I am a 3rd year undergraduate studying physiological science and Spanish. My animal sign is a horse. The horse relates to the dragon in that they are both Yang signs, so they embody light and positivity. As a horse, I partially identify with Yang in that I try to see small wins and hope in situations, but not all the time. This makes me believe that the horse and dragon are dominated by Yang traits, but that is not to say they do not reflect Yin characteristics too. Additionally, both the horse and dragon are hot tempered. I find that I am only hot tempered when pushed to the limit. I assume that there is a spectrum of this reaction that the horse and dragon lie on, and I am curious to know which one is more hot-headed. 

I will discuss the historical importance of horses in Hispanic culture and then explore how horses are used as therapy in Mexico. The topic connects my Hox sign, Spanish minor at UCLA, and Mexican culture. The Spanish brought the Galiceno horse to Mexico during the invasion of 1519 and used them to transport goods and ride. They stayed in Mexico and only reached America through translocation by humans. In Mexico, the Galiceno horse is valued for its sturdiness, stamina, friendliness, and caring interaction with humans, making them ideal for trail rides and leisure pulling of carts. In Image 1, the stocky build and convex-shaped faces of Galiceno horses are shown.


 

In Mexico, the horse represents unity of Hispanic culture from Spain to Mexico and the colliding of the Old and New Worlds. Charrería is the national sport of Mexico and similar to an American rodeo. It embodies Mexican culture through traditional, intricate clothing, embodiment of ranch life, and community entertainment as shown in Image 2. Horses are used in this sport due to their intelligence, temperament, and agility. 


 

After charrería, some of the horses are used as therapy horses often for children dealing with emotional trauma, physical disabilities, and special needs. In Chiapas Highlands, Mexico, a predominantly indigenous region, about 8% of the residents have a disability, so a local horseback rider created an equine therapy center. Studies on equine therapy have indicated that individuals experience benefits ranging from physical mobility, interpersonal interactions, and mental engagement and growth. In Image 3, a child with a disability practices a simple task of throwing a ring to exercise her coordination and balance. 

 

Another case of horses used as therapy is in Mexico City as case described below and in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcPpCLjbGlA&t=1s.

The young girl has autism and cannot attend public school, so she attends a horse therapy center weekly where she works on coordination and social skills. The owner admits that although horses are generally calm and intelligent, only the most calm can be used in this therapy due to the vulnerability of the patients. The patients seem to gain confidence and motivation when they can interact and control the obedient horses. Image 4 shows the patients riding the horse with police ensuring that the horses remain calm. 





 

Links 

Hox Zodiac: