Three years ago, battling a severe bout of anxiety, Nimrah Mirza found solace by reconnecting with her old love for horses. She knew that horses have long been known for their therapeutic qualities, providing comfort, companionship, and a sense of calm to individuals facing various challenges, including anxiety and depression.

For a psychologist like Nimrah, it meant using her experience to help others facing mental health issues. Thus, she started the very unique equine (horse) assistance therapy as part of her counselling sessions. It is a form of therapy wherein horses are used to heal under the supervision and guidance of a therapist and an expert horse handler, in treating emotional, social, adjustment and other psychological issues.

“Working with horses is a time-honored method of coping with stress and other psychological issues in the West,” she shares. “Horses, like dogs, are uniquely tuned to understand human emotions and actively help in reducing negativity. Though I’d heard of it since a long time, it was only after my experience that I realized it could be useful to others.” to an another or light movements) and breathing exercises. The other is to work with the horse, gain its trust and indulge in simple activities like grooming, petting or feeding it.

Belonging to a family which has long been drawn to horses (her father is a keen racing enthusiast, an ex-polo player and a horse owner) certainly helped. Using her expertise with the animals and her training as a psychologist, she crafted a unique program (the first in Telangana) that helps people battle a host of issues from addiction and grief to trauma and hyperactivity.

Nimrah elucidates, “Take people with postural or back issues. They mount the horse without riding. With their feet in the stirrups and the position of their back when they sit on a horse, the pressure points in the body are activated help to improve circulation and ease pain,” she states.

“Studies have shown that being around horses releases endorphins (happy hormones) and improves blood circulation,” she notes and adds, “Having trained in EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) I use a combination of methods to work with people.”

Primarily, the 32-year-old uses two techniques: one in which a person can mount the horse and perform simple stretching (tossing a ball from one hand

Working with animals or just spending time in the stables calms people down. The process fosters a sense of trust, empathy, mindfulness and connection, which are invaluable when dealing with mental health issues.

Nimrah conducts one-hour sessions which include consulting, time with horses and counselling. They are held in the pristine environs at the Hyderabad Polo and Riding Club which is an oasis in the city. n MALLIK

Reach out to @nimrahmirzaaa or call 8790692859 to book a session

Art earlier was considered an expensive hobby, but recently, more and more millennials want to collect art, either as investment or for aesthetics. What do young art enthusiasts need to keep in mind while embarking on building their own collections? WOW! finds out from some of the long time art collectors

Is Art a Good Investment?

Anju Poddar, Art Collector: I buy art because it gives me happiness. Buying art can be an investment but it involves a meticulous study of many things: is that the peak productive age of the artist, is it a distinct style or genre, is it a timeless style and is the provenance proven (in the case of the Masters). My advice is to buy art if you really like it and admire the artist’s style. If it appreciates over time, then it is an added bonus. Even if it doesn’t, you won’t regret hanging it in your foyer!

Prshant Lahoti, Co-founder Kalakriti Art Gallery and Krishnakriti Foundation: After Covid, we have noticed that young people are showing more interest in collecting art. Because they are spending more time at home (due to hybrid workstyles) they realize the importance of art and culture in life. My advice to young people is to understand what they like: visit museums and galleries to find their own unique language. You don’t need to have a lot of money to start off. Identify what is it you like and then you can examine the work of young art students and artists who can be the big artists of tomorrow. Never get tired of discovering, searching, reading, being informed, and keeping up to date.

Parvathi Reddy, Entrepreneur: Art is a hobby, a passion and an interest for me. Art is not investment like real estate or the stock market because it depends on a multitude of factors. To become a collector, one needs to deep dive into the subject. You need to study, analyze, understand and decode the world of art. It is a personal investment as it tells the story of who you are, so while buying art, see if it is an extension of your own story. If it appreciates in value over time, it’s an advantage.

Richa Jalan, Entrepreneur: Art is intensely personal, so young people shouldn’t go by names or trends. Do your homework. Research is the most important thing. The more you know about the artist and the artwork, the more fulfilling the journey to acquiring the artwork will be. Also, never buy art if it does not go well with the language of your home. Ensure that it blends in so that you never tire of it. Collect what you love! n


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