What Is Equine Assisted Learning?
In a typical EAL session, we usually begin by sitting together outside the horses' paddock, observing them and chatting about what's presently going on in your life. Perhaps you're experiencing a specific challenge at work or home, or maybe you are carrying a long-held grief about someone or something you've lost. Oftentimes simply observing the horses from outside their paddock and watching them interact with one another sparks conversation that brings insight or clarity. Contact or close proximity to the horses is not required.
If a client is comfortable going in with the horses, I might suggest a particular exercise with them that we could do to explore things further. Exercises range from simply being in the space with the horses, to touching or grooming the horse's body, to trying to move the herd (or just one of them!) around the paddock or into a particular spot.
What happens is this: however we move through the world is typically how we interact with the horses. By observing the horses' reactions to our behavior and observing our own body sensations and feelings, we start to get immediate and honest feedback about how our behavior is working....or not working.
What Can EAL Help You Do?
Connect with your body so that you can learn to quiet and soothe your mind
Reveal and release old behavioral patterns and beliefs that keep you separate from your power and truth
Bring voice to your true inner wisdom
Integrate and establish yourself in wholeness-physically, emotionally and spiritually
Teach you how to live your life and be in relationship fully in each present moment, one day at a time
What can a horse give you that a human can't?
A horse's feedback is honest and instant
Horses consistently model assertiveness and teach us how to do the same
Horses don't lie or overthink a participant's motive
Horses can’t be manipulated with words
Horses have natural 'herd behaviors' that require trust, respect and teamwork from all members of the team
Horses automatically respond to confusion and frustration as these feelings can put the herd at risk...but then have the amazing ability to completely let it go once it is over
Horses lead through assuredness...not force, domination, or scare tactics
Horses have distinct roles and personalities that work to benefit their herd...thus they are fantastic models for how we can each step into our own authentic selves AND learn how to accept and get along with people in our own herds (families, workplaces, communities) who we might be having trouble with