So Equine Facilitated Learning…. How is it that horses can provide such insightful and meaningful learning without uttering a single word?
As prey animals, horses are constantly alert to potential danger, and extremely sensitive to their environment and those around them. As a herd animal they are very strongly aware of the energy, intentions and non-verbal communication of others, to which they respond honestly in the moment, providing a non-judgmental reflection of how we are being and behaving around them.
The horse’s reaction is a silent, honest and dispassionate response to the energy and emotions of those around them.
Horses do not have agendas, nor intentionally mislead. Working with horses creates a non-threatening environment for revealing and accepting the authentic self. As we often refer, horses are “half a ton of feedback and a fast reacting lie detector”.
These interactions represent a safe space within which to work with social and emotional learning ideas, where one can experiment directly, or in metaphor, with the practical “soft” skills needed across all aspects of life. In so doing our clients can develop and nurture valuable personal skills required to support success, be it in the family or friendship space, or from the classroom right through to the workplace.
The exercises within our programmes offer both personal and group challenges, facilitating direct experiential learning around individual and collective emotional states – developing self-awareness and management of personal emotions as they might impact relationships and social interaction.