HORSE POWER HEALING
First and foremost, Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is all about
"Learning how to learn."
The therapeutic approach is proven to be highly effective for most individuals struggling with social exclusion as a result of traumatic life events.
A multitude of research studies have shown EAL helps build and promote confidence, cultivates emotional intelligence, enhances verbal and non-verbal communication skills, develops or increases leadership ability and adds a willingness to cooperate with family, friends and colleagues.
EAL also provides tools to help participants overcome trauma, behavioural issues, personality disorders, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The end result is reaching a state of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.
Children involved with horses tend to do better in school, attain self-advocacy skills and maintain healthy social reciprocity .
Adults engaged in the program rise above difficulties by sheer volume of clarity.
After several therapeutic sessions, people begin to think like a horse.
Horses are always taking in their environment, and behaving in a manner that promotes communication, friendship and safety.
As participants evolve, they discover how they now spend more time in the "moment", as horses do. They find they tend to worry less, take things less personally and think in terms of the collective rather than what is going to satisfy the insatiable ego.
Finally, Executive Function skills increase. Such skills include the ability to plan, organize and execute tasks. One other aspect of Executive Function is "Inhibitory Control". This is our faculty to stop behaving in ways that are counter-productive to our well being.
Delving further into Equine Assisted learning, participants begin to understand the intrinsic difference between reacting (acting on impulse) and responding (using cognition to properly assess a situation).
We have a lot to learn from the horses because they behave in ways that in humans promotes support, love, a future void of mental illness.
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) , Equine Assisted Wellness (EAW) and Equine Assisted Therapy are three therapeutic approaches that include interaction horses and people, either simultaneously or one-on-one.
The modality of Equine Assisted Learning closely associated with Equine Assisted Wellness has been very successful in the United States and Europe since its inception in the 1950s. And now, Equine Assisted Learning has now become a form of mainstream therapy in Canada.
We understand how horses help humans heighten self-awareness through personal reflections, self-monitoring and concise communication in order to foster a healthy perspective towards our external realities, including situations we may have no control over.
By learning how to learn, communicate better, and display leadership capabilities, individuals builds on self-awareness and self-care techniques, resulting in a clearer path to discovering their inherent strength and use them to overcome personal barriers.
Horses helps us add wisdom to our approach in any life circumstance so that the outcome will be mutually beneficial for us and those we interact with. Horses can impart this invaluable wisdom because they are not only prey animals (hunted by other animals), they are also herd-driven in that they need their own kind to survive. When domesticated, they also need humans to feel safe. Therefore, they behave in ways conducive to maintaining a healthy community in order to thrive.
Essentially, what Equine Assisted Learning teaches humans is to cultivate the ability to get along with others using empathy, compassion and clear communication, in addition to self-advocate through calm-assertive behaviour and a willingness to learn from others without ego standing in the way.
In essence, it is a means to discovering personal potential and acquiring the strength to follow through without fear and doubt getting in the way.
When Equine Assisted Learning is happening, individuals quickly realize that body language, tenor and voice pitch resonates with the horses. An angry individual, or one with control issues will never get a horse to cooperate, much less be a friend.
Spending time with a horse, we learn about self-regulation, attitude and reflection when working through personal issues . This is an effective form of rehabilitation because horses mirror our emotions and intentions. By mirroring, they respond to our emotional state and either cooperate because we are calm or simply walk away for fear of getting in the line of our personal tumult.
In conclusion, what Equine Assisted Learning teaches us is self-awareness and the ability to foresee consequences as a result of maladaptive behaviours. Horses give us a chance to correct our ways and try again to get a better result.
We find that horses, as a means of survival, are highly adaptable to their environment.
They seek leadership, discipline, hyper-vigilance and kindness both from their herd members and also from humans. This is the methodology that resonates throughout the herd in order to maintain peace and harmony.
Horses communicate through body language, alerting each other of danger in order to protect the herd. They hear sounds and sense smells humans are not capable of detecting. And when we are immersed in Equine Assisted Learning, we become part of the herd and are equally protected unless we pose them a danger with a negative attitude.
By participating in activities involving horses, who by their very nature are attune to human emotions, we begin to understand the components of social reciprocity which are paramount to living a life that will offer reward, satisfaction and gratification. For example, deepening personal relationships, strengthening cognition and empowering personal development.
Horses have the capability to clarify why we experience certain emotions, bring to the forefront the positive and negative consequences of our behaviours and help us adapt to our various social settings.
The most important phenomena that occurs is how human intuitive faculties and emotional intelligence naturally increase.
The objective is to make a connection with a horse. It isn't hard to do with an open mind and heart. And, when that connection is made, the healing process is activated.
Through Equine Assisted approaches, science is undergoing a break-through in eliminating debilitating mindsets. In that, we are taking progressive measures to deliver tailored Programs for all our clients engaged in the oldest and most successful form of education - Experiential Learning (learning by doing).
Equine Assisted Wellness is designed to facilitate on-going personal growth by teaching how to cultivate a willingness to communicate better, appreciate others through patience, respect and empathy, and above all, adopt a positive outlook in the face of adversity.
As a result, a paradigm shift occurs within the mind and body, strengthening coping skills and a better understanding and processing of external realities.
This is the nature of Horse Power Healing.
Equine Assisted Learning awakens individuals to their inherent strengths that may have laid dormant due to the negative over-stimulation caused by trauma, maladaptive behaviours and nature-nurture consequences and the consequences of how it affects the nervous system.
Through Equine Assisted Learning and Wellness, respectively, the physical body and emotions begin to synthesize to better regulate mental stress and physical illness whereby achieving homeostasis (maintain stability while adjusting to environmental stimuli.
Being such large animals, weighing in at 500kg or more, horses have the capacity to implement tremendous confidence in humans when we are permitted to handle them with ease, through simple verbal, physical or intuitive commands. It is a motivating and inspirational experience that promotes wanting more and more learning to occur.
Self-esteem soars, anxiety diminishes. Cognition rises, fears dissipate. We begin to think like a horse and discover how that line of thinking has amplitude benefits applicable to everyday life.
Part of the reason for this physiological transformation is that the horses' main objective is to maintain tranquility in a safe environment. This is transferred onto the human, who falls in step in order to ensure the horses' mental well-being.
It is a two-way street. Happy Horse . . . Happy Human.
As the relationship grows between horse and human, an individual senses a shift in their personal paradigm. This results in a state of wellness that transcends what negative emotions were previously experienced prior to activities involving horses.
Those who are open to personal growth will soon have a clear picture of their negative thought patterns and begin to make the necessary changes in order to feel better, and ultimately consider themselves worthy of happiness.
We provide extensive demonstrations on how to behave and move around a horse to ensure optimal safety. Facilitators are hyper-vigilant in all manner of participant interacting with the horses.
Participants are taught how to safely groom a horse, adopting the right attitude and behaviour to relax the horse, and using the proper tools and brushes to do a great job, for which the equine partner is most grateful.
Once a horse is chosen to partner with, participants are taught how to handle the horse on a lead line. They are further instructed that a calm demeanour goes a long way in having the horse follow direction without fear of being misled into danger.
Equine Assisted Learning is all about having fun. However, true learning occurs outside our comfort zone. Challenges include activities that foster creative thinking and physical fitness.
At the onset, the challenge may seem insurmountable, but through positive thinking, intention, proper body language and intuition, the impossible becomes possible.
When two or more participants team up to work with a horse, communication opens up to meet the challenge. In the spirit of competition, there are no winners or losers.
The lesson is in knowing that people need people in order to succeed. Cooperation is highlighted in meeting challenges and having a greater appreciation for others.
After a busy, action-packed day, participants have the opportunity to discuss their experiences in a group setting. This opens up new vistas of conversation, self-awareness and getting to know others in a better light.
Later, it is time to self-reflect to be grateful for achievements and know what personal areas require more work.