Horses consistently react to stimulus provided by participants. Some of the joys associated with working with horses are – they don’t judge but they are always assessing their environment.
Horses are a prey animal. Humans are predators. To have prey and predator working together is a rare occurrence in nature. Hence, making this program unique in itself! Horses, being a prey animal, react to even the slightest stimuli which opens the doors for our Certified Equine Assisted Learning Facilitators to step in and assist the participant in what the horse is communicating to them through their body language. This creates pivotal teaching moments. Participants have the opportunity to adjust their behaviours and acknowledge their actions to be able to work as a team with the horses.
In order to team up with the horse, participants have to gain the horses trust and respect, much like in a horse’s natural herd. Horses cannot lie, they do not judge, and they give honest feedback. Horses require a leader who is confident and trustworthy. Research shows just being in the presence of a horse reduces the feeling of anger, hostility, tension and anxiety, as well as improve social functioning, trust, patience, self-efficacy and empowerment! Horses instill empathy and kindness into participants. They do not overthink participants motives but the do challenge participants behaviours and leadership.
Horses feed off of the participants stimulus within a program, and highlight an individual’s problems, confusions, or frustrations immediately, giving our facilitators a window into their personalities. Horses are honest and give instant feedback. Our horses each have distinctive personalities, and each have their unique and different methods of teaching. By learning to listen to what our horses have to say, gives us the opportunity to grow as an individual. By including horses in our objectively driven programs, we assist in participant’s rate of success to self-discovery.
What is Equine Assisted Learning?
→ a learner based educational experience with horses (non-riding) → objectively driven exercises where participants find themselves learning valuable life skills → an effective approach to human development that encourages individual and team growth → fun and engaging!
Research has shown that Equine Assisted Learning can be an effective, powerful, and positive experiential learning opportunity. The Academy of Equine Assisted Learning’s program emphasizes it’s BuildingBlock™ curriculum of facilitating life skills through positively reinforced interaction with horses. Exercises are developed to encourage self confidence through validated, hands-on experiences. The horse is seen as the teacher and embodies a holistic approach to learning and healing.