Equine Assisted Learning
What is Equine Assisted Learning?
Equine Assisted Coaching, also known as Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL), is an experiential learning approach which promotes the development of life skills. This focus on life skills can be related to academic achievement, behaviour, personal growth or professional leadership development. Sessions focus on the here and now, helping clients to increase self-awareness, develop new skills and operate in the moment, rather than processing past trauma. There isriding, no psychotherapy or counselling involved.
What should I look for in an EAL professional?
All professionals should be certified by a recognised professional body and adequately insured. They need training to work safely with horses and skill in experiential learning methods and in facilitation. They should offer emotionally and physically safe, life skill directed sessions for their clients. They should work as part of a team of professionals; one person who is the equine specialist and one who is the human specialist along with the horse who is also a valued member of the team. Each member of the team should have the necessary skills to work with the type of individual or group in the session. If you are not sure whether or not the professional is qualified, ask them what their credentials are and research their governing organisations to see what standards they follow.
What does an session look like?
Most sessions are done on an individual basis unless working with groups who have a prior relationship to one another. Each session involves horse interaction facilitated by the professional or professional team. Though there is always a lesson plan, a good facilitator will often follows the horse’s lead. The activities are problem solving, relationship building or observation-based. Though students can learn horsemanship skills through the sessions, it is usually not the primary goal. Most goals are focused on the development of life skills. Sessions take place on the ground. There is no riding involved.
Courses of six, hour-long individual Equine Learning sessions help participants to develop confidence, hone communication and plan a more positive future through working on the ground with horses.
Each participant is designated a rescued horse or pony to work with under the supervision of a trained therapeutic horsemanship practitioner. Through activities such as grooming, leading and lunging, they will begin to understand the effect that their tone of voice, breathing and body language can have on another living creature. During the process, the horse acts as a mirror and powerful changes in behaviour, anger management and self-esteem are seen.
Participants learn patience, empathy and the value of hard work, gaining a set of practical and 'soft' skills that will enhance their future prospects. Rather than always being on the receiving end of help, they learn that they have value to offer to the world.
"A Big Thank You for your time spent working with Claire.
As you know, Claire has difficulty in expressing herself verbally. She has really enjoyed the course with you at your wonderful centre and has come away each time really 'buzzing' about what she has achieved and her confidence has genuinely improved. To see her transformation today was truly amazing.
I am very grateful that Claire has had this opportunity to benefit from your incredible service. I can't praise you enough.
Keep up the good work! Thank you!"
-Parent of Young person with communication difficulties.
"Before, I was very unconfident and wouldn’t try doing anything new. I have ASD and ADHD. Equine Assisted Coaching has boosted my self-confidence and social skills. I can't believe how comfortable I am spending time with new people."
-Young person with multiple disabilities.
"Interacting with the horses has helped me to be kinder to myself, understand when to trust and how to set boundaries with other people. I know now what positive relationships are all about."
-Survivor of domestic abuse
£420 for a course of six sessions
"Lindsey have supported me so much over the last six months and I can’t wait to see what happens next, but one thing I can guarantee is that it changed my life for the better."
-Client dealing with depression
Referrals for EFL can be made by the intended participant or their parent (if under 18).
We also accept referrals from professionals currently working with the individual such as a doctor, social worker or teacher.
Referrals can be made by completing and submitting a EFL Referral form. This can be downloaded using the links below.