HorseSense: Equine Facilitated Learning
Imagine participating in a program where your facilitator weighs half a ton and speaks a foreign language. To make matters worse, unless you can attract and hold her interest, she tends to ignore you and go her own way. And yet, at the end of the day, you realize that you've never learned so much about yourself as a leader…
Through experiential learning with horses, you and your team can develop greater self-awareness, hone your collaboration and communication skills, and learn to grow beyond the edges of your comfort zone- all essential to becoming more effective leaders and team members.
Based on the relatively new field of Equine Assisted Professional Development (EAPD), our HorseSense program provides you and your team with a safe, open environment for exploring many of the behaviors, attitudes and responses that influence the quality of your personal and professional lives. And yes, our co-facilitators are horses.
Why? As you and your team members observe horses relating to each other and as you engage with the horses, you cannot help but learn from them. No longer able to rely on your skills of verbal persuasion, your positions of power, or your reputations, you reconnect with your own innate “horse sense,” and become more acutely aware of yourselves and others, physically, emotionally, and psychically. This heightened awareness of “presence” – yours and others’ – paves the way for stronger relationships, better collaboration, and improved communication.
A typical HorseSense session engages you and your team in a combination of ground exercises with the horses and facilitated learning segments of theory and practical application, designed around one or more fundamental principles in how you lead, follow, communicate, and connect with others. The exercises allow you to experience at whole new levels of awareness the ways in which you comport yourselves and the messages you put out, intentional or otherwise. Debriefing sessions help you and your team recognize and internalize the lessons learned by exploring direct parallels between what happened in the arena and what happens in "real life," whether individually, as a team, or as an organization.