What is Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL)?
Magic happens when humans and horses come together. Horses are consummate facilitators in the work of human development. Their size alone inspires a heightened state of awareness. These intelligent, sensitive creatures respond to both positive and negative changes in the handler’s behavior, offering constant feedback and timely rewards or consequences for their actions.
Horses are social creatures who readily and honestly respond to the challenges inherent in forming and sustaining relationships. As animals preyed upon in nature, they have retained a highly developed ability to sense changes in the stance and arousal of other herd members; an ability they easily transfer to interactions with human beings. Horses see through the slight incongruities of emotion and intention, yet they are exceedingly patient and forgiving.
What is Equine Facilitated Learning?
Through a series of specially designed activities, participants in Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) deepen their awareness of personal issues, core feelings and areas of bodily tension that inhibit the ability to reach their true potential. A tremendous boost in self-esteem and confidence comes from learning how to establish boundaries and direct a thousand-pound creature through mental focus, creative visualization and clarity of intent.
These skills, which can be difficult to teach in a conventional classroom or counseling session, have far-ranging applications that are linked to increased success in personal, relationships, career and parenting. Horse-facilitated activities help people recognize and move beyond the coping strategies associated with surviving in a competitive world. Participants in EFL develop a thriving mind set capable of endless compassion, innovation, energy adaptability, and creativity.
Equine Facilitated Learning requires no previous experience with horses and involves working on the ground with the horse in a safe setting with an experience facilitator. EFL may or may not proceed to working on horseback. Just a single session can have life changing effects as participants open to their true potential.
Kathleen teaches in programs in Canada, www.horsespiritconnections.com and the United Kingdom, www.IFEAL.me In 2011 she is also offering ADVANCED INDIVIDUAL MENTORSHIP opportunities: More on this exciting possibility in the next issue of the newsletter or contact Kathleen directly for more information.
Epona Equestrian Services
Linda Kohanov, Epona Equestrian Services, and Kathleen Barry Ingram began working together in 1998 creating workshops and individual intensives by incorporating their talents and expertise to develop an innovative and creative healing modality employing horses as equal partners. Linda wrote and completed “ The Tao of Equus”, “Riding Between the Worlds” and “ Way of the Horse: Equine Archetypes for Self-Discovery” with artist Kim McElroy which describe very well the magic and the gifts the horses bring. The development of the Epona Approach TM to working with people and horses advanced to the implementation of the Epona Apprenticeship program which was co-created, designed and taught by Linda and Kathleen through 2007 when the 9th class graduated and another group of talented and experienced individuals began their equine facilitated learning practices. Linda and her colleagues continue to teach apprentices and offer workshops and training at the Epona Center in Sonoita, Arizona www.taoofequus.com