The Game Change Project

Equine Facilitated Learning

Handling and caring for horses and ponies can teach people many things; responsibility, structure, organisation and also, how to be calm. Many of us are spending more time in front of computer screens, trying to fit so many things into our schedule, our brains are constantly ticking over. Horses are prey animals that don’t judge you, but mirror your state, the calmer you are; the calmer the horse is. It can also help you learn to create healthy boundaries for yourself and learn how to be present and in the moment.

What is Equine Facilitated Learning?

Equine Facilitated Learning is about connecting with horses to discover how they reflect our inner selves. It involves working with horses on the ground and you don’t need to be an experienced horseperson to benefit. The horses themselves enable people to discover what their body and senses are telling them, which is often ignored, as we live in our heads most of the time. It is a gentle, non-judgmental way of becoming self-aware, and has transformative results with many common problems from anxiety to PTSD.

How does it work?

The horses are great teachers and help us to regulate our emotions at core level. It is an evidence-based intervention rooted in neuroscience, psychology and mind/body awareness, and can be used as a life coaching tool or simply as a way to connect with yourself. Horses are prey animals, in the wild, they stay in herds and their natural instinct is flight, to run from danger. They don’t rationalise like we do or plan, they just live from moment to moment, react to what is “now”, and when the perceived or real danger is over, go back to grazing/peaceful state. What makes them such wonderful co-facilitators is that they know when someone is not being honest in their emotions. How many times when we are asked how we are, we say “fine” when the reality may be quite different. Sometimes we hide our emotions so well, that they become embodied and stuck and they may come out in unwanted behaviour or even illness. The horses give us honest biofeedback, which when acknowledged can help people to transform from denial to congruency and begin to feel safer, happier, and more at one with themselves and the world.

What are the benefits

The benefits of Equine Assisted Learning are many and transformative. People can change from anxious to confident, learn to relate, and communicate better with themselves and others. People experience clarity in their lives, healing of emotions in a safe way. It is a practical application to take into everyday lives.

I have had a fantastic time working with the horses. It really helped me to clear my head and to be more confident

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The Game Change Project
The Game Change Project