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What is Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)?

Equine Assisted Learning is a term used to refer to an emerging field in which coaches and/or therapists partner with horses to facilitate experiential learning for human participants. It is a powerful and effective approach that includes one or more horses and one or more participants.

What happens?

This type of experience does not include riding. All work is done on the ground. The coach guides the session, translates what they see going on, and encourages the learner to move through the exercise. Once the activities of the session are complete, the coach and participant debrief on the experience, discuss insights and look at next steps. This experiential approach to learning, effectively provides understanding and retention of skills and ideas.

As a person who is a certified Master Facilitator by the Koelle Institute, you might hear me refer to my work here at Zenhorse as Equus Coaching®, or Equine-Assisted Coaching. I am also a licensed psychotherapist, so you might also hear me use the term Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy. Generally, I am using tools from both my coaching and therapy tool kits in our sessions workshops.

Equine-Assisted Learning is different than the kinds of therapeutic experiences that include riding. You will hear experiences that involve riding referred to as hippotherapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy and Equine Therapy. These different types of experiences are often confused with non-riding experiences because the names are similar or in some cases the same. So it is always good to inquire which type of experience is being offered.

Have you thought about becoming certified as an Equine-Assisted Coach or Therapist?

We hosted the EAL Academy here at Blue Sage Ranch in May of 2023. They provide some great training in EAL and setting up a business. But there are many others. I would recommend that you google Equine Assisted training programs, read the descriptions, and choose the program that resonates best with your personality, experience, and goals for your business. If you have any questions about the programs, I'm happy to help! Just shoot me a quick message HERE, and I can answer any questions you might have.

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