WHAT IS COACHING WITH HORSES?
Do you find it hard to set boundaries and say 'no'? Do you feel insecure? Or do others tell you that you are too impulsive? Would you like to become an effective leader? Do you believe you and your team can be more successful? These and many more questions can be answered through Equine Assisted Learning (EAL): you learn by doing exercises with the horses. Through direct experiences with horses and focused reflections you develop old and new skills and uncover values and beliefs You learn by doing! The horses won’t be ridden, however by doing exercises with the horses from the ground during which they are often loose, they are allowed to be themselves and make happen what needs to happen, when it needs to happen. They are like a catalyst and provide immediate and honest feedback. EAL is very effective for personal development, leadership development and team building. Horses are herd- and prey animals, working together is essential for their survival. We, being predators, should learn from them in order to improve team effectiveness and authentic leadership by focusing on the relationship rather than the task. The leader of the herd provides safety and comfort, only then can the herd perform a task effectively. Once a human team is able to function as a herd (working together, being in sync, having trust and open communication etc.) the horse will feel safe to join us. Horses will test every person they have to deal with to what extent they are clear, concise and consistent (for example, are behavior and intention congruent?) and whether this person understands the difference between assertiveness instead of dominance and calmness instead of submissiveness. Only then would the horse want to be a part of your two-member herd and follow you as his leader. As facilitator I simply translate what the horses are trying to tell you.
Live in the moment...
Working with, or simply being with horses shows us the importance of having to be in the moment. Horses respond to whatever is happening in that moment and will do either what they think is the right answer or what they need to do to survive. They feed off of energy around them, so we learn to be aware of our state of mind and energy, if we want to connect with the horse. We need to let go of our ego, there is no room for that when connecting with a horse. They don’t have an ego, they are as honest as they come and don’t care what we have to say, only how we say it. Horses need to overcome their vulnerability as prey animal to trust us, showing us that we also need to be open and trusting in order to grow. If we truly want to connect with a horse we need to try and speak his language, being aware of our breathing, eye contact, emotional self-regulation, intention and other body language. Once a participant starts experiencing and applying all this through EAL, the bond with the horse will grow immensely and they realize that then they can actually reach their goal in an effective and harmonious way. Trust the horses and be open to whatever outcome there might be, and a beautiful learning experience will occur that will open your eyes towards yourself.
As of spring 2019, Pyramid Horsemanship offers a unique workshop called THE SHOOTING STAR PROJECT. This is meant for girls and women who would like to further develop their personal leadership and find (more) inner peace. Click here for more information!
Doesn't the workshop above relate to you but would you still like to experience an EAL session, focused on leadership development or personal development, or maybe you would like to do this with your team as a team building workshop? Don't hesitate to contact me, so we can discuss the possibilities.
Please note, EAL is not therapy!