Equine Assisted Action Learning
In partnership with Equilibrium for Life CIC we provide powerful and highly effective, experiential learning programs with horses - Equine Assisted Action Learning (EAAL).
Our EAAL workshops take the powerful cognitive process within Action Learning to a new level of personal experience and creates a space for insight and development. Introducing horses into the process demands real presence and focus from those involved in the process. The horse is a strong partner in the learning process and often represents a metaphor for the actual challenge. Like with the structured dialogue within traditional AL, the horse creates insight by inviting us to explore our challenges within a less familiar framework.
The horses provide a unique immediacy - whether it be drawing out the underlying issues or testing the real belief, commitment and connection to the resolution; as well as enabling participants to safely model difference, so planting the seeds of change. The physical act of change creates a powerful embodied learning.
Horses are able to provide the most instant and accurate feedback about our emotions, behaviours and interaction with the world.
The nature of the horse - a herd based, flight animal - means that it maintains at all times an awareness and presence which is connected to the energies and intentions of the situation and those around it. Horses represent the ultimate experiential 360° appraisal, reflecting without judgement who we are and how we are in the moment; not just how we are, but respond honestly to any change that we might enact.
The process is extremely flexible, though it is especially beneficial as part of:
- Experiential leadership training
- Talent development programmes
- Development of Emotional Intelligence
- Teambuilding, and
- personal or group Coaching
As with our so much of our work, EAAL calls upon current thinking from the worlds of the neuroscience, adult development and sports science, and in particular:
- Developing appropriate skills to orientate oneself in a volatile and uncertain world
- How neurotransmitters (like serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins) affect our mood and behaviour
- The value of mindfulness for the development of true insight and appropriate goals
- Ways in which we can develop a growth mindset
- The critical relationship between high performance and purposeful practice.
"Given the level of engaged participation on their part, the extent to which people were willing to overcome personal challenges and the very positive feedback during the day and on the way back, I feel this was probably the most successful whole staff training session and best starter for the new academic year that we've had in the five years that I have been in post." - Head of Centre, Constance Bridgeman Centre
The work is based at Kits Coty Farm, though we can travel to third party facilities as required.