WHAT IS EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING?
Equine-assisted learning (EAL) is a unique experiential learner centered program that promotes the development of healthy life skills for educational, professional and personal development through equine-assisted activities. The horse is the teacher! The facilitator led exercises incorporates the horse into a group or team for hands-on interactive challenges. No saddle required.
Serenity Acres Family Ranch offers a full 12 week curriculum to build overall life skills. A variety of individual EAL exercises can also be tailored to help participants overcome specific challenges.
In an EAL setting, the experiential approach integrates horse-human interaction that is guided by a planned and objective driven learning experience to meet the identified goals of the participant(s). Learning with horses provides an opportunity to teach critical life skills such as trust, respect, honesty and communication.
HOW DOES A HORSE TEACH LIFE SKILLS?
Horses are among the most intuitive of teachers. As a prey animal, horses are sensitive to their environment and everyone who surrounds them for their survival. They ask for leadership and direction. As teachers, they react to the slightest stimulus both positive and negative. They sense changes in the posture, breathing and body language of animals and people around them. They provide constant nonverbal feedback based on the stimulus provided by the participants. This allows them to respond honestly and to be non-judgemental barometer of our conscious and unconscious feelings and behaviours. This can help participants to better understand and learn how our non-verbal communication might be impacting or influencing others in their lives. Horses ask people to be mindful of their surroundings and to stay in the moment at all times. Through interactions with the horses, participants learn heightened self awareness., a vital skill in order to reflect on patterns of behaviour . The horse becomes the catalyst to the learning and gives participants the opportunity to alter behaviours. Participants gain self-esteem and self-confidence while learning how to work with such a large and powerful animal. They offer us the opportunity to experience humility, compassion, empathy and challenge in a safe and neutral environment, which are all critical components for supporting personal growth and self-awareness. This creates an opportunity for profound healing, growth and development in all aspects of our lives.