What is Equine Assisted Learning
Equine Assisted Learning is at the cutting edge of leadership training, team building and corporate development in America. The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) Model of Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) provides a safe structured model for facilitating learning and change. It is a team approach in which a Certified Equine Specialist and Mental Health Professional facilitate horses and people working together to achieve learning, leadership and team building goals.
Participants will be immersed in a whole body action learning experience with horses where they will practically apply and reflect on their teamwork abilities and awareness. In essence working with horses provides an opportunity to bring out the best in ourselves, each other, and the team as a whole.
What about the emotional safety of the team?
It is important that everyone feels safe and supported within the group and the environment. In order to do this we recommend discussing and agreeing on some group boundaries that everyone is comfortable with. As we know, boundaries allow us to maintain and protect our sense of self and to connect with others in healthy and meaningful ways.
We understand that some team members may not feel comfortable or “emotionally safe” in the group and are therefore reluctant or unprepared to share their personal beliefs and opinions. EAL differs from Equine Assisted Psychotherapy in that the objectives do not focus on mental health issues or treatment goals. Rather, EAL focuses on the specific learning objectives identified by the group and reflected upon during the activities with the horses. The role of Mental Health Professional, is to guide and facilitate the processing of the experience amongst the group, whilst maintaining the emotional safety of group members.
Introducing Equine Assisted Learning
In Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) the horses are co-facilitators in the learning process for human emotional growth, learning and change. The focus of EAL is not on horsemanship or riding. Instead, it involves intentionally designed activities with the horses that require individuals and groups to apply and develop important relationship and life skills.
Working with horses requires participants to make a connection – to form relationships based on trust, clear communication and understanding – much like working in an effective team. Horses are very much like humans in that they are social animals living and “working” within a community – a herd. The main goal of the herd is to maintain balance and harmony. Just like members of any community or team, each horse has distinct roles and responsibilities and like humans, have different personalities, attitudes, and moods. Participants find that an approach that may work with one horse, does not necessarily work with another.
Changes in behavior through the activities are real experiences. Clients are actively involved physically, psychologically and emotionally (doing, thinking and feeling). In this way, horses provide vast opportunities for metaphorical learning as participants experience how their actions and responses can impact on their life, and understand where and how changes can be made. The learning is immediate and can be readily transferred to life experiences in different contexts. It is a powerful and effective approach that has a lasting impact on individuals and groups.
Like ropes and other outdoor activities, EAL is experiential in nature. However, unlike other experiential activities which pit participants against themselves or ‘nature’, EAL is about establishing and maintaining relationships with others. This means individuals learn about themselves and others by participating in the activities and then discussing feelings, behaviors, and patterns that arise. Guided reflection on this provides empowering insights, identifies strengths to build on, and opportunities for change in behaviors that are limiting and non-productive.
The Base Experience allows your team to have an introductory one hour experience in corporate Team Building utilizing the EAGALA model of growth and learning. This experience is ideal for teams seeking a better understanding of team dynamics, underlying causes of inefficiency, and other hinderances to maximum productivity.
The Advanced Experience option gives your team a half day experience and will integrate Equine Assisted Corporate Team Building and other Leadership and Team Building experiences. View a sample Advanced Experience below.
9:00- 9:30 Opening/ Greeting
9:30-10:30 EAGALA Session
10:30-10:45 Break/ Refreshments
10:45-11:45 Expressive Arts Team Building
11:45- 12:15 Process/ Take Aways
Take your corporate outing to the next level and enjoy a full day of Premium services. Teams may customize their experience to achieve their collective goals. View a sample Premium Experience below.
9:00- 9:30 Opening/ Greeting
9:30-10:30 EAGALA Session I
10:30-11:00 Break/ Refreshments
11:00- 12:00 Expressive Arts Team Building
1:00-2:00 EAGALA Session II
2:00-2:30 Break/ Refreshments
2:30-3:30 Group Scavenger Hunt
3:30- 4:00 Process/ Take Aways