Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) has been proven for nearly two decades – it is known by a number of names including Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) and is a worldwide training method, utilised in the US, Europe and the UK.
The use of horses in employee training and support provides uniquely memorable experiences which have an enduring impact on delegates. We use EFL as part of mixed method learning, integrating more traditional classroom and group-based learning exercises alongside practical EFL exercises to deliver courses that have impact and longevity. The type of work you will be doing is not ridden and you will be interacting with the horses on the ground, in an enclosed arena.
Horses are well suited to help humans develop better self-awareness and communication skills, acting as mirrors to our behaviours. They are domesticated and highly trainable but as prey animals, they are also highly sensitive and tuned in to the moment, responding instantly to what’s happening around them. This makes them very useful in giving immediate, honest, non-judgemental feedback to humans’ verbal and non-verbal communication.
We can also use horses as a metaphor for real life; looking at their responses to situations and how we would expect them to act can provide us with valuable insights into our own behaviours as individuals or within a team.
Many people can be nervous of horses and may view them as large animals that can be unpredictable or even frightening, but the confidence and self-belief gained when overcoming this fear, as part of a structured group or individual exercise, can then be applied to other areas of life and is long-lasting.
Rest assured, our courses do not require any previous equine knowledge or experience, the horses we use are quiet, calm, well trained and good natured and you will not be riding as part of EFL (although if you would like to try horse riding, please do enquire at the Equestrian Centre).