Working with horses to learn

In personal development, the main challenge is making behaviour change “stick”. When people only listen or observe, they remember between 10-32%. When they are actually doing, this increases to 65% (Whitmore, 2002).

Adults learn best when they are in charge, use their personal strengths, and are stretched in a new and adequately pressured environment, supported by experienced coaches.

Horse guided learning ticks all those boxes. It is experiential, which means learning by doing and feeling, and less by talking and thinking. It stretches you because it is unfamiliar and creates memories in your whole body, not just your head.
When you begin with experience and bring in rational thinking later, this reverses the conventional sequence in which various parts of the brain engage in traditional learning set-ups. This accelerates personal change through greater speed and depth of memory formation. And, it is more fun.

As one client put it: “I’ve been to many trainings, but what I have learned with the horses has helped me come forward in a sustainable way. Sustainable because it is a deep experience – a certain feeling that I attach to the horses. Compared to X programme which was a great training, I made many friends, but don’t remember the content. But this is different, I remember because there is an emotion.”

Learning with horses is done through exercises with the herd and individual horses on the ground. You are guided by experienced horses as well as highly qualified facilitators who are also experts in human psychology. There is no riding involved, and no need for prior experience with horses.

Afraid of horses?

Physical and psychological safety for our clients, practitioners and horses is always our first concern. The horses we work with are used to working with all kinds of people, some of whom are not familiar and a bit hesitant. You always decide how close or far away you are from the horses, and we take things at your pace.

Horses are large and powerful animals, inspiring awe and respect. Despite their size, horses are gentle, and this combination creates a great opportunity to overcome fears.  Accomplishing a task involving horses, in spite of those fears, creates confidence and provides skills when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life.