WHY WORK WITH PREY ANIMALS?
Horses, being prey and herd animals, have highly astute senses and are always aware of their surroundings for mere survival alone. Horses are quick to react and can feel stimuli from individual participants.
Horses are honest and basic. They don’t care about appearance, or what you say, only what your intention is. This non-judgmental awareness allows a horse to discern between calm and nervous energy. A horse can sense a change in a predator’s heart rate from 75 feet away. An individual’s feelings or body language will cause a reaction from the horse. This reaction then offers facilitators a teachable moment, allowing the human to make a conscious change and learn in a fun and engaging way. Horses do not lie.
Horses can be intimidating, averaging 1200 pounds. This factor alone keeps participants engaged, and helps to keep them learning. Working alongside a horse aids people in successful development of personal and team skills, such as communication, problem solving, negotiation, and teamwork. Here at Epona Experience, our teachers, the horses, can help humans make positive changes that stick with them for life.
HOW DOES THIS PROCESS WORK?
By understanding why and how horses are aware of our every movement – you will come to know how effective equine-assisted learning programs are to finding success.
Equine Assisted Learning has been further validated by recent studies conducted by the Institute of HeartMath. Horse people have always known that something magical happens in the presence of a horse. The Heartmath studies explain the healing exchange that occurs when a human is in the presence of a horse.
A magnetometer can measure the heart's energy field radiating up to 8 to 10 feet around the human body. While this is astounding, the electromagnetic field projected by the horse's heart is five times larger than a human! Imagine this… the electromagnetic field of a horse may extend over 100 feet!
A horse’s electromagnetic field is also stronger than a human’s and can actually influence our own heart rhythm! This is why we feel a sense of well-being and peace when we are near horses.
Herds are to horses as teams are to people. Skills developed alongside the horse can be paralleled back to everyday life. Working with horses creates memories that we can apply to our lives and retain far longer than sitting in a classroom or lecture.
WHAT IS EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING?
To put it simply, Equine Assisted Learning is an experiential educational experience with horses. This type of learning is more effective (and more fun) than the typical classroom setting for many. More specifically, Equine Assisted Learning is an effective approach to human development that encourages individual and team growth. Participants engage in objectively-driven exercises and find themselves learning valuable life skills in a fun and exciting atmosphere while working with the horses.
These equine-assisted skills development programs have proven to be effective, powerful, positive, educational, and creative. Our program emphasizes it’s BuildingBlock™ curriculum of facilitating life skills through positively reinforced interaction with horses. Exercises are developed to encourage self-confidence through validated, hands-on experiences. Current research has found this experiential form of learning to be the most effective. Our programs were part of a 5 year university study!