Equine Assisted Learning – you might not be aware of exactly what that means. I mean, everyone loves a good horse activity, right? So, you might have visions of brushing the horses, feeding them some carrots and apples, and maybe even taking them for a ride. Great fun, to be sure, but no where close to what Equine Assisted Learning is.
Alright, now that I have your attention, let’s have a little lesson about what EAL is and why it is used. Equine Assisted Learning sessions allow participants to learn about themselves and others by actively participating in activities with the horses and then discussing observations made, how those observations made them feel and lessons that can be taken away from the experience.
To put it simply – the horse has no buffer. He or she doesn’t worry about how their comments and actions might make you feel. The horse is a real reflection on how others see you and how your behaviors, tone of voice, and mannerisms – for example – might be perceived by others. Working with the horse leads to better communications and interpersonal skills on your end – and, as an added bonus, it is a fun way to learn!
Take this quote from Matthew, who came to ThorpeWood and participated in an Equine Assisted Learning session as part of the Frederick County Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. “We had successes in learning how to observe and communicate with the horses and humans. We also had a lot of fun doing this!” Thanks, Matthew. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
ThorpeWood’s farm, known as Stoney Lick Farm, has a herd of eight Icelandic horses waiting to be partners in your Equine Assisted Learning journey! If you think your group or organization could benefit from an experience like the one we offered to the Frederick County Big Brothers/Big Sisters, give us a call today!