Equine Facilitated Learning

THE MINDFUL HORSE

The Mindful Horse is a trading name of Mindful Mindset, and Graeme Green through various partnerships, has been delivering Equine Facilitated Learning for around 10 years. The Mindful Horse has worked both in the UK and abroad with groups as diverse as Corporate Exec teams and Young People in Referral Units.

The work produces consistently positive feedback both in terms of the its insight and effectiveness, for example to cite an executive coach from a recent event: "The horse's behaviour taught me just how much the intention, posture and conviction I adopt impacts those around me..... From my work as a coach, I can tell you that these sorts of realisations can sometimes take leaders months to arrive at. Apache managed it in about 90 minutes!"

Graeme now works from a home base of Athena, near Paddock Wood in Kent, where he also provides Practitioner training, but will often travel to deliver with other herds in other locations as clients' require.

So what is Equine Facilitated Learning?

Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) involves learning about, developing self-awareness - through interaction with horses.

It is an experiential process based upon the non judgemental feedback demonstrated by the horse. It facilitates the opportunity to model change and safely practice embodied difference in mindset and behaviour.

Alongside horses there is an awareness of "how others see us" because they reflect how we show up. Without judgement they honestly and authentically provide insight into how others' experience us. By understanding how we are and regulating ourselves we develop the foundation of empathic awareness, and the building of effective relationships.

Experiential Learning

EFL is an Experiential Learning process. We work with the horse as a metaphor for our own challenges. The experience of change or difference that occurs in the sessions is compared in debrief to meaningful challenge in the workplace or personal life.

The process represents the ultimate experiential 360° appraisal, reflecting how we are. They provide a running commentary on our mindset, demeanour and behaviour. When we decide to act or to shift the way we are, then their honest and immediate commentary comes with us.

Why work with horses?

The nature of the horse – a herd based, flight animal – means that it has an intuitive awareness and presence. It is sensitive to its environment and consciously connected to the energies and intentions of those around it.

Around 90% of our emotional communication is non verbal. In essence our behaviour is the communication. Horses get this, and react with honesty and authentically to what presents itself before them.

The good news for potential learners is that horses do not role play. Nor do they intentionally mislead. They respond without agenda to us as we are. The experiential learning opportunity here arises when we change, or display difference.

Quite simply when we do, they do!

Retreats and Workshops

The Mindful Horse also runs a number of mindfulness amd meditation based workshops or retreats, for more information, click here.

READ MORE OF GRAEME'S WORK

Graeme Green writes, blogs and guest-blogs regularly. He is also a regular contributor to the online ezine Equine Leadership. Visit his blog page, or click on the titles below to read the third party articles:

The Gift Horse:

"How often do we casually talk of “never looking a gift horse in the mouth" and stop to think of its meaning? Of course, a gift-horse would still bring a smile to our faces today, but I wonder how much more?"  -  Equine Leadership

The Horse, The Human and The Cycle of Somatic Presence:

"I am no one. And....In nothingness I become....Everything at once (Haiku)"  -  Equine Leadership

Compassion and the Mindful Horse:

"Imagine that you had a deep and truly supportive soul-friend – what the Celts defined as anam-cara. A friend decent and honest enough to observe both our strengths and our flaws without judgement or bias."  -  Equine Leadership

Let's talk about the horse in the (board) room:

"How often do we let the important questions go unasked? Or awkwardly or politely talk around the real-issues? How often do we feel unable to challenge behaviour, performance or opinions? It is difficult enough amongst peers, but what about in the leadership hierarchy or upwardly within the organisational structure of businesses? Leaders need feedback too."  -  Athena Herd

The Art of Being at work:

"In our modern lives and in our work we are bombarded with distraction. Phones. Email. Social media. You name it. We are challenged my a clash in demand. Once upon a time if we turned up early for a meeting it was time for a quick catch up with our peers now it is perhaps time to do a couple of emails or see what likes have come in on Facebook or LinkedIn."  -  Equilibrium for Life