About EAL

WHAT IS EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNINGColonial's Eye

Hoof By Hoof Equine Assisted Learning is an interactive experiential learning opportunity for individuals of all ages.  The programs offered at Hoof By Hoof EAL are based upon the renowned Cartier Farms EAL Building Blocks curriculum, of which has been supported by research studies that show its value and efficacy in affecting positive change for participants.  All sessions are facilitated by a Certified EAL Facilitator, and offer a diverse, fun and peaceful environment that spawns a dynamic, creative and subtle new awareness and perspective towards self and others.

All activities at Hoof By Hoof EAL are designed to engage individuals to work as part of a team that includes a horse, and consists of working through the challenges presented by “ground work” obstacles of which the “team” has to navigate.  These ground work exercises bring horses and humans together in an “eye to eye” setting that initiates and promotes meaningful, complex conversation within ones self, and with others on the team.  In doing so, it creates sustainable changes in perspective and has a profound lasting impact, not only on individual self-awareness, self-confidence and mindfulness, but also has is a key element in building improved communication, trust, respect and leadership within relationships, partnerships and team settings.

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WHO BENEFITS FROM EAL?

Equine Assisted Learning is for EVERYONE. It is for individuals, families, organizations, teams or communities who want to maximize the joy, fun, pleasure, fulfillment and satisfaction that life has to offer.
In working with the horses, they give individuals the opportunity to build self-confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness, trust, respect, appropriate assertiveness, accountability, responsibility, self-control, listening skills, problem solving skills, leadership skills, and much more through learning the importance and key elements of both non-verbal and verbal communication.
Studies on the effects of such programs have shown that the results are profound and lasting, and that they support the foundation to build lasting and sustainable changes within ones self and within many other aspects of daily life.

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WHY HORSES?

Unlike dogs and other “service” animals, Horses are strictly “prey” animals and as such they have a highly responsive, instinctual and intuitive awareness of their surroundings at all times.  They have the ability to sense danger even before it can be seen or heard by humans, and it is from this keen awareness that horses are able to read our emotions, our congruency with actions and emotions, and our body language in a way that no other animal or individual can.

Horses are non-judgmental, they have no agendas and they provide automatic uncensored feedback to their surroundings, and to how we as humans approach them.  Their size often presents a stature of dominance, and their instinct, intuitiveness and authenticity reflects a way of being that has intrigued and fascinated mankind for centuries.

Unless we are unified in our body language and inner thoughts/feelings, the horse will not relax and embrace an effective working partnership with us.  Horses, as part of their survival, rely on a social hierarchy that encompasses leadership, trust, respect and highly skilled communication within their herds.  Only when we, as humans, are able to approach the horse in a way that provides “leadership” and a sense of “safety” of which  encompasses trust and respect, will the horse relax his instinctual fight/flight response and allow us to truly enter his world in a way that begins to form a working partnership.

It is from this formation of interaction that the horses teach us a new way of looking at life, a new way of communication, a new way of building partnerships, and maybe most importantly, a new way of looking within ourselves in a way that finds balance, peacefulness, and a sense of meaning and purpose that promotes happiness.  Horses teach us to reconnect within ourselves in a way that allows us to live in the present moment, to process information in a new and mindful way, and to have a more complex understanding of communication, compassion and ourselves when interacting with others.

Horses provide us with a way, and with a rare opportunity to look at the world from a different perspective.  From the perspective of their “prey” survival mentality, we are able to learn a new approach to key life skills, and in doing so we are able to learn about ourselves and build self-awareness, self-confidence, communication, compassion and empathy in a way that no other animal or human can offer…

Albert Einstein wrote:  “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant.   We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Horses help, guide and enable us to find or rediscover our intuitive mind, and they teach us the importance of creating healthy balance within our lives.

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