Equine Guided learning — FAQs
‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new’ Albert Einstein
At Equine Affinity we know that for lots of people Equine Guided Learning (EGL) is a new concept and you may have lots of questions about exactly what a session would involve.
Here Equine Affinity founder, Catherine Bray, answers the most frequently asked questions.
Do I have to have previous experience with horses?
No. In fact this work is often slightly more challenging for our clients who have had some horse experience as EGL is not about learning horse skills. Our clients that have horse skills have to let go of their experience as this EGL work offers a different experience. This work is about you as an individual and helps you to identify your skills and strengths that you have to offer in the workplace. These skills are demonstrated through the work you will do through the horses.
Will we be learning how to do horse whispering?
The EGL work involves exploring ways to communicate with horses. On the team we do have some actual horse whisperers (!) who help guide you to understand the horse behaviour. However, this work being experiential by nature, allows for you to learn how to communicate with horses, finding your own strengths and resources. Not only will you better understand how to whisper to horses after a session, more importantly, you will also learn how these qualities can be applied in your everyday life…that is the essence of this work.
Will I be riding horses during the work?
No. The focus is on the relationship with the horses from the ground. Sometimes our clients may be disappointed initially, to learn that they wont be riding the horses. However, there is so much to gain from the work done with the horses from the ground that our clients often leave our sessions with a new found respect for the horses as the horse offers so much more valuable information if they are open to it.
How do you choose which horses to work with?
At a first meeting with a potential horse, I go on my instincts and get a real sense of what the horse is like — whether she or he will be ok delivering this work and whether they are suitable for it. The horses then get assessed by our team of horse experts for their suitability. They will be assessed as to how they may react to different situations and facing different obstacles. They will also be selected based on their age, their character type, their history and most importantly, their well being. The horses have to be fairly stable (excuse the pun) within themselves, both physically and mentally to be able to take part in the work.
Do the horses enjoy this work?
The work provides the horses with a different way of connecting to humans than they usually may be used to. Some of our horses are ridden horses, or are in training, and so this work is different for them. I love working with horses in this way because they get to be themselves. By expressing themselves freely, we get honest answers about ourselves.
At Equine Affinity, we have created a code of ethics for our horses as we do not assume that because we are not putting the horse under the same physical pressure that ridden work does, there is still an expectation from them to interact with us and take on the mental aspect of this work. The horse must be respected and listened to in this work. We bring this into the learning for each client too.
Is is safe?
Yes. Part of our role as facilitators is to look out for the safety of both the clients and horse and intervene if necessary. That said, we work with the natural instincts that the horse offers which adds huge value to this work. Their flightiness and ability to move away from perceived danger allows for immediate feedback for our client. This can sometimes be quite powerful but the space created is safe emotionally and physically.
I’m interested, what training should I go for?
Rather than offer you a series of pre planned training options we tailor our offering to you based on your needs. We will take a brief from you then pull together your own equine affinity team and bespoke training solution to ensure that you have a programme that will meet your business objectives and budget, and answer your needs.
To talk to us further please contact Contact Catherine Bray on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07950 690089 to book a session or request for us to design a bespoke package for you and your clients.