Equine Assisted Learning
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is an emerging field in which horses are used as a tool for emotional growth and learning. Individuals learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses. EAL uses experiential learning approaches which allow clients to challenge boundaries, overcome fear and develop self confidence to overcome obstacles in many areas in their life. EAL is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. EAL addresses a variety of human developmental needs; including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and communication needs.
The focus of EAL is not on riding or horsemanship. In fact, 90% of EAL takes place on the ground. The primary focus of EAL is to help the client or group learn and apply certain skills including non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, leadership, taking responsibility, teamwork and self confidence, and as a result, enhance their self awareness, self esteem, feelings and attitudes.
Some EAL session activities may include: observing horses in their natural environment and processing the client’s observations of the interaction and relationship among the horses; grooming and leading activities: practicing non-verbal communication skills as a team to accomplish a goal; creating an obstacle course and guiding the horse through the course; team building games and activities.
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