About Equine Assisted Learning
the Art of
How We Show Up,
and How that
Leveraging Each Team
Intention and Focus
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is an experiential coaching approach that utilizes the unique nature and behavior of horses to help humans learn and grow. The Horse Institute offers EAL grounded in unparalleled corporate leadership expertise and decades of experience with horses. The Horse Institute workshops are designed to help business organizations thrive -- teaching next-level workplace-related skills, knowledge and insight to help employees, teams and executives maximize their own and their organization's success.*
The Horse Institute clients consistently report back that workshop participants return to their jobs empowered, energized and owning
5 key "breakthroughs" they take away from working with horses:
Horses communicate volumes without ever speaking a word. According to a UCLA study on how messages are received, human engagement is similar -- driven 55% by non-verbals and 38% by tone, with spoken words just 7%. Tuning into what people are "saying" non-verbally can lead to a dramatic improvement in both the quality and effectiveness of communication.
In a herd of horses, the leaders (or "alphas") gain their status by intuitively understanding how to manage, support and motivate the herd. In humans, we call this Emotional Intelligence. By interacting with horses, participnts can heighten their own Emotional Intelligence in the areas of self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy and social skills.
Often the way we think we engage is not how others perceive us. Horses are intuitive by nature -- highly attuned to our intentions, energy and focus. They are masters at sensing "incongruence" -- when our internal thoughts and feelings do not match our outward behavior. Their responses are pure and direct, innocently holding a mirror up to the strengths and gaps we often don't see in ourselves.
Horses are prey animals-- their survival depends on a clearly defined and highly functional herd. Humans, on the other hand, are predators -- wired for survival of the fittest, which often undermines team performance. Humans can learn a lot from horses about identifying the strongest individual for a particular role, navigating group dynamics and effective collaboration.
Horses' brains are not designed to dwell on the past or anticipate the future. Living fully in the present moment enables horses to recognize even slight changes in their environment, relationships, resources and threats. In the presence of horses, we can learn to recognize when we are not fully present and the resulting impact on our own and others' performance.
*Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) should not be confused with Equine Assisted Therapy. According to the Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A), a key objective of Equine Assisted Learning is to deliver workplace-related skills, knowledge and insight to corporation employees, teams or executives. The objective of Equine Assisted Therapy (or Counseling) is to relieve psychological pain and improve coping skills in individuals suffering from a physical injury or psychiatric diagnosis/problem.