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How Can Horses Teach People?

Updated: Mar 15


When people hear about equine assisted learning and development, they often think of horse riding, be it therapeutic, horse trekking or something similar.

Others think that this is a kind of a horse whispering experience or only for horsey people. There is no doubt that horses invite us into a deep profound and totally unique connection with them and in turn with ourselves. Their generosity in spirit and gentle nature brings a wealth of wisdom that we can integrate into our own lives. Increasingly, equine assisted learning and development is a well recognised, internationally utilised professional practice.

So here is a quick overview:

  • The equine-assisted learning approach is effective for individuals, whānau, business people and corporate groups who want to strengthen mindful leadership, build team cohesion, clarify team purpose and meet day to day challenges.

  • People typically learn best by doing. Equine-assisted work is both hands-on and engaging through interaction with safe horses in an enclosed area – Usually there is no riding or horsemanship involved, although there are many excellent providers who also offer therapeutic riding, and horsemanship as a learning medium. Anyone can take part, even for those who are a bit unsure, or have never been near a horse before.

  • Horses offer us immediate feedback as they read and respond to our non-verbal messages, making them great teachers for us humans.

  • Through the learning process, the horses can sometimes become metaphors, reflecting situations that feel familiar to our everyday work and life experiences. As a result, these experiences with the horses can facilitate change in people's skills, attitudes and behaviour.

  • This process can be particularly successful for people who find social situations and traditional learning environments difficult. This could not be a more unique out of office setting!

  • The Salta Horses team are certified by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), the world’s largest and most professionally respected association for equine-assisted learning



This article was also posted on LinkedIn

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Wow, what an amazing experience.

It was a chance to get up close to something that was larger and much more powerful than me without feeling fear or anxiety. I was asked to do some simple activities that required me to enter into a contract with the horse.

Words like unconditional trust, setting aside any preconceived notions of how we communicate without words and faith in one’s own abilities come to mind when I think about that day.

I gained such a deep understanding of my own processes which were personal and unique.

- Ruby