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Company Team Building – EAL Sessions Explained

Horse Assisted Learning (EAL) – What is it?

Working with horses as part of personal development is increasingly becoming a popular choice for many organisations and offers a refreshing alternative to the ‘typical’ team building / communication / problem solving training days for staff.

Working with horses as part of EAL involves exploring how people listen to and then interpret horses non-verbal communication and cues and how this can relate to people’s interactions and communications with others in their lives – both professional and private.

The need to understand one’s own behaviour as well as the behaviour of others becomes very clear in the arena where people are faced with the honesty of horses who continuously respond to the behaviours and emotions of people and who are not duplicitous in their behavioural interactions. Through the reactions and continuous behavioural changes that horses make, people are provided with continuous opportunities to explore areas such as personal exploration of feelings, powers of intuition and energy, understanding of self, nature, relationships, communications, emotional growth, self-efficacy and self-esteem.

Why horses?

Horses, as prey creatures, are particularly sensitive to their environment and operate at an emotional and intuitive level that constantly relies on non-verbal body language for survival.  They have highly developed social and relational skills which help greatly to provide the basis for their safety with no separation about what horse think and what is communicated by their body language. Horses pay significant attention to detail and can also pay great attention to the things that go unnoticed by most people. In order to influence the
behaviour of the horse, a person has to change their behaviour, which requires self-examining and taking responsibility for own decisions and outcomes.

Horses are large and powerful animals providing an interesting paradox as to how their strength can be subtly and gently influenced by one or more people in a relatively short timeframe. By adjusting ones behaviour, horses will adjust their behaviour accordingly.  Working with horses requires people to speak ‘honestly and confidently’ with their own body language and in so doing, horses are continuously giving out information about how they feel in any given situation.

Do I need experience with horses?

No – absolutely no experience of working with horses is required. The sessions are delivered by two people- a session facilitator and an equine advisor.

How long is a session?

Typically a group session is between one hour and one and a half hours with scope for discussion before and afterwards.

Is it safe?

Completely– the horses that work at Festina Lente are very well habituated to working with groups of people. Additionally, the role of the equine advisor is to ensure the safety of both people and horses.

How much does this cost ?

The cost of each session is dependent on the number of people.  For more information please contact jillcarey@festinalente.ie