Why Horses?

Horses are non-judgmental and live in the moment. They are a prey animal and as a result have a heightened sensitivity to any subtle changes in their environment, including human behaviour. When threatened by something, either real or perceived, horses run from the danger or change.  These attributes give important feedback to the treatment team when observing the interaction between horses and clients.

We acknowledge and appreciate the power of horses and their ability to help us tap into our feelings, behaviours and capabilities. They are honest and non judgmental. They know if you mean what you say, and as such challenge people to be authentic. Horses give immediate direct feedback about any change in behaviour – what works, what doesn’t work, what is helpful and what is not helpful. From this you can learn to change your responses.


What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning.  It is a collaborative effort between a mental health professional, a horse professional, and a horse(s) with the client(s) to address treatment goals.  Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is similar but focuses on learning or educational goals.

 

The focus of EAP and EAL is not riding or horsemanship.  It involves setting up ground activities with the horses which will require the client or group to apply certain skills.  Acitivities with the horses are designed to reflect real life issues.  This allows the cleint and therapist to "see" where the problems are and find solutions that work.  Clients quicklly recognize unhealthy patterns and enact new behaviors.  The horses don't accept "talk" - clients have to make sincere, life-long changes.  People learn about themselves and others by participating in activiites with the horses, and then discussing feeling, behaviors, and patterns.   

EAGALA Model

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is

  • Engaging, Active and Effective. Activities with horses provide real opportunities for mirroring life which helps you quickly see the problems and find solutins that work for you.
  • For Everyone. Working with individuals, couples, families or groups, and with all ages, EAP provides powerful opportunities to get to the heart of the issues and lead to healthier communication, stronger partnerships and happier relationships. 
  • For Any Problem. Whether treating addicitions, trauma, social and behavioral disorders, depression or other issues, EAGALA model EAP can help you find meaningful solutions.
  • Grounded! Work with the horses is done on the ground.  Prior knowledge of horses is not needed.
  • Professional Therapy. The EAGALA model of EAP involves a team incorporating the skills of a licensed mental health professional, and experienced equine specialist, and horse(s) - working with you to succcessfully reach your goals.