By Dr. Linda Pucci, Inner Resource Center LLC (innerresourcecenter.com)
Those of us who have been facilitating workshops and programs with horses can attest how powerful these 1000 pound co-facilitators are at crystallizing learning. We’ve seen the “aha’s” and how the learning lasts over time.
After years of practicing equine assisted learning from a psychotherapy model, I’m really excited about the launch of the Equine Experiential Education AssociationundefinedE3A, which is an organization that focuses on equine experiential work specifically for corporate, educational, and coaching settings. Those of us who have been practicing in those fields know that the mental health model doesn’t always translate well into a business, educational, or even personal growth workshop setting.
The new organization brings with it a whole new model for the facilitation of training and education with horses and invites participation in this growing field by including a wide variety of trainers, educators, and coaches.
The E3A facilitation model incorporates facilitators who have professional experience in the areas of professional education, corporate training, coaching, or experiential education skills. Facilitators use interpretation of the behavior of the horses to reflect on the behavior of the humans both in the arena and in other areas related to the training.
The E3A facilitation model uses a team approach that enables facilitators to work effectively with client groups. Both facilitators in the team are encouraged to have a working knowledge that includes experiential facilitation and equine behavior as well as knowledge about their area of focus (training, education, or coaching). Rather than have facilitation and equine management fall separately to different members of the team, each person acquires the requisite facilitation skills and knowledge of equine behavior to work very effectively together. Training programs offered by the association allow team members to enhance their roles by acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills for both facilitation and equine psychology.
One reason I’m excited is because the E3A model provides a clear structure and plan for developing experiential education and training programs. Assessment, goal setting, and follow-up evaluation is part of any training or educational program in the E3A model. Experiential activities are selected to best achieve the personal and/or professional goals of the client while remaining open to the collaboration of the horses in this process.
The experiential activities with horses are framed from a corporate training, coaching or educational perspective and are geared to facilitate development while maintaining appropriate boundaries on personal issues and information. This model invites change within a structured container of professional facilitation skills that allows interpretation of immediate equine reactions.
I think this approach offers great promise to those of us who want to work with businesses and educational programs with horses, and who want a straight-forward, structured, highly professional approach to doing this work. Check it out for yourself at www.E3Assoc.org .
Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a psychologist, life coach and trainer at Inner Resource Center, LLC in Maryville, TN, http://www.innerresourcecenter.com/. Her equine experiential businesses, Resources With Horses, and Business Resources With Horses provide training and workshops geared toward personal and professional growth.