E3A – Equine Experiential Education

What We Can Learn from a Horse’s Innate Way of Being

For hundreds of years, humans have believed in their supremacy over horses and worked hard to train them to do our bidding using domination and fear-based control techniques.

What horses teach us

In recent decades, however, the equine assisted learning movement has turned this belief on its head by showing us just how much we can learn from a horse’s innate way of being. In essence, what a horse has to teach us is of far more value than what we have to teach a horse. Think about the many different areas where a horse has absolute mastery….

Non-verbal communication

One of the most obvious is in non-verbal communication and body language. As humans, we tend to rely on speech as our primary method of communication but, as they don’t have this, horses are far more adept at reading body language. If a horse feels threatened, it will move away from the source of the threat. As humans, a large amount of what we communicate with others (and what they communicate with us) is through our body language, so learning to become better at interpreting body language and using non-verbal cues can help us in all areas of our life. We can learn to extract ourselves from potentially difficult situations before tensions accelerate out of control, for example, as well as to spot when a person’s words and body language don’t match. In many different situations, actions really do speak louder than words.

Self-awareness

We spoke in a recent blog about self-awareness and how it is the dominant development area in both business and personal growth. Horses excel in this particular skill because they are prey animals and, by necessity, need to be constantly aware of their surroundings. The lessons they can teach us can help us to become more conscious of what is going on around us, thereby enabling us to make better decisions. A horse can read human facial expressions and provide immediate feedback on what they see, enabling us to see ourselves from a different perspective, that of the horse, putting us in touch with our emotions.

Building trust

Horses have much to teach us about building respect and trust. If you have ever tried to control a horse through force, you probably didn’t get very far. Similarly, if you have encroached on the horse’s personal space, it may have let you know about the importance of setting good boundaries. Getting a horse to trust us teaches us about who we are. A horse won’t judge us or blame us, but if we are fearful, lack confidence or try to dominate, we will not be able to connect with the horse. By learning to master our fears and develop our confidence in the arena, we can take this into our work and personal lives, to great effect.

Leading through partnership

The way horses lead can also be of great benefit for humans. Horses will disengage when faced with an intimidating leader but will respond well to partnership, trust and clear communication. Think about the traditional command and control approach to leadership and how, increasingly, enlightened business leaders are moving away from this and towards the horse’s model of leadership. All of us – even parents – could improve our effectiveness as leaders by leading the way horses do it.

E3A conference

The E3A 2021 conference – The Next Frontier – brings together some of the world’s leading authorities in equine-assisted learning for an inspiring three-day program. It is taking place both face-to-face at the White Stallion Ranch in Arizona ranch and virtually on October 14th – 16th. Among the keynote speakers will be:

  • Cynthia Hartzell, whose talk Inclusive Leadership will explore how horsemanship can benefit leaders in learning to develop the four key characteristics of an inclusive leader.
  • Tracy Scott, whose talk Lifestyles of the Wild and Free will explore the complex social system of wild horses and how their ability to thrive in harsh conditions can parallel human relationships.
  • Kay Anderson’s classroom session Coherent Horse/Coherent Herd will introduce the science of HeartMath and show what horses and their herds have known for centuries about thriving in a coherent state.

For more information about these and other talks at the E3A 2021 conference and to book your place in person or virtually, visit: https://e3assoc.org/conference-2021/

When Life Throws You a Curve Ball, Lean on Your Strengths

When Life Throws You a Curve Ball, Lean on Your Strengths

By Lissa Pohl, MA E3A Master Trainer The Engagement Quotient Lexington, KY USA An international client recently hired me to do two equine-assisted leadership development workshops. After months of scheduling challenges my co-facilitator and I were finally able to book our tickets three days before our departure. My ADAPTABILITY and RESPONSIBILITY...

read more
Step into your power as an exceptional EAL facilitator

Step into your power as an exceptional EAL facilitator

It starts with your connection with YOU. Curious how you can go from being an “OK” facilitator to becoming an exceptional facilitator? Take a few moments to read this and decide if you are ready to learn from the Horse Masters of Interdependence. I train E3A members how to become equine-assisted learning (EAL) facilitators. In this work, I...

read more
Step into your power as an exceptional EAL facilitator

Step into your power as an exceptional EAL facilitator

It starts with your connection with YOU. Curious how you can go from being an “OK” facilitator to becoming an exceptional facilitator? Take a few moments to read this and decide if you are ready to learn from the Horse Masters of Interdependence. I train E3A members how to become equine-assisted learning (EAL) facilitators. In this work, I...

read more
Are you on the fence?

Are you on the fence?

By Nicole Schanen So was I. NOW I know that becoming an E3A Certified Practitioner is the best decision I ever made. If you’re reading this blog, you and I may have a few things in common. You love horses You have personally experienced their healing, transformational presence You want to help other people have that same experience You want to...

read more
Overcoming Global Challenges:

Overcoming Global Challenges:

How Horses Teach Us About Co-operation and Trust The challenges of recent times have led to people becoming more divided, fractured, disconnected. This is evident in all aspects of our lives – from our day-to-day interactions through to the global political landscape. Born to co-operate not compete Yet, according to a recent article in Nature...

read more
Why Self-Awareness is the Number 1 Skill for Coaches

Why Self-Awareness is the Number 1 Skill for Coaches

As coaches and equine-assisted learning (EAL) facilitators we teach our clients the importance of self-awareness. It is a core principle of effective leadership and self-improvement. But do we ever stop to examine our own self-awareness? We set out to ‘make a difference’ in the world but the onus is on us to ‘be the difference’ by becoming more...

read more
A different way of being is emerging

A different way of being is emerging

We’re living in a time of unprecedented chaos, disruption, and widely differing opinions on causes and solutions. A global pandemic, political discord, economic uncertainty, digital transformation and climate concerns. But amidst all that chaos and disruption, people are seeking sources of self-improvement, at levels never known, to not only...

read more
 E3A 2021 International Conference

 E3A 2021 International Conference

 E3A 2021 International Conference LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS: THE NEXT FRONTIER October 14-16th at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, AZKeynote Speaker: Dr. Steve Peters, Psy.D, ABN Equine Neuroscientist Author: Evidence-Based Horsemanship E3A is excited to offer you two options to participate in this year’s conference: On-site or Virtual.We...

read more
 E3A 2021 International Conference

 E3A 2021 International Conference

Join Us in Tucson! The 2021 E3A International Conference is kickin’ up some serious dust as it rises to new heights. An in-person and virtual presentation of “Learning from the Masters: The Next Frontier” October 14th - 16th  On-Location at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, AZ (OR) Live Stream via Zoom REGISTER NOW Reflections from an attendee...

read more
Conference 2021 – Your Attendance Requested

Conference 2021 – Your Attendance Requested

Interested in Attending the 2021 E3A Conference? Join our Stable of World-Class Presenters Virtually or In-Person LEARN MORE October 14th - 16th  On-Location at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, AZ (OR) Live Stream via Zoom LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS: THE NEXT FRONTIER REGISTRATION is now OPEN for the upcoming conference. We have secured the...

read more