Equine Assisted Human Development (EAHD) is becoming an increasingly popular therapeutic strategy around the world. EAHD provides experiential learning for people to practice and develop new behaviours in a safe, controlled environment. Caring for and interacting with horses teaches us about developing relationships, work ethic, responsibility, assertiveness and communication.
Take a look at the team in action
Horses are social animals, they have defined roles within their herds, they would rather be with their peers, they have distinct personalities, attitudes and moods; an approach that works with one horse won’t necessarily work with another, at times, they can seem stubborn and defiant and they like to have fun. In other words, horses provide opportunities for metaphorical learning, an effective technique when working with even the most challenging individuals or groups.
Naturally intimidating to many people, horses are seen as large, powerful animals. Working alongside a horse and overcoming those fears creates confidence and provides wonderful insight when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life.
Horses require us to work! whether in caring for them or working with them. In an era when immediate gratification and the “easy way” are the norm, horses require people to be engaged in physical and mental work to be successful, a valuable lesson in all aspects of life.
Horses mirror human body language – we hear comments like “This horse is stubborn, that horse doesn’t like me”. Horses are honest, they reflect our behaviours and are alert to our emotions and this makes them especially powerful messengers. The lesson is that if they change themselves, the horses respond differently.
Unless we are challenged and encouraged to develop new behaviours, we will rarely make lasting changes. Discovering the answers for ourselves is the most powerful and effective way to learn new ways of being and making improvements in our lives.
Equine Assisted Human Development allows people to practice and develop new behaviours in a safe, controlled therapeutic environment. Interaction with the horses and processing with the therapy team can lead you to stronger, more positive ways of relating.
We can assist you to
– Build healthier relationships
– Recognise and change ineffective behaviours
– Improve self awareness
– Develop communication and leadership skills
– Enrich Self-Esteem
– Acknowledge and build strengths
-Develop empathy and compassion
– Evaluate and achieve personal goals
Equine Assisted Human Development (EAHD)
Changing Horses delivers Equine Assisted Human Development (EAHD) which incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It works under the supervision of a therapist with the clients and horses interacting, to address treatment goals. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term or “brief” approach.
EAHD is experiential in nature. This means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviours, and patterns. This approach has been compared to the ropes courses used by therapists, treatment facilities, and human development courses around the world; but EAHD has the added advantage of utilising horses; dynamic and powerful living beings.
Not all programs or individuals who use horses practice Equine Assisted Human Development. For one, a mental health professional needs to be involved. The focus of EAHD is not riding or horsemanship. It involves setting up ground-based activities involving the horses, which will require the client or group to apply certain skills. Non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem-solving, leadership, work, taking responsibility, teamwork and relationships, confidence, and attitude are several examples of the tools utilized and developed by EAHD.
EAHD is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. EAHD addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioural issues, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs.
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is similar to EAHD; but the focus is more on learning or educational goals. EAL involves the team of mental health professional and horse professional working with the clients and horses. The focus however is on education and learning specific skills as defined by the individual or group, such as improved product sales for a company, leadership skills for a school group, or resiliency training for our military warriors.
The potential applications for both EAHD and EAL are limitless! For more information on the possibilities, contact us.
Enriching Every Life Through Horses!
Changing Horses utilises the EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association) model as a foundation for its programmes.
EAGALA was founded in 1999 as a non-profit organisation developed to address the need for resources, education and professionalism in the fields of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning. EAGALA has now grown to over 3,500 members in 38 countries, with regional coordinators helping support members and networking groups in EAGALA Europe/Middle East, EAGALA Africa, EAGALA LatinoAmerica, EAGALA Pacific, and EAGALA U.S./Canada.