What is EAL?
Equine Assisted Learning is an experiential learning system – meaning you learn by experiencing interactions with horses! As prey animals, horses are very aware of their surroundings. They react honestly and immediately to situations and stimuli. They are sensitive, intuitive and forgiving in relationships with both their peers (pasture mates) and humans.
Horses thrive in a herd, much like how humans thrive in a family or community. They need a leader and feel safety in numbers. Also like humans, they have similar needs – to be respected, to feel safe and a have a sense of belonging.
The EAL facilitation process is specifically designed to draw out the human versus horse dynamic and individual versus group dynamic. Each session begins with a group discussion of the planned activity (briefing) before individuals are divided into teams to work through an obstacle course. Facilitators note individual challenges and successes to reference with open-ended questions at the end of the activity (de-briefing). Each component of the session joins together and seeks to bridge the gap between the experience with the horses and real life.
This unique form of delivery allows an opportunity for individuals to better understand themselves by participating in exercises designed around what the equine centre calls the EAL FORMULA.