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Why Having a Mentor + Work-Shadowing is Essential for Being a Good Equine Facilitated Practitioner

24 October 2017


"Mentoring others is something I find hugely enjoyable as I thrive on seeing other's grow and blossom in their own practice"

Finding a more experienced practitioner to undertake mentoring with is one of the most beneficial things for a newly qualified practitioner of this work to do.

It enhances your professional and personal development and ensures you have the support you need to deliver high quality services to your clients, whilst feeling safe and supported.

Yet, it is also one of the most overlooked parts of being a good facilitator.

Here are some of the main reasons why employing a Mentor is beneficial:

  • You get to witness and gain first-hand experience from a more seasoned professional who has fully embodied this work
  • You will also benefit from their learned wisdom gained from their many years of experience
  • You get to add to the training you have previously undertaken, absorbing and learning from another person’s perspective, methodology and approach
  • You see in action, not just in training, how to safely facilitate others with the assistance of horses. This is particularly important if you wish to run group sessions and workshops, no end of work-shadowing and assisting in this area can help as this is complex undertaking
  • You are metaphorically held in their experienced arms, this builds both self-confidence and knowledge, both of which are essential growing points post-qualification
  • You get to be guided and supported as you explore your new-found professional role rather than taking the step from being a trainee to a fully-fledged professional in one giant leap all on your own
  • You keep your ego in-check. It is not uncommon for the ego to feel a huge sense of achievement and therefore, potential inflation on completing a course. This can lead to unwise or hasty decisions, being too bold, or running before you can properly walk in the eagerness to practice. This aspect alone is an essential part of your personal and professional growth, as it can lead you to overly-ambitious actions which might set you back later down the line
  • Your true confidence in yourself and your work will grow more steadily under the supportive eye of a more experienced professional, resulting in you feeling more secure in your ability to serve others
  • You get the opportunity to ask a myriad of practical, ethical and intuitive questions of your mentor; preventing you from reinventing the wheel and wasting valuable time and possibly money in the process
  • You will gain access to resources, information and contacts.

With over 15 years' experience I offer mentoring sessions and professional coaching sessions to both newly qualified and more experienced facilitators via Zoom or in-person when possible.

From time to time, I am also able to offer work-shadowing opportunities on workshops and training courses in the role of horse-handler, and sometimes there will be opportunities to support in a facilitator role too, in order to hone your skills and gain experience of group work.

To find out more about me, you can read my bio and background here and you can find some more Good Practice Guides and Articles here.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me to explore any of this further.

©Angela Dunning, 24 October 2017, updated 29 March 2022

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