Employing a Relationship-Centred, Sentient Partnerships Approach to Equine Facilitated Learning, where the horses are regarded as conscious, sentient beings who lead the way...
My approach centres on honouring the sentience of my equine partners at all times and is underpinned by, among other things, The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness of 2012. This ensures that the interactions are mutually beneficial and enjoyable for both humans and horses.
My work also centres on connection and relationship to self and others; on raising consciousness through developing beautiful, respectful inter-species connections, and is further underpinned by an understanding of equine ethology.
My approach allows for two things to occur simultaneously:
One, to support people to set themselves free from roles, expectations and limitations by rediscovering and connecting to their Authentic-Self. And two, ensure that the horses I work with are fully honoured as conscious, sentient beings and partners who have free will, agency and are always free to choose in our work together.
To do this I specifically focus on:
1) The horses being viewed as full, equal partners, guides and leaders of this work, where their wellbeing and fulfilment is paramount, and where I allow equine consent, choice and freedom at all times. This ensures the welfare, enjoyment and healing of the horses involved. I draw from the lessons of many hours observing semi-feral and fully domesticated horses, and an understanding of the horse's evolutionary biology and needs through ethology, and how impacted the horse's innate drives and needs are through the process and lifestyle of domestication of horses.
2) The body being regarded as the primary gateway into a deeper connection to ourselves, our feelings, needs and desires as well as authentic relationship with ourselves and others, including the horses, as well as being the portal into our own sustainable, long-term healing.
3) Employing a grounded, spiritual and practical approach, bringing spirit and matter, mind and body, soma and psyche together, which allows the horses to be the natural teachers and guides that they are capable of being, as well as working in harmony with the whole of the natural world of which we are a part.
Both humans and domesticated horses are in urgent need of rediscovering their true-selves and living more authentically. This is achieved through shedding accumulated layers of conditioning, expectations, roles and habitual responses. Then both horses and people can begin to live with more freedom in their hearts, minds and bodies and unshackle themselves from the roles, expectations and parameters which keep them small.
In true partnership with the horses, I create the right space and energy for healing to take place in whatever shape or form is needed for the client and the horses.
Unlike our society and culture which emphasises survival and competition, our work together will focus on you returning to your true Soul Essence and beginning to thrive through cooperation and relationship.
I work with horses and humans in the embodied, physical realm, but we also enter into the subtle-body realm: the place of intuition, the Soul's whispers and even psychic insights. I enjoy exploring the dream, mythic, symbolic and archetypal realm that horses also effortlessly inhabit, inviting this into our work together when beneficial.
In addition, my approach to care of horses is natural and holistic. I am passionate about horses living out in herds all year round; eating natural forage, plants and herbs. I also support the horses I work with through a wide range of natural remedies and supplements to emulate their natural lifestyle as far as possible within domesticated settings. You can read more about my approach to care and support of horses in Chapter 15 of my book, The Horse Leads the Way.
Or contact me to discuss your needs further.
"There is something about the majestic arch of a horse’s neck. The thundering power of a horse running wild and free with flared nostrils, alert eyes and pricked ears that makes us catch our breath. This exquisite animal has shared space with us both in the physical and mystical realms for thousands of years. As far back as our earliest ancestors, who portrayed hundreds of images of horses in their stunning cave paintings, the horse has captured the imagination and hearts of people. These awe-inspiring, large, powerful animals continue to draw us towards them in new and fascinating ways." (Excerpt from The Horse Leads the Way: Honoring the True Role of the Horse in Equine Facilitated Practice by Angela Dunning).
Horses have played a part in human evolution for thousands of years. They have carried us on their backs in wars, ploughed our lands, provided transport and been vehicles for sporting pursuits. They are now helping us raise our level of self-awareness and consciousness.
Being large, highly sensitive non-predatory animals, horses provide immediate and consistent feedback on our feelings, behaviour and intentions. Further, as herd animals horses are highly social, making relationships key to them. As animals that are preyed upon in nature, they have retained a highly developed ability to sense changes in the stance and arousal levels of other herd members; an ability they easily transfer to interactions with humans all of the time.
Horses see through the slightest incongruities/misalignment of behaviour, emotion and intention, yet they are exceedingly patient, forgiving and non-judgemental in their engagement with us.
It is this above all else, that makes Equine Facilitated interactions such a powerful yet gentle method for anyone to honestly look at themselves and learn new patterns.
These mindful creatures also seem to have the ability to help humans achieve a state of relaxation through constantly bringing us back to the present moment; thereby enabling us to enjoy a richer and more peaceful quality of life.