About My EFL Approach

Employing a Relationship-centred, Sentient Partnerships Approach to Equine Facilitated Learning, where the horses are regarded as conscious, sentient beings who lead the way...

I recommend reading this section first to learn more about my specific philosophy and approach to partnering with horses to facilitate growth and healing in people.

In our work together, I create a space for you to feel safe and supported, so that you can begin to access and nurture your True-Self, and to unburden yourself from anything which confines your Soul's expression and growth. In addition, I aim to create a space for the horses to be their true-selves, as free of their domesticated limits, roles and expectations as possible. This is an expansive, sacred space full of possibilities, which allows for the development of increased awareness, sensitivity and freedom for all involved.

Practically and as far as possible, I work with loose horses in their herd and in their own environment. Equipment, enclosures or round pens are only ever occasionally involved in our work when beneficial or preferable. This ensures that the horses are allowed to exercise full choice as to whether they participate or not and how they engage.

My preference is to work with people on a long-term progressive basis, so that you can build your skills and learning over time and with ongoing support and input from me and the horses. I do work on a short-term basis as well and when appropriate.

My work has 5 specific areas of focus and practice:

  • Engaging with horses in as natural as way as possible and always ensuring that the horses can employ consent, freedom of choice and freedom of movement.
  • Through harnessing the co-regulation capacities of horses, you will experience relationships which feel safe and healthy.
  • I employ a trauma-sensitive, embodied and somatic approach - Where we engage with the body at all times and and learning to work effectively with the wisdom behind our emotions.
  • Supporting people to develop self-regulation skills; emotional intelligence, inter-personal boundaries; confidence and assertiveness; self-care tools and HeartMath practices.
  • Finally, my approach is a soulfull and spiritual one, employing nature-based beliefs and practices, Shamanism, Celtic Spirituality, the Feminine Principle and Jungian depth psychology.

More About EFL Generally:

Equine-Facilitated Learning is a gentle yet highly effective and powerful way of reconnecting to your authentic-self and Soul.

Through interactions with horses on the ground, you can begin to rebuild a connection to your body, your feelings and your needs. Over time this builds self-confidence and an enduring sense of self-worth. EFL works primarily through focusing on relationships: relationship to self and relationship to others; equine and human.

Through noticing the feedback of the horses in each moment you can begin to identify limiting patterns of self-doubt and explore your approach to relationships and the areas that need attention, for example: connection to your body and feelings; valuing and trusting your sensitivity; becoming more assertiveness; learning good self-care; and setting and respecting personal boundaries - human and equine.

The Key Benefits of EFL:

  • Increased Self-Belief, Confidence and Self-Esteem
  • Develop a Stronger Connection to Your Body and Emotions
  • Develop Personal Space Awareness & Boundary Setting Skills
  • Develop Your Energetic Skills
  • Increased Motivation and Creativity in all areas of your life.

1-1 EFL sessions are usually two hours long. Longer sessions in the form of private retreats are also available, please contact me to explore this option.

EFL is particularly helpful to those who have difficulty trusting other people and find talk-based therapy or coaching alone challenging. This is because the horses offer unconditional feedback, acceptance, non-judgment and love. Thereby, enabling people to begin to trust themselves, their body, their true feelings and intuition once again and gradually to start to be able to also trust others - horses and people.

Nature-Based Health and Wellbeing Benefits: As EFL takes place outdoors in nature with horses, significant health and wellbeing benefits are experienced where you will being to feel more grounded, alive and vibrant, as well as developing a deeper sense of inner calm and peace. With my support and that of the horses this can also help to reduce tension, stress, anxiety and dysregulation.

Important please read: Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is not counselling, psychotherapy or therapy, however, it can be therapeutic, powerful and beneficial. If you have an active mental health issue, then you will need written permission from your GP/ therapist/counsellor/social worker to undertake EFL with me. Sometimes EFL with me won't be suitable for some people, and where I feel this is the case, or that a trained mental health professional is more suitable, I will advise you of this and make a referral where possible.

To find out more about 1-1 EFL sessions; workshops or practitioner training and support with me, please contact me.

About Eponaquest:

As my foundational training was in the Eponaquest® approach here is a little information on what distinguishes this approach to other forms of EFL/EAL.

In 1997 best-selling author, lecturer and horse trainer Linda Kohanov founded Epona Equestrian Services, now called Eponaquest Worldwide and developed the highly innovative and ground-breaking Eponaquest® approach, in partnership with Kathleen Barry Ingram.

Kohanov's ground-breaking books include The Tao of Equus, Riding Between the Worlds, The Way of the Horse: Equine Archetypes for Self-Discovery, The Power of the Herd, and The Five Roles of the Master Herder.

The field of Equine-Facilitated/Assisted Learning, Coaching, Psychotherapy and Therapy has grown rapidly in the past three decades worldwide, including here in the UK. There are now a range of different models and approaches on offer for clients and the public, often creating confusion when choosing a practitioner or model. It is therefore beneficial to highlight what I consider to be the distinguishing features and strengths of the Eponaquest® Approach.

In the words of its founder, Linda Kohanov, 'The Eponaquest Approach is unique, powerful and highly developed in its ability to help people learn cutting-edge emotional and social intelligence skills, non-predatory leadership skills and strong personal development.'  

The 10 Distinguishing Features of the Eponaquest® Approach as I see them are:

  1. The importance of working towards Authenticity and Congruency

  2. The Body Scan - Mind-Body Focused approach

  3. Emotions as Information - Emotional Intelligence Skills

  4. Energy Awareness and Skills

  5. Personal Space needs and setting Boundaries

  6. Authentic Community Building - For groups, organisations, families and societies

  7. Non-Predatory Leadership Skills; developing healthy assertiveness; motivation and leadership abilities

  8. The horses are sentient beings in their own right, whose needs, personal space and boundaries are respected at all times throughout all interactions. The horses are our co-facilitators and we work in partnership with them

  9. Mind-Body-Spirit connections with horses are made possible

  10. Holding the "Sacred Space of Possibility" for others so that authenticity can safely and gently develop.

Eponaquest Latest News:
There is now an opportunity to study with Linda Kohanov without travelling to Arizona, via her brand new online Master Class: Connections 101: Life Lessons from the Herd. You can find out more about this programme and my involvement here.
"Quality must prevail over quantity, with a close eye kept on the impact on the horses at all times; we must not heal one species at the expense of another." ~ Angela Dunning, 'The Horse Leads the Way'.
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