“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”
- Winston Churchill
What is EAC?
Equine Assisted Coaching (EAC) is a powerful and dynamic experiential model that partners with horses as guides for personal growth, learning and self-reflection. Equine Assisted Coaching (EAC) can be used with children, adults, families, couples and groups. The session is typically a surprisingly effective way to “jumpstart” a client who may be feeling “stuck”. If clients are interested and open to using this modality, EAC can be interspersed with traditional group or one-on-one sessions. Most people come away with an incredibly deep feeling of connection and gratitude towards the horses they partner with during an EAC session.
What EAC Isn't
EAC is not horsemanship. During a session, the coach may include certain aspects of horsemanship in the process if it allows the client to develop a clearer understanding of thought patterns and the feelings associated with those patterns. The focus is not on developing riding or horsemanship skills. In fact, there is no riding during EAC sessions at all! Most participants in Equine Assisted Coaching have little or no prior experience with horses.
Why It Works
Understanding why, when and how we do what we do can be brought to the surface through specific activities with horses. The horse provides an honest, non-judgmental reflection of what is occurring between horse and human. Activities are designed to enhance the client’s understanding of how his/her limiting beliefs, assumptions, interpretations and gremlin energy (“the inner critic”) can often times create blocks to personal success in many areas of our lives. Under the guidance and support of the coach and the horse, thought patterns are acknowledged, allowing the client to then decide which thought patterns to hold on to, which to let go of…or which patterns need to be explored in greater depth. As in any coaching session, the use of empowering questions, a non-judgmental, supporting attitude and continually holding the clients own agenda is the coach’s goal. The coach recognizes the clients’ responsibility to himself as well as the horses during the session, holding the client accountable throughout the process, which is always a key piece of the coaching alliance. The coaching session can then become a compelling metaphor representing the clients everyday life situations. The client discovers that perhaps who they are in the horse/human relationship mirrors who they are in their human/human relationships.
Often times, the benefit of the session may not be completely revealed until much later, when the client returns to his everyday life situations. If you are interested in exploring what Equine Assisted Coaching has to offer please contact us.
To learn more about why I became involved in EAC click here
EAC is NOT Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), which is always facilitated with a Mental Health Professional, such as a licensed clinical social worker. Clients of EAP usually have diagnosed emotional issues, such as PTSD, victims of abuse, anxiety, depression etc. Though it can look very similar to EAP, the line and depth of questioning will be different. For more in depth information on the differences between coaching and therapy please check our FAQ page or contact us at RippleEffectCoach@gmail.com