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Equine Facilitated Development

What is it?  

For centuries, people have relied on the horses in their lives; often to survive during testing times.  During these times, horses have time and again proved themselves to be honest, willing companions despite the worst that man can do.  In contemporary times, horses in the UK, although sometimes used for economic purposes, are rarely relied on for practical purposes such as working the land or carrying us to war.  Often, horses are used for pleasurable pursuits whether ridden or not ridden, competitive or non competitive.  An expensive hobby some may think, so what is it that draws us to these magnificent creatures; what is that makes us see them in awe; what is it that compels us to be near them even though we may be a little afraid?  That’s their beauty and the answer is different for everyone.  You are invited to come on a journey to find out more about these soulful, spiritual creatures whilst exploring your own questions in life – who knows what you might find?  

What are the benefits? 

Non judgemental, horses are extraordinarily responsive to human emotions and states of mind and are experts of knowing when we’re not being genuine.  People can gain confidence and insight by discovering within themselves the qualities the horse is so good at eliciting, including trustworthiness, courage, responsibility, love, empathy, joyfulness, reciprocal giving and receiving, creativity, authentic self, mutual trust and respect, confidence, assertiveness and leadership.   Horses can help whether your goal is to   address personal and professional development; explore goals and direction; manage difficult relationships; gain insight into behaviour often breaking unhealthy cycles; develop into a work role; successfully manage change; regain control over a situation; improve communication and self awareness or simply get more out of life.   Many people can relate to horses in the midst of personal crisis, depression, isolation or fear. Simply having access to horses and their environment can provide a break from difficult circumstances.  

What it’s not  

The development work offered Through the Mind of the Horse is not therapy.  Deep seated issues may come up and clients may have all sorts of emotional reactions and this is absolutely fine; they can be talked through on the day.  However, if it’s appropriate for you to seek help from another professional, this will be discussed.  Tracey is very happy to work alongside other professionals as often the work can be complementary.

What happens when you take part?  

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been around horses before, can ride or not. The only requirement is that you come with an open mind; you won’t be expected to ride.     A typical session will last about one to one and a half hour and are usually one to one to allow you to get maximum benefit.  Group sessions can be arranged for teams etc.   Each session will start with a discussion about what you want to get out of the session; this will help Tracey assess how to help you on that day.  Often, outcomes are surprising and people go away with far more than they thought they wanted!!  The session will then continue with appropriate exercises for you to carry out to interact with the horse.  These may be as simple as herd watching or more interactive such as leading, mindfulness or liberty work.   There will be lots of opportunity to talk through your experience in a confidential, non pressurised environment.  The work is forward looking so you go away with not just your experience on the day but how that may impact on your life.  Some people come for just one session, others for several; it completely depends on your needs.   If you’re interested in finding out more, please contact Tracey for more details.  Tracey is a qualified riding instructor with the British Horse Society;,  a Member of the National Association for Equine Facilitated Wellness;  and a Principal Member of the Association of Business Psychologists;

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