I stood outside the round pen, with my back to the horse waiting patiently inside. Following the guidance of the facilitator, I sensed into my body for a message to take to her. “Show me.”
I turned and faced the horse. “Just be,” I heard. I stood still and tried not to think. “Just be.” What could that mean for someone who was used to taking charge and making things happen? But with those words in mind, I went into the round pen and greeted the horse.
“Just be.” I felt a connection of our hearts. A sound lifted her head. “Just be.” I stayed connected to her.
The horse turned her hind end to me. I moved to her front, and our hearts reconnected. She moved her rear to me again and let a ‘puff’ out. “Let it go.”
As I moved in front a third time, I felt my knees weaken. "I need to get smaller." She came closer and nuzzled the left side of my face, the place where the tension never lets go. Then I felt the sun get brilliant and my heart seemed to expand through my chest and I felt energy radiate in a sphere all around me.
“It can be this big.” I heard from somewhere deep inside myself.
My first Eponaquest course, February 2018
Learn more about how the right horse, a skilled Eponaquest Instructor, and a safe environment can help create an experience of awareness and connection to the horse and to yourself. Be stretched, empowered, humbled, and rejuvenated on this most personal journey of discovery!
These noble, majestic creatures embody grace, beauty, and spirit. We long to connect with them, and we feel grateful when these powerful creatures choose to be with us.
Horses have an incredible sensitivity to the energy around them. They are masters of something called Intersubjective Mindfulness. This means that they are always present and aware, not only of themselves, but of others. It’s the ultimate relationship skill, this ability to pay attention to both oneself and another being at the same time. Horses are therefore very effective in detecting and mirroring the physiological and emotional state of humans, allowing the person to see themselves through the eyes of the horse.
As prey animals, horses must always be aware of what is going on in their environment. It’s a matter of survival. However, just because they are ‘prey’ does not mean that they are weak. Horses have incredible power, but it is non-predatory power – very different from the predatory power commonly used today by humans.
Horses can teach us how to be mindful and aware of our ourselves and our interactions with others. Horses can teach us connection.
“Equine brains are built to experience emotion (the amygdalas) without evaluation (the prefrontal cortex). This architecture creates an emotional but non-judgmental animal who mirrors human attitudes. For that reason, horses excel at teaching people assertiveness, emotional awareness, and social responsibility. . . . By nature, equine brains have the capacity to heal human wounds.” Janet L. Jones, PhD. Horse Brain, Human Brain: The Neuroscience of Horsemanship
“The most valuable tool a client can take from Equine Facilitated Learning is the ability to hear the voice of [their] own inner guidance.”
- From Eponaquest Instructors’ Leadership Role in EFL
Location: Wetaskiwin, AB
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what is the eponaquest
“The Eponaquest Approach to Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is an interactive, innovative learning format that actively engages horses in the work of advanced human development and leadership training, teaching assertiveness, personal empowerment, relationship, intuition and emotional/social skills. The overarching objective is to assist and support clients in learning a new way of being, one that emphasizes authenticity, collaboration and experimentation in personal and professional interactions.”
From preface, Eponaquest Best Practice Guidelines
No previous horse experience is required for Equine Facilitated Learning. All work with the horses is done on the ground. The safety of the client is always a first concern, and the horse and exercise are matched to the client.