Equilore – Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning

This Is Equilore

The name Equilore is derived from Equus Lorem, which means Therapy Horses. After more than ten years of work experience in the field of psychology and horsemanship, I decided to combine my passion for horses and career in psychology and founded Equilore in 2017. I believe the power of working with horses lies within the fact that not everything has to be discussed verbally, but that learning takes place, not through talking per se but through gaining an experience and processing thoughts and emotions through interaction, engagement and being with the horses.

At Equilore I aim to provide a service where people can grow and enhance their self-awareness, confidence, emotional wellbeing and acquire new skills. Please contact me for more information or for an informal chat about what services may be most suitable for you. Along with my horses I am here to help you improve your understanding of your personal journey and life experiences.

Equilore is based in Stratton Audley, Oxfordshire, where I provide equine assisted learning (EFL) and psychotherapy (EFP) to young people and adults. For more details on EFL and EFP click on the links.

What I do

Equine Facilitated learning (EFL)

In Equine Facilitated learning (EFL) horses are used to gain an insight into how we perceive, behave and interact with the people around us. This insight is highly valuable for our personal development and personal growth.

Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is a form of coaching and is designed for anyone who would like to learn more about the way they think about life’s challenges and how they experience the world around them. Programs are offered to young people (aged 7 up to 17), adults (18+), leadership skills or corporate coaching. EFL can be offered to groups in a workshop setting or individually on a 1 to 1 basis.

Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP)

In Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) horses are used to gain insight in how we perceive, behave and interact with the world around us. This insight is highly valuable for our personal development and personal growth, and can also have therapeutic value when addressing psychological resilience.

Together with my horses I help you to address difficulties that you may be facing. This can include mental health issues such as low mood or anxiety, trauma, relationship problems or bullying. Horses can also help in teaching life skills such as anger management, task oriented learning and developing social skills.

Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) can be offered, in groups or individually, to people who are experiencing mental health problems. Together with the therapist, treatment goals are identified and during a series of sessions (usually between 6-8) you work together with the therapist and the horses towards coping strategies for the experienced difficulties.

Why work with horses?

There are several reasons as to why horses make a suitable facilitator for personal development. Horses are prey animals with an intrinsic characteristic of being a highly social animal. To survive the horse relies on his fellow herd members, yet their communication is mostly non-verbal. Through evolutionary processes the horse today has developed the ability to read intentions of those around them and pick up on very small changes in energy levels. Consequently, horses are very sensitive to changes in body language and arousal levels. If wild horses are under threat it is amazing to see how a whole herd will move off as one. This heightened alertness to emotional states makes the horse a sensible choice to do reflective work with individuals or in groups. In addition, horses don’t judge. They do not care about who you are or where you are from, they care about your presence, your intensions and your ability to be and connect with them.

 

How does it work?

Equine assisted learning and therapy exercises are mostly carried out from the ground. You do not need any previous experience with horses to take part and the exercises do not involve riding. During an EFP/L session you will get the opportunity to meet and connect with different horses. You will work with the horse that you feel the strongest connection with. Together, we will explore several exercises which involve gentle interaction with the horses to whatever degree you are comfortable. This could be gently stroking the horse, grooming, or leading the horse around some obstacles. During each exercise I watch the interaction between you and the horse. Because horse do not judge or even have an agenda, their reaction to you is very pure, they react your body language and intentions only. Following each exercise, I will help you to interpret the horse’s behaviour towards you.  I will observe how the horse interacts with you, which can provide valuable insights. There are different protocols depending on your needs. In contrast to room based therapy, the benefits from the equine assisted approach comes from ‘experiential learning’ instead of verbally expressing your thoughts which can sometimes be difficult.