Life Story: What is Equine Facilitated Learning

What is Equine Facilitated Learning

Circles Network has a very clear understanding about what helps and hinders people's personal development. There are many things that make a difference and by far the most important are:

  • Communication
  • Relationships
  • Self esteem

Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) provides for giant leaps and progress in all three aspects.

An EFL session involves working with a horse or pony on the ground, developing trust, control, communication and a one-to-one relationship. The learning takes place in a round pen which provides an enclosed, safe area where the person and their selected horse or pony can spend time working together and create a bond.

Results can occur very quickly as the young person begins to recognise the importance of their body postures, gestures, breathing and voice. Once they can use these skills effectively the horse will respond and then the relationship can truly develop.

For a child, young person or adult who typically controls very little of their own environment EFL is very empowering. Self awareness and increased self esteem build quickly and our specialist facilitators carefully work at a suitable pace to help the individual develop richer skills and qualities.

Our Taking the Reins programme aims, over a number of sessions, to develop the skills and attributes needed for a young person to ‘take the reins’ and to learn to work with a long line with a horse single handed in the round pen.


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