Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL)
The true wonder of horses, working with them and learning from them, lies in their highly developed sensitivity.
In order to survive in their natural habitat horses must sense the slightest change in fellow herd members and their environment.
This has incredible value in the learning they have to offer us. As well as potentially mirroring our emotions, intentions, and behaviours a horse will immediately sense any inconsistency between these and teach us to recognise when we’re not being authentic. In turn, this can help us reveal emotions buried deep in our subconscious.
But the most important lesson horses have taught me is to simply ‘be’. A horse isn’t concerned with tomorrow and isn’t interested in yesterday. He’s simply in touch with his body and environment and teaches us to be the same.
Arizona-based Eponaquest® Worldwide specialises in Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine Faciliated Psychotherapy.
Founded in 1997 by author, lecturer and horse trainer Linda Kohanov, Epona Equestrian Services has received international attention for horse training and breeding innovations, as well as educational programmes that employ horses in teaching people leadership, assertiveness, personal empowerment, relationship, intuition, and emotional fitness skills.
The Eponaquest approach is based on founder Linda Kohanov’s classic book ‘The Tao of Equus’ and explores how interaction with horses can enhance awareness of our true feelings, intentions and behaviours.
Eponaquest mission statement:
Eponaquest, LLC is a multi-disciplinary educational organization where humans, horses and other animals are supported in co-creating a new way of being, that emphasizes authenticity, collaboration, and experimentation.
Eponaquest considers the constant interplay of body, mind, spirit, and emotion, developing intuition, flexibility, and relationship skills to balance Western indoctrination in logic, rigid methodology, competitiveness and objectivity, ultimately bringing these opposites into an empowered balance. Conventional and unconventional theories on the nature of human and animal consciousness/behavior are investigated, challenged, and constantly updated through a process of experiential investigation…
“To face the next great adventure of human evolution we need to harness that combination of power and sensitivity in ourselves and, remarkably, horses are ready, willing and able to teach us how to do it” – Linda Kohanov
Linda is an author, speaker, riding instructor and horse trainer who has become an internationally-recognized innovator in the field of Equine Experiential Learning and a respected writer on the subject of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy.
Her book The Tao of Equus: A Woman’s Journey of Healing and Transformation through the Way of the Horse was selected as one of the Top Ten Religion and Spirituality books of 2001 by Amazon.com.
Her second book, Riding between the Worlds: Expanding Our Potential through the Way of the Horse, was published in 2003.
Both books have been used as texts in university courses across the country and have received appreciative reviews in a diverse range of publications.
Medicine Horse Way
The MEDICINE HORSE WAY approach to Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is an interactive, innovative learning format that actively engages horses in the work of advanced human development. We teach personal empowerment, boundary setting, authentic community building, mindfulness, mutually respectful connections with nature, connection with intuition/inner guidance, the role of spirituality in our life path, and emotional/social intelligence skills.
In ancient times Original People learned to survive by observing the animals and learning from the plants. One could say that nature and animals were the first teachers and guides for human evolution.
The Medicine Horse Way programmes partner with the wisdom of nature to help people take a courageous look at the unconscious patterns that limit their ability to thrive in life.
Antelope Medicine signifies knowledgeable action. Change requires action. Horse Medicine signifies power, when you have the tools to access your power you will then be able to make the changes in your life that you are hoping for.
“We each have a purpose for being on the earth at this time, a purpose that no one else can fulfill. We each have the responsibility to attend to our individual evolution so that we can bring our specific gifts to the whole. The intention of all Medicine Horse Way programmes is to teach the tools we all need to be the change we want to see in the world.” – Carol Roush
Carol’s journey led her to Equine Facilitated Learning and to reconnect with nature during a 3 year spell living in a remote area of Arizona with her horses, dogs and cats. During a shamanic journey, Carol was given the name Nature of Wisdom and shortly after that she created the NOW Programme.
In 2015 Carol created her own Medicine Horse Way Experiential Learning Instructor Apprenticeship programme, for those who have completed the NOW Programme and feel the desire to advance their personal development process and become qualified to teach this powerful body of work to others.
EFL Facilitator Training
For many people pursuing EFL is a form of self-discovery, growth and development. For others (like me) it extends into a desire to teach this work as a way of living, of bringing together their own unique gifts and talents to work alongside horses for the purpose of helping others.
Once you decide that you want to become a professional in the field of EFL or EFP (Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy) it can be quite a journey of its own. I am regularly a sounding board for university students, therapists, coaches and riding instructors, who want to pursue EFL/EFP as a career.
As you can read in ‘My Story’ I didn’t choose the Eponaquest approach from a long list of other trainings, I was recommended to read Linda Kohanov’s ‘The Tao of Equus’ and I just knew it was something that I wanted to do and this was the approach I would follow.
Getting to know and trust your gut feelings is an integral part of my approach and so I would guide you to explore your options and follow your instincts in choosing a training programme.
If you are interested in pursuing a training in EFL then my workshops offer an opportunity to qualify to apply for the Eponaquest® Apprenticeship in Arizona with Linda Kohanov and the Medicine Horse Way Apprenticeship in the UK.
I believe that both of these Apprenticeships have respect for the horses as sentient beings, provide good quality teaching/training, teach an integrated approach of mind/body/emotion/spirit and offer a deep and profound healing transformation journey in the NOW Programme (one of the pre-requisites) prior to engaging in the Apprenticeships.
I recommend that you read ‘The Tao of Equus’; attend a Discovery Day or Introductory Eponaquest or MHW workshop or experience a private session with an Eponaquest or MHW approved Instructor and decide for yourself.
The 3 step process to pursue the Eponaquest or MHW Apprenticeships is detailed below.
For more information or to set up a call to explore your options please contact me.
STEP ONE – INTRODUCTION
My three-day ‘CONNECT’ workshop qualifies as a Medicine Horse Way and Eponaquest Introductory Workshop and therefore meets the application requirements for the NOW Programme.
STEP TWO – NOW PROGRAMME
Awaken to your life purpose through the way of the horse with this advanced workshop programme. A two-part, in-depth exploration of EFL offering a profound journey of self-discovery.