What is Equine-Facilitated Wellness?
The Grassy Ranch Experience
Equine Facilitated Wellness is an experiential approach to counseling, coaching and psychotherapy, working with horses as co-therapists. Clients have the opportunity to experience a relationship with horses that is built on mutual respect, safety, congruence and clear communication by regulating emotions and recognizing emotional needs to achieve secure and healthy relationships.
Horses have the natural instincts and ability to judge their environment, assess whether they should be curious and approach, or flee potential danger. They are experts at then, regulating their nervous system, decreasing their heart rate and calmly return to grazing. Horses can teach us valuable lessons about slowing things down so that we can learn to listen to our instincts and then choose how we want to respond.
Part of the process of Equine Facilitated Wellness is getting in touch with your senses, emotions, connecting your mind to your body and to your heart to discover what you are experiencing, and honoring that experience whether it be fear, excitement, apprehension, self doubt or anticipation.
We believe wellness isn't one dimensional. In fact, we believe the journey to wellness lies in many dimensions. Our goal and the way we design our program sessions, is meant to provide wellness for the whole person. That means we consider the physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, social, environmental and intellectual aspects of what makes us healthy and whole. We value building respectful, trusting relationships and connections through the horse-human bond. Our holistic foundation offers a diverse array of opportunities for personal exploration & growth.
This is not a riding or horsemanship program: all legs are on the ground, human and horse side by side, ready to learn. The emphasis is on non-mounted activities. Clients gain awareness, learn about themselves and others by connecting with the horses.
Space is created for the clients, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections. Horses are intuitive animals that can read and mirror the emotions and energy of the people around them providing vast opportunities for metaphorical learning.