Many people have a hard time grasping exactly what I do within Equine Facilitated Learning (also referred to as Equine Coaching, Equine Assisted Learning, Equine Guided Education, etc). While I can give the ‘Elevator Pitch’, there’s nothing more powerful than conveying a story or experiencing the work yourself. A session with a horse is intimately unique to each individual in the way it frequently and quite unexpectedly offers those big ‘ah-ha’ moments that can stand to positively change your life – and who doesn’t want that – even a smidgen?
Thanks to Martha Beck’s article “Horse Sense” in this month’s Oprah Magazine, she opens up Equine Coaching to the masses by sharing the story of one of her life coaching clients who experiences horses in a way that is distinctive to her needs, bringing new levels of self- awareness that lends itself to transforming her relationships at work and home. Martha touches upon the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of this emerging field where horses impart their wisdom in ways that supports people walking through a gate that appeared locked. Once opened, this gate of self-wisdom beckons them to the other side, allowing the taste of the sweet grass on the other side of the fence.
As in any line of work, there are variations in how Equine Coaching is approached. While the nuances of Koelle Simpson’s method may vary among practitioners, what’s perpetual is the instinctual nature of horses – their sensitivity to the environment and ability to read the energy and intent of those around them, the subtleties yet effectiveness of their non-verbal communication, their search of the authenticity in each of us, and the in-explicable ‘magic’ that can be found through their simply ‘knowing’ what it is that needs to surface for each individual they encounter.
The Business Dictionary defines the Oprah Effect as: “A phenomenon resulting from the extensive power and influence of the television personality, Oprah Winfrey….in which products and celebrities that receive her endorsement achieve the greatest heights of popularity and success.” Perhaps Oprah’s Magazine doesn’t have the same level of influence that her TV Show once had, but I can only hope that Martha’s article in the magazine gets the conversation going by bringing a new view of horses and the wisdom and ability they offer people to see themselves more clearly.