In the mid 1990’s I read Daniel Goleman’s ground-breaking book on Emotional Intelligence, where he introduced the Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ). The EQ concept argues that IQ, or conventional intelligence, is too narrow; that there are wider areas of Emotional Intelligence that dictate and enable how successful we are. We’ve all met people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially and interpersonally inept. And we know that despite possessing a high IQ rating, success does not automatically follow.
Essentially emotional intelligence is about one’s self-awareness of their emotions and their ability to manage them appropriately. When you are aware, you see the whole process of your thinking and actions; and thus control your impulse very easily. It’s also about recognizing and managing the emotions in others – being empathetic to them and responding suitably to the situation. Possessing the crucial skills of EQ can determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being.
The question is whether Emotional Intelligence can be cultivated and if so, how? Hold that question for just a moment.
Fast forward six years after Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence book was published. In an entirely different arena, another ground-breaking book was released – The Taos of Equus by Linda Kohanov followed by her book Riding Between the Worlds, both of which explores the horse-human connection, in-depth. In her writings, Linda examined the exchanges and psychological growth that humans can gain when honoring horses as teachers and healers. She used countless examples to showcase how horses can help us realize new levels of self-awareness and have fuller recognition and congruency in what we say, feel, and do. She cited case studies with how horses help us become better communicators. And, how our unattended emotions can impact our thoughts and behavior, including how we interact with others. Kohanov’s work, known as EPONA™ goes well beyond traditional riding therapy and in fact, usually doesn’t require a person to be on a horse. It offers people an authentic release from the growing intensity of buried emotions when left to fester over time.
It turns out that emotional intelligence can be cultivated – and one way is through the horse. They offer the ability to improve our EQ by helping us bring self-awareness, balance and presence to our lives. Using horses, we can gain real-time feedback about whether we recognize and honor our own emotions and manage them appropriately.
The underpinnings of both Goleman’s and Kohanov’s books are what inspired the name ‘EQnimity’: To bring awareness, presence, and balance to people’s lives by helping them expand their emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). Essentially – to allow equines to help enrich the lives of humans.
Many individuals are looking for change in their life whether in relationships, jobs, or elsewhere but they don’t understand why they’re stuck and why roadblocks (usually the same ones) keep getting in the way. Often the root cause is emotions that we ignore – including fear, vulnerability, anger, sadness, etc.
By working with horses, along with a trained equine learning facilitator, people can become more conscious, and frequently discover a faster route to uncovering and releasing the obstructions that hold them back from the life they desire.
In this, my inaugural blog post, I wanted to set the stage for what you might expect from some of my posts. I hope to fill them with insight into the horse and human connection, offering real stories (with pseudo names) of how horses have helped humans gain clarity about their life. Of how, they’ve helped unlock feelings which have be waiting in the shadows for the time when they can be honestly acknowledged and released, allowing the promise of a new day to be fulfilled for those who wish to pursue it.
I hope you’ll find my posts informative and motivating. And, I hope it brings further recognition to the beauty of the horse and the gifts that they offer us. I invite you to join me in sharing your feedback andyour experiences, as well.