Page 1


Contents Photographs from eagala


Welcome from Newsletter Team


Eagala help / EME development plan highlights


Insurance article – Balens


New Networking Group Coordinators


Promotional activity and news


Member experience – live demonstration

11 - 14

Eagala – case studies

15 - 18


19 - 22

EME eagala training schedule for 2016


Training – a participant perspective

24 – 26

Personal development / teamwork

27 – 31

Eagala approved workshops


Equestrian Index – free listing for UK Members



Welcome to the 8th Edition of the eagala EME Newsletter Dear Members, friends and followers It's been a busy few months with several key promotional activities taking place this year to raise the profile of eagala in the EME region. In this e-newsletter we have shared experiences and lessons learnt from running these events. June 2015 saw a change to the Regional Coordinator role with a team approach being adopted. With the aim to build on the good foundations Coral Harrison put in place, we have created a development plan for EME region based on feedback from members. The plan aims to support members in the areas they wanted. We focus on some of these in this e-newsletter. Over the coming months we want to focus on personal development for members, looking at training and workshop needs to further develop your facilitation skills as well as your own development. We would love to hear from you on what training you are doing. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a key element to your certification renewal. Reading this e-newsletter will qualify for CPD hours. To register fill out the online form and submit: Please continue to send in your news, events, case studies, research & evaluation results and anything else you think will support members and promote eagala. We hope to hear from all countries in the EME region! The next newsletter will be produced in April 2016. Happy Christmas and New Year! eagala EME Regional Coordinator team Carey Khan, Selina Joynson & Philippe D’Helft


eagala help / EME development plan highlights Support to get you started eagala provide a wealth of information, resources, consultancy and support to help get you up and running in business. Click here for eagala membership benefits

Bridging the gap between training and delivery We are looking to connect new members with programmes that are up and running where they are happy to have volunteers support them to enable them to gain experience of delivery with clients. (Subject to suitable client). If you are interested in supporting new members in this way please email To include:  Contact name and number  Organisation  Location  Opportunity  Organisation details  Website address

Finding a partner We are creating a list of practitioners who are interested in finding partners as well as offering their facilities for others to use and for offering their freelance services. This will eventually be searchable on the eagala community website. If you would like to be included on this list please email The list will cover:  MH / ES  Location  Facility  Willingness to travel  Area of interest / specialism


Research / evidence based info We plan to make research material more accessible for members to help with successful bids. In the meantime if you need specific research information, please email

Marketing Resources available from eagala for use by members PDF marketing materials can be found online here If you are carrying out promotional work to support all members then please email to be sent hard copy brochures.

Promotional activity to raise the profile of eagala This will include:  creating key strategic partners to benefit all members  promotion at external events and conference  running promotional events in the EME region with members  press coverage

We welcome member feedback and ideas on what we should be involved with, please email


A short introduction to insurance for therapists with David Balen Cert PFS Managing Director of BALENS

Insurance is often viewed quite negatively, but it can be the difference between losing your livelihood or not, and is essential in promoting a professional image to the outer world and to protect the public. In today’s claims culture aided by the rise of “no win, no fee” solicitors, the ability to sue is no longer restricted to the rich or famous. If you carry out a treatment or give advice regardless of to whom or how frequent, you are at risk! How can individual therapists protect themselves? “I would recommend ensuring that you have a good quality Insurance to help protect against clients or others who have chosen to make a claim or complain. Cover should include Public Liability, Medical Malpractice, Breach of Confidentiality, Financial Loss, Criminal and Tax defence, Loss of Reputation and Products Liability, – there is a glossary and other useful information on our website which explains the terminology, and various educational topics in our Balens Guide also now available online. If you don’t have an adequate wording, you could find yourself held financially liable if it were proved that it was your advice or treatment, or the products used that were responsible for the clients’ alleged situation. There are of course other types of protection available that can cover contents, buildings, items taken away from the premises such as mobile equipment and laptops, loss of profits arising from damage to your clinic premises, protecting yourself or colleagues for loss of income due to illness, accident or death and so on. For corporate entities with multi


therapist clinics, businesses selling health products or other commercial ventures, there are various special packages available.” Are there any common pitfalls in this? “I would say that most of the pitfalls we experience are due to a therapist’s lack of knowledge, or from not letting insurers know of any material facts or changes relevant to the risks being insured-for example if you start working from home, you need to advise your home insurer about this if they were not previously informed. Many home insurance providers do not cover for working from home and they may choose to refuse a claim – even an unrelated one, if they discover you have been working from home and they were unaware of this. Other common pitfalls include individuals under insuring themselves (i.e. taking out cover for their business contents for less than its value), and when the business becomes slightly larger with more therapists working in the same place, they do not grow their insurance cover with the business. I.e. it may be that they do not have a corporate policy in place as they believe they will be adequately covered by their own individual Professional Indemnity insurances. This is not always the case, and practitioners should always seek professional advice on what cover they need at every stage of their business’ development. There can also be confusion as to how long cover will last if discontinuing a policy. Some types of policy are on a “claims made” basis and may not continue cover for an adequate period after terminating, or indeed, at all! Some do not pick up previous work performed under another policy when changing insurer. These are key elements to check when choosing your insurance products” What are the most common complaints? “Many complaints arise within the first few sessions with a new client, and often result from misunderstandings, miscommunication, and inadequate advice given at outset, failing to manage a client’s expectations or inappropriate behaviour. Remember to keep your boundaries, show good listening and communication skills: Never claim or imply that you are able to cure a condition and manage the clients’ expectations regarding your services, including cost, length of time it could take, and explain both the possible positive and possible negative effects of the treatment. Remember to keep good records (for at least 7 years – preferably indefinitely) of what you have told the client, your records are your first line of defence if a claim is made against you. Choosing a Broker with a good track record in giving expert and sympathetic claims support is vital.” What should a therapist do if a claim is made against them? “First don’t panic. Contact your Broker; they should be able to give advice on how best to deal with the situation. Never admit liability or promise to pay, this prejudices your insurers position, and may mean that your insurance becomes nullified. There are ways of


dealing with this. If in doubt, ask. We all make mistakes, it is part of being human, but with good quality support you can be reassured that you will not be paying the price of that mistake yourself: you can then reflect, learn and move on�. Further information and articles on the different types of insurance available, the importance of good record keeping, home insurance and professional development together with CPD films can be found on Balens Website To discuss your insurance requirements or receive a quote please contact 01684 580 771 or e-mail

Members offer! eagala has a block discount scheme for eagala members with Balens. Quote eagala when purchasing insurance through them.


New Network Group Coordinators There have been several changes to Network Group Coordinators in this last quarter. We thank Eva Terceño Jimenez, Sue Pike and Sharon Wood for their support as coordinators and wish them well with their practice. We welcome new coordinators: UK London and SE: Becky Hughes (as Co-coordinator with Carey Khan) UK Scottish and Cumbria: Tracie Faa Thompson UK Midlands: Alexandra Graves Austria: Sandra Marth Spain: Katrin Kooperschmidt / Ines Fernandez Barnosell (Co-coordinators) Becky Hughes Horse-mad since the tender age of 3, I grew up riding (and falling off!) in the UK. Having not found what I was looking for from life through my first career, I changed paths and found EAL when looking for something horse-related which didn't involve sitting in an office. I completed my eagala training in 2015, and volunteer with a local EAL charity two days per week, which I'm hoping to make my full-time job in 2016. We work mainly with families who are struggling with relationship breakdown, grief, health diagnoses, anxiety and lack of school attendance, in addition to supporting young carers and children who find large groups difficult. I love sharing ideas and best practices, and am looking forward to meeting as many other eagala practitioners and trainees as possible!

Attending a networking group has many benefits including:      

great way to meet with other eagala members gain continued education hours for your certification renewal enhance your skills and knowledge through the practice sessions discuss business development ideas with other practitioners network and develop friendships keep your passion and interest in the eagala model have fun while learning

We have 15 networking groups in Europe who are run by our dedicated team of volunteer network group coordinators. This important role in eagala supports our members through our region. Visit to find out more.


Promotional activity and news 2015 saw eagala support two promotional events, one in Ireland and one in England. 2016 will see eagala promotional events taking place in The Netherlands and France and we hope each network group will take on hosting a demonstration to raise the profile amongst service users. eagala can support members through marketing materials, template invitations, press releases and evidence based information. Please ask for support. The Ireland event was after the training in July, which was well attended by a range of people interested in this work. Since then the Irish networking group have had 8 promotional demonstrations hosted by members. They have had TV, radio and press coverage and collaboratively have made a massive impact on raising awareness of eagala services in Ireland. Philippe D’Helft, Network Co-ordinator for Ireland says “the key to their success has been collaboration for common goal and supporting each other rather than seeing them as being in competition with each other�. The Derby event in England was organised the day before the advanced training and welcomed 80 people to the live demonstration with a further 126 registering online to watch the live web stream. The demonstration can still be viewed online and counts towards 5 hours CPD. Go to


One member from Ireland shares his experience Having just finished my part one as a returnee, I was feeling confident that my SPUD’S and clean language had progressed since my initial training. This gave me the boost that I needed for the following Friday, as this was the day I did my first presentation and demo of the eagala model for a number of agencies in the mid-west of Ireland. Fully believing in the experiential way of working with horses I was confident that no matter what happened on the day my ES and I would embrace it and the therapeutic metaphors for life would come flooding in.

It turned out as we had hoped. We had a full audience that were curious and jumped at the chance to take part in the demonstration.

We started with a group demo of eight participants and four horses. This was an interesting group as they did not all know each other and came from different areas of the mid-west. Their instructions were to all pick a horse and take it for a walk. As you can imagine four horses, eight people mostly strangers to one another led to interesting observations. Some in the group stood back and did not join up with a horse whiles others picked a horse and started walking around the arena.


At the end of the demo the group were very open to discussing their thoughts and feelings when taking part. I feel it was a very effective demonstration.

Now for demo number two When we asked for a volunteer to take part in the single demo, people were not so forth coming after watching the group. The only hand I could see was from an eleven year old girl that had come along with her mother. I will call her Goldie after the name she gave to one of the horses.


Little did I or her mother know the impact this little demo would have on their family. We invited Goldie into the arena with two horses both around 16hs high. After asking Goldie some observation questions regarding the horses, we handed her a halter and instructed her to pick one of the horses and take it for a walk. Goldie looked for a few seconds and without flinching walked over to one of the horses and spent the next number of minutes standing on her toes trying to get the halter on. By this time, everyone in the centre was internally willing her on and the ES and I were fully aware of our ‘S. After a few minutes of this, the other horse in the arena decided to approach the two of them and without provocation kicked the other horse and then walked away again. Goldie did not flinch in any way and carried on with her task. She explained it later, saying that the horse was punishing the other for not cooperating with her. This Demo had a massive impact on the viewers as it showed the versatility of the model and how it can reach people no matter what their age. The morning ended with smiling faces and very positive comments. A few days later I was speaking to a work colleague that had brought the mother and child to the demo. She pulled me aside full of excitement and proceeded to tell me that Goldie has an illness that requires her to wear a pack fitted to her chest from birth. As you can imagine this could cause her parents to be very protective of her and fearful of letting her take part in activities no matter how much the child protested. This simple fifteen minute demo helped goodies mother to see that her child is stronger and braver than she gave her credit for. The day after the demo Goldie’s mother allowed her to walk the 5 minutes home from school without being escorted. The story is still unfolding. It just goes to show if you trust in the model and the power of interacting with these amazing animals what needs to happen will. Joe Slattery


Joe’s learning tips  

Try having two demos one in the morning for people attending during work hours and an evening session for people that are interested outside of their jobs. Get as many people as possible to attend including friends and family, it gives the perception to services that the community is getting on board with it.


Eagala case studies THE GIFT OF HORSES Ann Casselman Witnessing an eagala (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) demonstration in 2005 opened up a whole new world for me. I had never considered the concept of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy before. Participating felt comfortable and non-judgemental. My life was played out by horses. This was fascinating. The possibilities became clear to me. Horses do not dwell on the past nor do they think of the future. They live in the moment offering us opportunities and insights into what is happening now. The horse does not judge itself or anyone else. When I work with people in addiction I am able to recognise that they lack attachment and self- awareness. They also do not have any support systems, encouragement, love and safety. When they enter the arena with the horses these symptoms become apparent when I ask the patient to perform certain tasks. The horse’s reactions mirror the feelings of the patient. The result of this is that I am able to create Care Plans based on this information. Connecting with the horses is one way people recovering from substance, process and behavioural addictions can begin to relate to another living being, in a trusting empowering manner. That is no small matter for people who lived for years in isolation. In the following case studies, to maintain confidentiality, the names have been changed and the pictures are of volunteers during practice sessions. CASE STUDY - CHANGING ATTITUDES John, recently substance free, walked into the arena with the horses with attitude. We asked him to approach a horse but they continued to walk away from him. The horse has the ability to mirror human body language and they read in the moment and according to the situation. John reflected on this and learned that in order to change the horse’s behaviour he had to firstly adjust his own behaviour. John learned that he had to change his attitudes in recovery and rather than to control, to get what he wants by force he realised that communicating what he wants without hurting others works.



CASE STUDY - ASKING FOR HELP Marc, a recovering heroin addict loved the idea of equine therapy. He knew horses and was convinced things were going to go his way. Nothing happened, the horses did not come along until Marc left his stubbornness behind and asked for help so he could fulfil his task. Marc learned that his macho attitude was no use and that asking for help when stuck and letting other people in would help him further in his recovery. CASE STUDY - HORSES DO NOT LIE Ann had identified one horse as herself. She created a safe place in the arena as well as a bad habit place (the bookies). When Ann tried to lead the horses into her safe place they all came and spent time there. When Ann brought “herself” to the bookies the horse did not want to come. The horse was telling her the same as her parents: the bookies are not good for you. Ann was made aware of her gambling. Deep inside she knew all this was wrong and the horses picked that up. CASE STUDY - OVERCOMING BLOCKS TO RECOVERY Mary entered the arena and as the horses walked up to her she asked could she put her arms around the horse she identified as “sad”. Mary entered her own grief at this moment, for me that was a very touching moment. The non-verbal connection with a nonjudgemental, emotionally present horse created attachment, bonding and trust. As Mary connected with the horse she connected with herself, her own grief and the losses in her life. Mary was able to feel again and be with the feelings. Mary shared that as she became more comfortable with herself and her feelings the need for the bottle of wine became less and less. Through working with horses her feelings of sadness blocking her recovery came to the surface


Eagala has benefits in a 12 step programme. Eagala helps to overcome blocks to recovery from addiction. EAP is beneficial for clients who intellectualise. It helps clients to get in touch with their emotions and feelings. Feelings of fear, anger, resentment, sadness, loneliness, joy and peace surface. Horses are clear in their boundaries and cannot be bullied. And will bring issues of control into the open. They help clients to rebuild trust and teach them to ask for help. Recently several in-patient substance abuse programs have integrated an equine experience and they report it successfully helps to treat addictions. Every day horses slow me down enough to notice whatever might be holding me back from meeting each moment. Equine therapy provides a journey into the realms of body mind and spirit – a healing combination. To learn more about eagala Recovery Services contact or Philippe D’Helft eagala Network Co-Ordinator for Ireland on-


“Used to....” I met a lady today “I’m blind you know” yet I can see Through darkened glasses, she looked straight at me My reflection looked back, a mirror to be I met a lady today “They want me in a home you know” I’m not ready, a slower pace perhaps Taking it steady, my reflection a picture of how it will be I met a poet today “I’ve had a stroke you know”, it’s like a brick wall I feel the wind blow and the wood pigeon call My reflection, an instant, distant eternity She met the cat today “I used to have one you know” a hand reaching down Stroking the top of the cat’s brow “It got killed by a car and I miss her so” My reflection, look saddened, head tipped to one side Empathy, nodding I know, I try to know deep inside



She met the dog today “I used to have one you know” come sit on my knee Comfort me He was called Bumble, a big Labrador Centre stage, rolling around on the floor The end of the session Slow walk to the car A journey, expression a A process, not far Ears, eyes and touch, our senses too much Warm breath on our hand, a cool in the air Calm, stillness Strong, beauty, steadfast Quiet reflection, memories from the past “Can horses heal” perhaps, perhaps Healing the heart and freeing the soul Spiritual opening My reflection, a smile Connection, we found


-3We met a horse today “I used to go horse riding you know” We went pony trekking but it rained I didn’t like it much Why is the horse in the stable and not out with its friends? Is it being punished? It’s yawning a lot, it must be bored Or maybe tired at the end of the day “I used to write poetry” But that has all gone There are lots of “Used to’s” I don’t hear anymore I miss the bird song “I used to paint paintings” But now I can’t see I miss faces, and places Time to be me Thank you, I’ve enjoyed my day I don’t think horses can heal but Perhaps I will visit again To get used to another way


-4We met each other today I’d like to get to know more What were the things you would like to do again? I’d like to write poetry and paint Face to face No barrier between A lifting of darkness Colour to be seen We met each other today Both seeing, agreeing Embracing and facing A past, the future The present THE END


Training schedule for 2016 Confirmed training March 3 – 5 (Thurs. to Sat.) Claregalway, Ireland Part #1 May 13 – 15 (Fri. to Sun.) Wiltshire, England, UK Part #1 May 17 – 19 (Tues. to Thurs.) Wiltshire, England, UK Part #2 August – Rodbaston, England, UK Part #1 & 2 To be confirmed Part #1 & #2 in Norway for June/July Part #1 & #2 in Austria for June/July Part #2 in Ireland Part #1 in France for Oct. July 18 – 20 Netherlands – Advanced training

Dates will go online once confirmed. Visit


A participant perspective of the eagala Part 1 and Part 2 Training at Rodbaston, England

Equine Specialist – Becky Hughes As a volunteer with Equine Partners CIC based in West Sussex, UK, I’d already witnessed first-hand the positive impact that EAL has on the lives of those attending sessions. Due to significant expansion, Equine Partners were able to fund my eagala training this year, and I was excited to gain the qualification which would underpin my experience and enable me to become an effective facilitator. Part one introduced me to some unfamiliar concepts, such as the use of clean language, and I knew straight away that implementing this and the safety untraining elements would be a huge challenge, but one which I relished. I found myself practicing my use of clean language on friends and family during the evenings after the course had closed for the day – I think they were shocked to find that I suddenly seemed to lack an opinion! As with many new skills, I found the development of my language to be about forming new habits, and that once I found the basis of a thought process, the words flowed more naturally. The course provided a welcoming learning environment: it’s great for equine and mental health specialists to learn alongside each other, demonstrating that the expertise of both parties is a key part of eagala’s team approach, and clearly showing us how every team member has a vital role to play. I found part two to be far more emotionally challenging than part one, with the topic of selfawareness coming to the fore. I spent much of my downtime examining my own issues, whether they related to how I practice EAL or were larger issues within my personal history. This made for a tiring few days, but again, a worthwhile experience to increase my awareness, which enables me to practice more effectively. Having completed both parts of the training within a week, I travelled home on information overload and am still busy processing the experience. It’s great to share my learning with my team (one of whom is eagala-certified, and both of whom intend to undertake eagala training in 2016... with me by their side for a repeat of part two), and have the opportunity


to put my new skills into practice straight away – we’re busy at our little centre, and already I can see the increased impact I am able to have on sessions. I have returned a more confident practitioner, and secure in the role that I play as an Equine Specialist. Completing my eagala certification was another step on my journey with EAL, and I can’t wait to take more. Mental Health Specialist – Nicola Sedgwick I work for a voluntary organisation that provide drug and alcohol treatment, and I was lucky enough to persuade my employers to let me run an equine therapy programme every summer for people in early stages of recovery or who are “stuck” in their recovery journey. Over the years it became evident to me that I wanted my project to be part of something bigger and to have a model to follow. I was recommended eagala by our local co-ordinator who had great things to say about the training and invited me to the networking days. As soon as I started reading about the eagala model I knew it would be perfect for me and was definitely the direction I wanted to go in to expand and develop my project. By far the biggest impact the training had on me was the ‘untraining’ and the ‘s, selfawareness and my stuff! The untraining, and in particular the safety untraining definitely impacted me in terms of becoming more self-aware: I began to consider who were we really satisfying when completing risk assessment after risk assessment, assessing people half to death before treatment? Was this really about keeping the clients safe? Or was this really about protecting our fears and satisfying our own needs? Obviously these have their place in treatment but it got me thinking about the safety net it gave me and how did this impact upon the sessions? I realised that I need to “let go” in particular letting go of clinging to my safety nets in practice and to really trust in the process, increasing my existing awareness of whether or not I was practicing subjectively, and that in the past I may have projected my own interpretations onto the clients. A classic example of this could be that within the project I run, although the sessions are ground based, every year the participants had wanted to incorporate a riding session, and every year I had agreed. However what benefit did this have? I had assumed this had been a good thing, perhaps offering some selfconfidence and development for the participants. I must admit if I really explore this, part of allowing the riding had been a slight relief because to me if felt more comfortable and familiar. Watching and taking part in the sessions throughout the training helped open my mind to really watching without interpretation. As the sessions progressed, I began to catch myself, becoming more aware of my need to speak or to question, when really it’s sometimes so much more beneficial to remain in the moment. I learned that saying nothing can be so much more powerful than interrupting the client by asking a question, instead allowing the client to be in that moment creating their own story.


Since the course finished I have been forever conscious of my language and question if it really is clean and objective. I am also constantly analysing everything using SPUD’S! To have the chance to practice the roles alongside equine specialists was also so eyeopening, and seeing first-hand how the roles complement each other, helping to keep the practice objective and safe was great to experience. I am so excited to be starting my eagala journey and have come out of the training with a million ideas. I can’t wait to start incorporating the eagala model into my project.


Personal development We would be really interested to hear what training outside of the eagala framework you take on to support your work? Please email

Teamwork in eagala In various ways, various seasons, I've been preparing to work within the eagala model for years. The most recent season of preparation has really been an examination on a personal level as to what brings the most compatible team members together, and what can help us carry forward facilitation in the most attuned way possible. I am looking forward to attending future team work courses in eagala, but something inside me has always been sure if we can connect on the deepest and simplest level, then facilitation, including horses can feel seamless, effortless and enriching to all involved. But how?

Whilst there are hugely talented and skilled practitioners within eagala networks, and a new EMEA database being developed to help connect us. How can we help ensure that our team not only clicks in terms of eagala ethos, codes and ethics, but also in terms of flow, tempo and deeper connection? A course with really helped me examine this was Tellington T Touch for horses, where I am enjoying the path towards practitioner in training status. Held at Tilley Farm near Bath, UK. This beautiful place allows time and space to "unlearn" what we thought we knew about horses. Tellington T Touch for horses is a non-evasive approach that generally focuses on three areas. Touches of circular movement - sensory massage at cellular level - using circles, slides and lifts on and with the animals body. Wraps - aiding body awareness, and that feeling of a hug. Some things you need to see to believe. Two days ago, I was helping a teenager with her horse. We put a head wrap on to help him relax, with instant affect. It's nice to see a teenager smile, shrug and give a "wow! That's weird". And finally, groundwork - to help a horse learn how to learn, than just "to do it".


Now I mention generally, because the trainers I've met are forefront pioneers of unlearning. From horses being invited to stand on memory pads, discussions on cognitive horse, suggestions of centred riding, to connection between coat patterns and underlying issues, even books written on donkeys! The aim of Tellington T Touch is the link between posture, the nervous system and how it affects behaviours. Improve posture, and we improve behaviour. Throughout the week we were assigned into different groups, learning some elements of the three main areas. A lot of people I'd worked with had no prior experience with horses, some had used it to build their own confidence, whereas others were competition riders who left the week completely inspired and rejuvenated. Experiencing an activity prior to practicing on the horse really helped to gain an extra perspective into how horses "might" feel. I say might, because how do we ever really know?

Learning to guide a horse around an obstacle course using rope and wand, and on an outward breathe, we move forward, allowing the horse to follow, one of us guiding the direction, the other in support. The aim of this is to allow the horse to think with his feet, becoming more aware and responsible for his own space. When everything clicks into place, it is an almost magical feeling to experience. Movement in unison, calm, mindful, attuned.


The following afternoon, we returned to practice groundwork, this time a technique called the Beeline. This used the same technique of guiding the horse through obstacles, however this time the rope is passed through the halter but remains unfastened. This helps us guide the horse by as gentle influence as possible. It also gives us humans a huge lesson in letting go of control, and an incredible mirror into our team dynamics. The following example is a relatively true story. Inner mutterings have been omitted. In our group of three, we met the very noble horse called Warrior. He walked steadily and patiently round as we got to grips with chemistry that can only be assimilated to grating a carrot. Eventually, our third group member shouted from the side-lines... "..Perhaps you could let Nicola know where you want to go?.." "Oh yes, over these poles, these ones. Now. Here. Here. Here. And now over there THERE. You have to give the horse more room, stand out a bit." After five minutes of running like basil fawlty, I could only see the funny side and sigh, and crumble. Standing an inch from the horse, with the line between finger tips, "But Margaret, you have all the rope." Perfectly wonderful people, all for a love and focus towards the same goal. The example above is really to outline how vulnerable and delicate it can become whilst working with horses in a dynamic. But to turn it around, how can we meld as a fluid harmonious team?


With special thanks to Vicki McGarva

On the final day of learning, we were given choice of activity and horse to work with depending on what we might feel most valuable. I chose to unite with Warrior again, and it fell that along with others who gravitated towards him, a warm camaraderie developed around him. We concentrated on acquainting him with ground driving (equivalent to long reining) using a neck rein. Meaning no control via the head or mouth, but signals using the long ropes and verbal cues to influence speed and direction. Towards the end of the activity, the most wonderful feeling arose. Two of us supporting Warrior by his shoulder either side, following were two others supporting each rope connected to the neck rein, walking at a distance found acceptable by Warrior. Another followed behind, supporting the learning of voice commands. We all knew our roll, we all took that roll forward on an outward breathe, we were in tune, we were listening to Warrior and we were walking with Heart.


It felt beautiful. It felt reassuring. It felt like walking a line of the most pure, simple and honest way of "being". Now for me, my interpretation of working effective use of the eagala model, and effective use of the Spuds, and clean observations, and if I'm on point, then I feel in that zone of simple honest "being". However, not every day is perfect, but perhaps when those not so perfect days arise, it's time for us to look to our horses to find that feeling of simply "being" before our clients even arrive? I believe that this feeling within a team can enrich everyone involved in the process. And I have personally found that basis within Tellington T Touch. And so, I invite you to unlearn. Should any of the experience I've written about resonate with you, I would love to hear your thoughts! Nicola Mahon


TEAMwork in eagala Teams workshop Incorporating the eagala model into any type of work is impressive. If adequately applied, it speeds up any personal development process in clinical as well as business settings. Profound knowledge of the model and its application as well as good teamwork are prerequisites for good client centred work. But more often than not, it is the teamwork that is taken for granted, even though malfunctions in it can pose the biggest threat to our work. Conflicts that are not addressed can not only impact our clients, but also affect our horses’ and our own reactions. In our daylong workshop we will look at the factors that typically affect teams, and eagala teams in particular. In hands-on activities we will look at ways on how to overcome those potential conflict areas and how to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Learning objectives and goals:  Gain understanding of the team setup and typical team conflicts  Understand and improve on the different roles and areas of responsibility of each team member (including the horses)  Identify own areas of strength and weakness in the role as eagala teammember  Equip MH and ES with skills to identify and address conflict areas that typically arise in eagala teams to where potential impact on clients is lessened and interference of 'S on future sessions decreased Particularities We work in a covered riding arena or an outdoor pasture. Feedback rounds and discussion groups are held in a heated, comfortable room. Please make sure you are dressed appropriately for spending time outside. No open shoes please! It is not necessary to have any experience base with horses, and knowledge about them or riding are not to your advantage or disadvantage. This workshop has been approved to provide Continued Education Units for eagala. Interested? Join us in Ireland on March 21, 2016! Or speak with your network co-ordinator to get a date booked in for your group. Email: or for more information:



8th edition eagala eme newsletter  
8th edition eagala eme newsletter  

Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (eagala) members newsletter for Europe and Middle East region - December 2015