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Equine Learning Experiences Australia “Learning about yourself through interactions with horses�

Issue # 2

26th April 2012

Learning Objectives this month 5th April

12 April

19th April

24th April

Mindfulness, Boundaries, confidence, problem solving Awareness of self on others; Connection, congruence,

Mindfulness/Grounding; Yin/Yang & finding balance; heart intelligence Self-awareness, mindfulness, releasing and renewing, Art therapy.

Finding Futures Equine Learning Program

Today was the final week of the first Finding Futures 10 week program for 2012. So to celebrate we had a closing ceremony with the horses. The participants were asked to say farewell to things in their lives that no longer served them. What was shared was no more anxiety, lack of confidence, violence, anger, frustration, incongruence and stress. After spending the last 10 weeks working on their self awareness with the help of the horses, participants were asked what wanted to bring into their lives from this day forward. What came up was friendship, respect, a paying job, confidence, happiness, love, beauty, honesty and congruence. As this was spoken out aloud the team of ELEA horses walked beside them keeping the rhythm. It was an empowering moment for the group and I am looking forward to hearing about the next chapter of their life journeys now this program has come to an end. As a final activity they indulged in some art therapy and painted their experience of the last 10 weeks on the horses.

Art therapy with the ELEA team of horses on the final day of the Finding Futures 10 week program.

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You can’t hide from a horse!!! With the horses guiding the group through various levels of learning, the participants are now keen to go and draw upon their new life skills Over the last month the three groups from ‘Finding Futures’ have continued on their journey of learning. The ELEA team of horses have supported the participants by offering non-judgmental feedback around their behaviours, and creating an emotionally safe space for some experiential learning to take place.

With the horses acting as mirrors to the participants’ inner thoughts and feelings, the magic soon started to take place. The participants found that they couldn’t hide their feelings and emotions from a horse and before too long came to realize the value of owning their emotions and feelings, and being congruent.

From this new place of self awareness, the participants advised they felt clearer about what they wanted in their lives and empowered to make healthier choices in the future both personally and professionally.

From strength to strength!!!


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The learning has been overwhelming If you can spare a minute to read the following homework piece, you will find that the horses and the ELEA programs can offer people layers of learning

19th April 2012 – Homework piece “This week I really enjoyed heart activity where I connected to Razzles, I didn’t want to leave her side. She seemed to want me near me which made me feel attached and drawn to her. I became lost and in a trance, time felt like it stopped for a while, all I wanted to do was to keep stoking and hugging her. Couldn’t feel her heart beat, but the again I can never find my own pulse but I must have one somewhere. My heart was drawn to her, she was pulling me in. Once finished and I let her go, I noticed she followed me back to the group watching me the whole way. When I sat down she was still watching me I kept thinking ‘you can leave now, but at the same time didn’t want her to”. I felt loved, special, accepted and drawn to her.

Yin and Yang activity was interesting, Sally was beautiful but extremely large and kept wanting to lead or kiss or nudge me. Was a little harder to control her until I developed a bond with her. I concentrated on my relationship with her and trying to get her to co-operate with me, I encouraged her when she did. (Positive Affirmation). I find positive affirmation hard to recognize because I didn’t get much as a child so I seem to do it as much as possible to animals and children now so they don’t miss out like I feel I did. I felt closer to her at the end. I realized I focus on relationship with people a little too much, to win their

approval. The most helpful part of the program was learning about boundaries and what they actually

are. Practical demonstration really got through to me, no one had ever taken the time to explain it like this before. I was just told I was doing it wrong or inappropriately, but wasn’t told what was right or inappropriate. So what was I to know what to do!! I am becoming more aware of my personal boundaries and that it’s ok to stand up for myself. Time will tell how it affects my professional life. I also


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Continued related to the false self voice / Authentic self voice activities. Good to put a name to what I have lived in and experienced over the last 10 years or so. Being true to your emotions and not ignoring them has also struck a chord with me, I have begun to put this into practice. It takes less energy to let an emotion show than to hide it. Very helpful!! Hopefully I will get strong enough to do it more around my family without fear of ridicule .or judgment. Time will tell!!! Can do it quite well when alone. To me the learning I have gained from this program has given me hope and has and will continue to hopefully prove invaluable in my life. You can’t put a price on what

it has given me. I was ready to give up but now there’s a small part of me that has hope for the future. I would recommend it to anyone. I would have no problem paying for it on a regular basis in the future, I can see it improving my chances of getting a job if done regularly. It’s a small price to pay in the long run to keep a job and be free. I would be less stressed and would enjoy my job more, things wouldn’t become so overwhelming. In many ways it’s the answer I’ve been searching for. People have been amazed at how I talk about the horses and stuff. You can’t put a price on its effect in my life. I am beginning to see my potential, at times the sky’s

the limit. I still have my moments but overall I feel lighter and more aware of what is acceptable both for myself and others. I let emotion out more when I feel it instead of ignoring it and then snapping at silly things. Going into this course I thought my ABI (acquired brain injury) could never be altered and I was stuck feeling confused and without hope, but now that I have become more aware of my behaviours and the reasons for them, maybe its not too late for me. My confidence has improved, I am still scared of the unknown, but know I’m better equipped this time around.

Young Adult Empowerment Program – Committee for Ballarat On Tuesday 24th April 2012, fifteen young adults between the ages of 17 and 24 experienced a day of equine assisted learning through ELEA.

The key learning objectives were primarily focused around, Mindfulness, Body Language, Self Awareness, Problem solving, boundaries, connection, and congruence.

Despite the Antarctic conditions, everyone attended the day and had a great day of learning with the ELEA team.

This learning once experienced with the horses was then discussed how it could be tied into our personal and professional

lives. The participants confirmed the day was ‘really amazing’ and when asked if they could apply the days learning in their personal and professional life, some of the responses included……

“Yes, the grounding exercise can be used everywhere”


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Continued °°° “Yes I do, and that would be with job interviews and meeting new people”.

Transition to Employment participant on the final day of the program. .

“Yes, realizing that your attitude can affect the work environment”. “Probably by feeling good and acting confident others will respond to it”. “Be confident and have a good attitude and it will show to a potential employer”.

When the YAE participants were asked what was the most significant piece of learning they were able to take away from the days learning, some of the responses included…

Finding Futures DES participant with ‘Razzle Dazzle’ equine extraordinare. .

“To recognize the way the people around you react to your behavior”.

By the end of the day, the group overall advised they were a lot more aware about their body language, attitudes and moods. They were able to make the link as to how this affected the horses’ responses to them, which in turn they were able to link how this could also play out in their personal and professional lives.

“A good attitude will create a positive energy around you”.

To keep everyone’s energy levels up for the day, Ruth from the Futures Coffeehouse provided a hot lunch. The big bowl of spaghetti Bolognese and warm garlic bread was very much appreciated as the temperature peaked for the day at 10 degrees.

“That people reflect from us how we are feeling and by changing how we feel, they change”.

Thanks to the ELEA team of facilitators, horse handlers and of course the wonderful horses for a great day of insight and learning.

‘That your mood reflects on others’


Equine Learning Experiences Australia

April 2012

Open House Demonstration – Thursday 3rd May 2012 Unicorn Park - Clarendon Come and experience...the power of the horse….for human growth and learning This is a great opportunity to get a hands on experience with the horses to see how this type of experiential learning can support people to increase their self awareness. There is no horseback riding involved and there is no charge . You can attend the morning sess Morning session is 9 – 12 am or alternatively you can attend the afternoon session from 1 – 4pm

Equine Learning Experiences Australia Mob: 0415 991 115 Email: Web:

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