HorsePlay, Jan 31 2016 - Prince, Stripe & The Mad Hamster

February 9, 2016

Thank you friends for a fun and ahaaa-ing Equine Assisted Learning workshop last weekend!

It was a balmy 55 degree afternoon spent engaging with horses , namely "Prince", "Mad Hamster" and "Stripe" *- and each other.  A mother-daughter team sprinkled the day with their particular humor and perspective.  Some activities took place in a meadow and some in the covered arena. At times the horses were grazing heartily, other times when they were charging around the field, and still others where they stood beside us, snoozing, while we exchanged about our experiences. 

( * The horses' names change every time - participants are invited to give them a name during sessions ..... whatever seems fitting at the time.)


Some of the themes that came up were: 

Expectations - what are they and what do I/we do with them? Do they assist me/us or not? (What did we expect the Prince to do? Stripe? What do I expect from other people? From myself?

New Territory - we asked a participant to create "unknown territory" from obstacles in the arena.Then  we asked her to choose a horse and take the horse with her through the unknown territory. How did the horse handle it?  How did "Prine" respond? Did Prince resist?  Go forwad? Try harder? Go around? Fail? Where did Prince try again? Why? What does it feel like for us? How do I/we typically handle unknown territory?? How do I/we best handle it?

Giving Directions/Being Responsible for What Happens- We asked 3 HorsePlayers to link arms and catch and halter a horse. Only the Middle person could give directions and the "right arm"and "left arm" could only do what Middle said. We changed positions throughout the activity. What did the horse do?