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?
What's it like being in these roles?? Do I/we like it or not? Why/ why not? When in my/our life need I/we be the Giver of Directions?
Taking Directions/Being told what to do - what is it like when someone else in charge? How do I/we deal with that? When in my?our life are we in this position?
Frustration - what do I/we do when I can't get something done or maks something move? What frustrates me/us? How can I/we approach this differently?
Obstinance/Immobility - what happens when I/we can't move something ? (in this case, a horse called Prince:) What is it like when I/we prefer to stay still and someone/thing is pushing us?
Are there times when I/we refuse to be moved? Are there times when I'm/we're the one pushing?
Snchronicity - Participants tried leading a group of horses in synchronized circles. What happened? What happens when things are in sync? When am I/ are we in sync with ourselves? Others? How do I/we get in sync? How do I/we get out of sync? How do I/we get back into sync?
Great food for thought and some new friends made:) Thank you Horses and HorsePlayers!
Next informal workshop: Monday, February 15 (President's Day) 1-3PM. No cost, space is limited. Call Cori to RSVP: (845) 616 - 3608
Next EAGALA HorsePlay Group Session -- with special guest Alix Sugarman, MPS, Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. Sunday, March 13, 10-12noon. Cost $20 per participant, materials included.