Integrative Life Center is an organization that is especially supportive of experiential therapies including equine assisted psychotherapy, which has been recognized as a leading alternative to traditional talk therapy. A precursor to building their equine program, ILC chose to spend some time out on the farm with the horses themselves. The group of eight engaged in activities that gave them insight into their own personalities, leadership qualities and the ability to exercise positive communication skills and teamwork. They’re a group who does so well at helping others it was a chance to experience some of their own personal development and cohesion among their group.
Some time in the barn allowed everyone to become familiar with the horses. Finale and Paramore were the big boys in their stalls entertaining with their usual antics. Especially Paramore who constantly attempts and succeeds at opening the stall door himself. The participants spent some time outside the barn getting comfortable leading Rocker and Poco and then moved on to the paddock where the real teamwork began.
We did the brain/left arm/right arm game where three people interlocking arms, the center person, the brain, had to instruct the right arm and left arm to put on and buckle a horse blanket. Communication skills a must! Leading exercises were a great way to learn to work together and they did so well, all eight of them were able to lead Poco in various patterns together and harmoniously.
Not only did this bring up issues and characteristics to learn about themselves, they easily recognized where this would be valuable for clients, how it applies to different situations and where interventions come in. Many thanks and appreciation goes to our most wonderful teacher and partner of all, Poco.