EAGALA – Equine Assisted Growth and Learning
EAGALA stands for Equine Assisted Growth and Learning. EAGALA can be applied to so much more than mental health. Many organizations use it for team-building, leadership training, and overall health and wellness.
The Equine Therapy program is unique to our area. It can be used with individuals or groups and consists of a team made up of a licensed mental health professional, an EAGALA certified equine specialist and the herd of horses. This form of therapy allows the client to tell their story in a non-threatening manner, all the while receiving feedback from the horses involved. It is said that horses can mirror the emotions of the humans around them. In doing so, a client receives honest and non-threatening feedback on the way in which they show up in their world. Their response to such feedback gives them the opportunity to rewrite their story and practice with beings that provide an experiential level of self-understanding.
The EAGALA model focuses on an approach that sees the client as having their own solutions to life’s problems within themselves. The horses simply provide the feedback that brings those solutions to the surface.
Why the focus on horses?
Horses act as mirrors to human emotions and relationships. Unless one has really spent some time with horses, this is hard to understand.
Horses are natural prey animals. This means that they are always aware of their surroundings and thus, respond accordingly to anything that is potentially harmful or dangerous.
Horses are very LARGE creatures that demand for us to pay attention to them, thus increasing our own awareness, assisting in the practice of Mindfulness. It is hard to think about or worry about anything else while in the presence of a horse.
Finally, horses are herd animals. This means that there are natural leaders and natural underdogs. They mimic a lot of what is present within human relationships and therefore, we can learn a lot about social norms and our individual selves simply by observing the movement within a herd.
For more information or to schedule and EAGALA session, please contact Angie Baratto at 218-326-1274