Chase the Clouds Away
In all of the programs at ARU, it is the association of the student with the horse that makes miracles happen. EFP/EFL sessions are based on
the process of developing a trusting partnership between the student and the horse.
The Mental Health Professional or Professional Educator develops the therapeutic plan by identifying the issues to be addressed during the
session. Consultation and collaboration with the Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) determines the role of the horse
in accomplishing the therapeutic goal.
The ESMHL has undergone a rigorous Path Intl certification process to ensure the requisite professionalism, experience and equine skills in
order to participate with the mental health therapist or educator. As a result, the ESMHL assists the professionals in designing safe, mutually
beneficial and effective activities to enhance client outcomes. The equine specialist has a thorough understanding of the ways equine behavior
affects human responses and evaluates the role of the equine during the session. The specialist ensures that interactions with the horse are
safe and appropriate for the goals of the treatment plan.
EFP allows the client to explore unrecognized emotions which have negatively impacted the client's life. Horses are animals of prey and must
be vigilant to the possibility of nearby danger. They are acutely aware of even slight alterations in their surroundings. Every sound and movement
must be evaluated and addressed. The horse, in the context of EFP, is extremely sensitive to the unspoken cues emanating from the client.
Transmission of this information, interpreted by the ESMHL, aids the mental health professional in furthering the goal of the session. This
interaction helps the client to generalize the insights during therapy to interpersonal relationships outside of the barn.
Video courtesy of David Block, Blindfilmmaker.com, from the recently released documentary, "Gift Horses"
ALL RIDERS UP