“Grab the lead, look straight ahead, and walk like you know where you are going.” My instructor stood next to me while I took a deep breath. I walked toward Eve, a beautiful black and white horse. As I held Eve’s lead rope and walked straight ahead, I became very aware, with nervous excitement, of this horse following me with cautious curiosity. The instructor encouraged me, stating that if I knew where I was going, Eve would follow. Conveying confidence allowed me to successfully lead Eve through the pasture.
The field environment combined with direct interaction with horses provides a unique learning opportunity. Based on insights gained from horses about the power of nonverbal communication, the field of equine guided education offers efficient, hands on learning experiences relevant to every profession or role in which people need to gain the trust and respect of those they work with. Horses teach us how to connect, respect, and gain trust through communication.
The facilitators in the Medicine and Horsemanship Program provide first hand experience for students and interns to learn about and understand the power of nonverbal communication – from a 1,000 pound horse – and how to apply that knowledge to leadership as an educator, healthcare professional, director, manager, or parent.