The Wedgetail EFL for Families program provides an opportunity for families to experience different ways of relating to one another through Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL).
This stepped program runs over five weeks and introduces parents and carers to basic horse handling skills using the foundational principles of EFL and natural horsemanship. Children are then involved in the sessions providing parents and carers with an opportunity to foster new communication and relating skills within the family unit. These sessions have been highly effective in family situations that are experiencing challenges and are relevant for all types of family structures and children of any age.
All sessions are facilitated by qualified EFL instructors.
- Parents and carers develop confidence in horse handling and safety, and skills that are transferable to other areas in their lives.
- Sessions are held in nature, away from the source of tensions and distractions.
- Parents learn valuable skills in creating safe environments/situations for their children while also being able to provide fun experiences and engagement. This includes the ability to anticipate challenging situations, the skill of positive feedback and bonding through an enjoyable experience.
- Participants create common ground which supports greater understanding of one another and helps in the development of shared interests.
- Regardless of the participant’s interest or prior experience with horses/ponies, the opportunity to have a horse mirror emotions and model calm, safe behaviours provides immediate feedback for self-regulation.
- Disconnected or disengaged parenting patterns are able to be revealed and reframed by observing the example of the horses – a less confronting but effective process that supports self-awareness and can foster change.
- Children also develop confidence and skills in horse handling that can be useful in other areas of their lives.
What is EFL?
Equine Facilitated Learning is an interaction between horses and people designed to promote experiential learning for all the participants.
Contemporary clinical research shows that the close proximity to horses changes human brain wave patterns suggesting that humans can be transformed in a very positive way when in the presence of horses. Appropriate interaction with horses can therefore prove therapeutic to adults and children alike.
EFL promotes strategies to attain healthier relationships that in turn can improve wider group and family dynamics. EFL sessions bring together horses and people in a safe, supervised space designed to elicit positive and empowering interaction. The majority of sessions involve interacting with the horse from the ground and although riding is a possibility, most people will experience EFL and its many benefits in this way.