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Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)

EAL is a short term experiential approach that affects real and lasting change allowing the participant to experience the reality of making choices and projecting attitudes. The horses show us a different way of relating with others, our environment and ourselves. Horses teach us awareness, integrity, respect and trust. Through working with one or more horses, EAL provides for a process of empowerment and learning by assisting individuals to identify their needs and to explore the actions required to meet these as well as facilitating the enactment of such actions such that control over one’s own life is assumed. Such processes ensure that individuals have the ability to do whatever it is that they need to do in any given situation, thereby showing an ability to take decisions concerning the direction of their lives. This occurs within the context of a safe and secure environment that nurtures inner healing and encourages optimal personal growth and development.

Goals for Equine Assisted Growth, Learning & Education include:
  • ACCOUNTABILITY
  • TRUST
  • RESPECT
  • SELF-AWARENESS - SELF-CONFIDENCE - SELF-ESTEEM
  • BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION
  • RESPONSIBILITY
  • CREATIVE THINKING
  • CONFLICT RESOLUTION
  • AWARENESS OF APPROPRIATE BOUNDARIES
  • TEAM BUILDING SKILLS
  • GREATER AWARENESS OF VERBAL/NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION
  • LEADERSHIP QUALITIES
  • RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

The Shumbashaba team works within the internationally accepted Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) methodology.

The programmes involve ground work with the horses and there is no riding.

NO horsemanship skills are taught rather the focus is on developing lifemanship skills.

EAGALA Model EAP/EAL - The EAGALA Model provides a standard and structure for providing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning sessions. Practicing within a model establishes a foundation of key values and beliefs, and provides a basis of good practice and professionalism. The EAGALA Model provides a framework of practice, but within that framework, there are infinite opportunities for creativity and adaptability to various therapeutic styles. The model is solidly grounded in well-established and researched theories of psychotherapy including Gestalt Psychotherapy, Solution-Focused Psychotherapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapy, and Experiential Psychotherapy. It provides a clinical advance on these established practices where the incorporation of horses in psychotherapy in a deliberate, principled, thoughtful and professional manner catalyses change.

The 4 mainstays of the EAGALA Model are:
  • The Team Approach – An Equine Specialist, a Mental Health professional, and horses work together with clients in all EAGALA sessions
  • Focus on the ground – All EAGALA sessions are on the ground with horses (no mounted work)
  • Solution-Oriented – The belief that our clients have the best solutions for themselves forms a foundation for the EAGALA approach. Rather than instructing or directing solutions, we allow our clients to experiment, problem-solve, take risks, employ creativity, and find their own solutions.
  • Code of Ethics – EAGALA has a code of ethics, and has a standard of professionalism and ethics.