FAQs About

Equine-Assisted Learning

What is Equine-Assisted Learning?

Equine-Assisted Learning is a powerful and effective experiential learning approach that engages fun and interactive exercises with horses to promote personal growth and well-being for all ages. The horses are our partners and guides in learning, assisting us in finding balance and awareness for our body, mind & spirit. Through Equine-Assisted and experiential learning sessions, our horses can help guide you in discovering practical life tools and strategies to enhance your self-awareness, change your limiting beliefs, for personal growth and transformation through Awareness – Alignment – Action.

Participate

  • An outdoor, nature-based model that takes you out of your head and into your body
  • An opportunity to become aware of patterns that are no longer serving you
  • A safe, respectful environment to learn new life skills and tools through the feedback the horses can provide
  • Aha moments of awareness and breakthroughs in as little as one EAL session

Connect

  • We interact with horses, mostly at liberty.
  • This means without tack/equipment/tethering
  • This offers an opportunity to connect in a natural and authentic way.
  • Horses can mirror our strengths, challenges, fears, and authentic expression.
  • Horses help us bring focus and attention to the present moment.
  • Engaging with horses requires clear and consistent communication.
  • Nervous or afraid of horses? That’s ok.
  • Sessions can be designed so that participants can benefit from the other side of the fence!
  • Individual and/or group sessions are available.

The Role of the Horse

  • We don’t ride the horses
  • It is not just for horse people, but for everyone – no experience necessary
  • It is not about learning about horses, or horsemanship
  • You don’t “love” horses, that’s ok. Horses don’t care and yet they can still help you love yourself
  • Oh, yes, what about FEAR? Fear is real, and horses are large, flighty animals. It is good to have a healthy fear, and a beginners’ mind too! We are mindful of wherever you are on the fear scale, and modify sessions to help everyone feel safe and comfortable, including the horses!

Our Sessions

Sessions include time for:

  • quiet reflection with the herd,
  • interactive experiences with the horses,
  • the opportunity to share insights, and
  • integrate wisdom received from the horses.

Sessions can also be customized to include:

  • meditation,
  • intuitive and mindfulness exercises,
  • creativity & music,
  • sound and energy healing, and
  • guided meditations.

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”

~ Leo Tolstoy

FAQs About

The Ravenheart Experience

At Ravenheart

We encourage the well-being of people and horses, inspired by the horse-human bond.

HOW CAN I BENEFIT FROM HORSES?
I’m nervous around horses, and they scare me.  Can I benefit? Yes you can!  At Ravenheart, we make every effort to ensure that everyone feels safe and respected (yes, the horses too!), right where you are, while helping you recognize and break through old patterns. Sessions can be done “over the fence” without close contact with horses, until you are ready to move through your fear. Previous horse experience is not required, and there is no riding involved.
WHAT HEALING PROFESSIONALS CAN PARTNER WITH HORSES?

Our Horses work well with professional coaches, counselors, therapists, these are some of the daily life challenges horses can provide benefits for:

  • Grief & Loss
  • Youth and adolescence life skills and empowerment
  • Family relations
  • Abuse
  • Depression, anxiety, stress
  • Learning Challenges
  • Autism spectrum
  • PTSD & Trauma
I AM EXPERIENCED WITH HORSES - WILL I STILL BENEFIT FROM YOUR PROGRAM?
Yes, we are sure you will! In fact, you are already familiar with the kind of feedback horses can offer you. You understand that horses can “feel” everything when you are interacting with them. An experience of EAL may deepen your knowledge and appreciation of just how this non-traditional way of being with horses can be, and show you how you might view and understand horses at an even deeper level.
WILL WE GET TO RIDE THE HORSES?
Generally there is no riding involved with EAL sessions.  Depending on the type of sessions and format, some participants may have an opportunity to ride. Ravenheart does not offer trail riding, or riding lessons, but does offer beginner horse care and safety around horses. Call or email for more information about these services.
CAN HORSES HELP WITH LIFE SKILLS?

At Ravenheart we can provide opportunities with our horses, in a positive and supportive environment, that may assist people of all ages and abilities in life skills such as:

  • Trust and bonding
  • Healthy Relationships and Social Skills
  • Self-regulation and focus
  • Empathy and understanding
  • Courage and confidence
  • Personal safety and recognizing danger
  • Change and transitions
  • Cooperation, responsibility, and problem solving
  • Self-awareness and Self-Esteem
  • Leadership                                                                                                    
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR AROUND HORSES?
  • You might get a little bit grubby! Horses are like that. ♥ Dress very casually, in layers for the weather, comfortable clothing that you are OK getting dusty or stained.
  • Wear comfortable shoes or boots, and be prepared for Saskatchewan weather changes. It may start out cool in the morning, and then be very hot and sunny in the afternoon. It may rain, or become cold or snowy, depending on the season.
  • Wear sturdy runners, hiking boots, or sturdier footwear, thinking about uneven ground, mud, and other “horsey” contributions. Please don’t wear soft or open-toed shoes, sandals, dawgs, etc.
  • For your comfort, please bring a sun hat, rain gear, rubber boots, bug spray, and sunscreen – all depending on the season and the weather!

Experience

Horses seem have an intuition to know just what a person needs and one can come away with a different perspective on life.
IS RAVENHEART OPEN ALL YEAR-AROUND?
  • What happens during bad weather?Yes, although we adjust for extreme weather conditions of course, like very cold, snow, high winds, or heavy rain. We have indoor spaces for people, and a covered area for working with the horses. We may have to postpone and reschedule  your session/retreat for these circumstances.
WHAT HAPPENS IN AN EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING SESSION?
All sessions take place on the ground (no mounted exercises), with a certified equine-assisted learning facilitator and horse specialist, along with one or more appropriate horses or ponies. Sessions are designed and customized to the unique needs of the individual participants and/or goals of the group or organization Sessions may include exercises with the horses at liberty (no halters, lead ropes, tethering), or using lead ropes, halters, and specific equipment like poles, pylons, and other obstacles that the horses are lead through or encouraged to navigate based on the structure of the exercise. Some of the work we do with the horses and participants involves body, emotion, and mind awareness through reflective sessions, journaling, body scans, and grounding.
WHAT KIND OF PROFESSIONAL TRAINING DO RAVENHEART FACILITATOR(S) HAVE?
The facilitators and equine specialists at Ravenheart are professionally trained and certified.  Carol Marriott has a life-time of experience with horses,  is a Certified Equine Assisted Learning Specialist, and has trained with and studied with some of the best professionals in this field. She is also a Certified Life Coach Practitioner, and has trained with a variety of professional EAL, horsemanship, personal growth, and spiritual teachers for the past 25 years. We are committed to continuing education and training and participate regularly in educational opportunities in this field to continue to offer the best we can to our clients. Our horse specialists are life-time horse owners and enthusiasts and our approach with our horses is one of positive reinforcement and respect. Our EAL insurance is provided through Capri Insurance.
WHY USE THE RELATIONSHIP WITH HORSES FOR HEALING?
  • Horses are helpful for self-development and personal growth, healing, grief, relationships, team-building, recovery, and learning.
  • Horses are naturally highly aware of their environment and to anyone or anything in it, including people, animals, the weather, traffic, etc.
  • For their own safety, and the safety of their herd mates, they are highly aware of body language, feelings, and emotions. Through specific exercises, careful observation, witnessing, a safe, respectful, and highly supportive environment, and an opportunity to be in a natural outdoor setting, participants can gain awareness and a deeper understanding of their patterns, struggles, and challenges, and learn new skills and coping abilities.
  • Beyond the classroom, counselling office, or boardroom, horse facilitated sessions and activities provide people with opportunities to discover and develop their potential to thrive and reach their best potential.

Wise Willow Wishes You Well

Begin Your Journey of Discovery

The Ravenheart Way…

“Small children are convinced that ponies deserve to see the inside of the house.”

~ Maya Patel