Equine-Assisted Learning, Coaching, and Counseling has been helping people of all ages from all walks of life since the 1960s. Horses are proven to help people with a variety of personal or professional challenges or difficulties, with great success. As part of my horse-guided learning, coaching, and counseling practice, I am able to use my trained horses to facilitate the development and growth of young people in our Oregon coastal community. Horses are emotionally expressive animals and very sensitive communicators; the interaction between horse and human encourages self-awareness, self-confidence, self-reliance and a respectful ‘self-other’ style of communication which draws the best out of both client and horse.
Young people can struggle to adjust to everyday life situations and events for a variety of reasons. A traumatic event especially, such as divorce or death of a loved one (e.g., grandparent), can have an impact on a child or teen’s ability to cope and function effectively, both at home and in social settings. In addition, distressed family systems, perhaps experienced since birth, can also cause serious adjustment issues that effect a child or teen’s ability to learn, grow, and develop in a free and uninhibited manner.
In my horse-guided learning, coaching, and counseling practice, children and teens discover new ways of thinking and reacting that can increase self-esteem and improve communication and behaviors. Positive interactions with others increase as horse interactions encourage the child or teen to open up and express themselves in novel and creative ways in a non-threatening, low-key, and fun environment. My solutions-based coaching methods provides young people with new skill-sets that allow them to find different ways to re-engage with life (people and activities). By exploring thoughts and feelings that allow them to find their own way forward versus being told what to do by another, my clients are provided with a sense of being an active ‘change-agent’ in their life – perhaps for the first time. This in turn results in a new-found sense of self-control and responsibility as they become increasingly confident in their ‘horse-work’. While supervised closely by me in a controlled environment, options are tried out and explored, and obstacles are viewed as opportunities as my young clients experiment with connecting and communicating with my gentle horse-coach assistants.
Surrounded by an abundance of beautiful Oregon coast acreage, C & M Stables in Florence, Oregon is a wonderful environment for youth to experience horse-guided learning, coaching, and counseling. It is a safe, natural and calm environment in which young people may work safely in a dedicated round pen with only one ‘horse coach’ at at time, under my close supervision.
The barn and horse paddock also a make-up part of our work. The peaceful and nurturing environment of C & M Stables encourages self- regulation and resilience as children learn how to navigate in a horse and barn environment. Children and teens are invited to assist with horse grooming, paddock cleaning, kitten care, and other small jobs that lead to a sense of caring and responsibility (these tasks are optional and are not required).