Full Circle: Equine-Assisted Learning Trainees Become the Trainers

During last year’s Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) workshop, four reservation-based tribal members earned their EAL certifications.

Next month, those individuals will again join Janet Hagen, Ph.D., for an EAL workshop at Arapaho Ranch Field Station—only this time, the trainees will be the trainers.

From June 17-20, we’ll welcome youth from Wyoming Indian High School’s summer enrichment program to participate in an “EAL in Leadership” workshop, as well as enjoy some place-based learning and exploration while they’re here.

What is Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL)?

Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) is a skill-building method where people do ground work with horses to achieve particular personal or professional goals.

What are the benefits of Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL)?

In EAL, participants work both alone and in teams of two or three. 

When three people are asked to work in tandem, they must rely on different senses to complete the exercises. 

For example, in one exercise, three people lock their arms together. The two flanking individuals act as the left and right “arms” for the person in the center, who serves as the “brain” and gives instructions to the “arms.” The left and right “arms” can only do what they hear or interpret from the “brain.” 

This exercise highlights the importance of specific communication, and it’s helpful for improving the dynamics of communication in therapy.

Studies show a reduced risk of suicide and pregnancy in youth who complete an EAL program.

Additionally, June’s EAL workshop will be led by tribal members—offering a new level of connection for the attendees.

A unique experience

“The experience at the Field Station is an opportunity to truly disconnect,” shares Lorre Hoffman, Arapaho Ranch Field Station Project Developer. “You’re in a world outside of the norm, disconnected from technology and able to really connect with yourself.” 

In between workshop sessions, attendees will have opportunities to engage in place-based learning, go on a “ranch safari,” and explore nearby tipi rings, buffalo jumps, and petroglyphs. 

Would you like to host an EAL workshop or other event with us?

Click here to ask about availability for your upcoming event; we’d love to host you!

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The mission of the Arapaho Ranch Field Station is to facilitate place-based learning through transformative experiences, as well as preserve the history and culture of the people and the place.