Horses provide immediate, honest feedback.
Horses cannot distinguish an individual’s status, rank, or importance. They only respond to their current impulses. Whether apprentice, department head, or CEO, horses are not interested in human hierarchies. In the eyes of horses, we are all equal.
When someone displays security, horses will gladly be led and will even seek the proximity of that person. If, on the other hand, an individual radiates instability, hostility, or inconstancy, the horse will not align with that individual. However, the horse will also quickly change their reaction if the person changes behavior. Horses do not hold prejudices or animosities.
As a result, a person may improve their relationship with the horse by learning from mistakes and receiving an immediate response to behavior patterns.
Horses are masters of perception.
Therefore, horses provide objective feedback. The horse itself does not strive for higher idealistic goals. It is solely concerned with preserving its own well-being. Horses are masters of precise perception. As flight and prey animals, they must recognize and act on even the slightest signs of danger in their environment. As a result, they perceive even minimal cues in humans and always respond immediately. From a coaching perspective, this is a useful feedback loop.
The human acts, the horse reacts. In doing so, the horse also picks up on the “underlying” behavior not perceived by the individual themselves and filters it out of conflicting messages. The horse always reacts to the unconscious, genuine, authentic message, over and over again. This signifies an enormous deepening of dialogue and human interaction. Participants feel recognized, touched, and sometimes even confused – but still feeling connected in open discourse, open to change, and receptive to what is.
Emotional experiences when coaching with horses
Equine-assisted coaching always triggers emotions among the participants. Because emotions are given space at Way Academy and are desired, appreciated as part of personal development, clients experience a safe space with us without judgment or prejudice. Horse-interaction brings up both expected and unexpected challenges for the participants. Being aware of these very moments and addressing these issues allows for a whole new dimension of reflection.
The depths of the personality are reached more rapidly in equine-assisted coaching than in counseling sessions. Blind spots, or areas of the personality that the participant is unaware of, are revealed, and unconscious potentials are awakened. As a result, the client’s limiting, as well as supportive matters are brought to the surface, allowing goal- and solution-oriented work to begin.