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Coaching & Personal Development. Why in a field of horses?

“Unless you do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson. Stepping out of the comfort zone is just one of the reasons high performance professionals find themselves transported from city offices to a field of horses to develop competencies such as authentic leadership, effective communication and emotional intelligence.

Equine Assisted Group Coaching at Track Clinic

There are several other reasons this approach is fast becoming appreciated both for nurturing individuals and unlocking performance potential. Defining how Equine Assisted Psychotherapy differs from conventional models of coaching sheds good light on the benefits. Here are three key differentiators:

1. An Embodied Way of Being. Participation enables people to bring their whole selves to the process, rather than defaulting to the analytical mind. It allows instinct and deep knowing to emerge free from the disguise of masks or over reliance on words and intellect.

Joining the herd and observing their reaction.

An invitation to meet the herd is how most sessions start. Participants simply notice the reaction of the horses and the response that it evokes in themselves whilst facilitators observe patterns of behaviour in order to allow for subsequent reflective discussion. From this place of awareness, key themes arise and inform the continuation of the session and the relevance to achieving personal and/or team goals.

2. Exploring Authentic Interaction. Equine Assisted Coaching offers insight into what is really happening in communication with others. It helps us reflect on how are we are received by others and witness how our subconscious patterns of behaviour and attitudes may be impacting the interaction.

Allowing a pattern of behaviour to emerge.

When free to respond without the restraints of ropes, saddlery or learned commands, horses are able to react authentically to how you make them feel. Completely free from judgement of how it ‘should’ be and highly attuned to the energetic state of others, the herd’s overriding need is to bring about balance. With the help of Track Clinic coaches, any subconscious imbalances (inaccurate self beliefs, incongruent behaviours or unmet needs) can come to the fore.

3. Learning Experientially. Equine Assisted Coaching presents an opportunity to literally ‘try out’ a new behaviour or way of being and experience how if feels. This form of Experiential Learning is proven to create new neural pathways in the brain helping us break out of habitual, comfort zones and integrate new approaches into everyday life, both personally and professionally.

Trying out something new with the herd

During facilitated interaction with the horses, learning takes place on a very personal level.

It may involve the recognition of a self limiting belief system, which once acknowledged provokes an entirely different reaction from the horses (and therefore from others once back at work/home). It may involve acceptance of a deeply buried emotion or fear that needs freeing to enable change in everyday life. It may involve the recognition of a default behavioural approach which needs honing or rejecting completely in order to achieve your goals with more ease.

To define concrete outcomes following a series of Equine Assisted Coaching sessions is difficult as each individual will experience learning and change unique to their situation. However, there is a consistency in feedback which defines two overriding outcomes. One is that of increased awareness; discovering a newfound inner wisdom, deeper emotional understanding or self belief system in how we relate to others and ourselves. The second is that of sustained learning; the ‘felt’ experiences with the horses acting as an anchor to integrating new behaviours into everyday life, not just momentarily, but for many years to come.

'What an extraordinary and profound experience. To bear witness to my own patterns of relating through relationship with the horses and the group. It brought to light how a familiar behaviour was playing out in so many areas of my life and how it was holding me back. Thank you for this unexpected and deeply insightful experience which continues to unfold in ways I never imagined’.

- Recent group participant

‘My team at Focus were overwhelmed by the professionalism and warmth you offered us as we sat around a calming and therapeutic campfire. Your animals offered us an extraordinary sense of emotional connection in ways that were surprising. It was an honour to hear the experiences and personal stories that were impacted as a result. I loved how the animals mirrored our emotions and movement around them which felt safe and liberating. We will definitely be back. Thank you all for such a wonderful experience!’

- Helen Marton, CEO Focus Bath

All the interaction with the horses is ground-based, no riding is required. There is also no need to have any interest in or experience of horses. The only requirement is an openness to explore your own behaviours, relationships and wellbeing from a place of curiosity and authenticity. Coaching can be booked individually or in groups of 3-6 people. Modules are usually booked monthly or quarterly to allow integration of learnings and ongoing review of outcomes. Group programmes are devised in collaboration with team leaders based on the needs and values of the organisation.

For more information, contact


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