What is horse coaching or coaching with help from horses?
Horse coaching is a relatively new method where training, coaching and therapy are used. It comes from America, in The Netherlands there are several names of this method including horse coaching but also horse as a mirror, horse assist work and horse as co-trainer. Some people say ‘ horse whispering ‘. Maybe you’ve heard of it? This term, we don’t prefer to use, because it’s such a shady image. But horse coaching is not at all shady.
Horse coaching is a method where you learn by the mirror (feedback) of the horse. With horse coaching you don’t ride on the horse, we work from the ground. Where necessary, the feedback from the horse gets translated by a professional coach. The horse coach also helps you to use the feedback in practice.
Why are horses good in reflecting people?
In nature the horse is reflecting the inner state of the one that stands in front of him. Without having to judge or to have an opinion, the horse gives direct and honest feedback. The horse is a very sociable and sensitive animal. A horse lives in a herd and has a clear role in rank and in the hierarchy. Through body language and energy they ‘ say ‘ to each other if they accept each other and they warn each other for danger. It is very important for a horse beacuse a horse is a flight animal/prey animal.
This means that the horse follows his intuition in order to survive and to scan the area very quickly. A horse will always act in the interest of the entire herd. At the time that the horse feels secure he will give confidence and real relaxation. If he doubts at a meeting, who you actually are and what you’re doing, the horse will show that immediately. A horse is a perfect teacher when it comes to leadership, working together and direct communication. Real leadership can only come by a fair attitude and direct body language.
During a coaching the horse is most of the time loose and he can choose to see you as a leader or to go his own way. The horse will respond if your answers are your own and fair. You will experience how that is and how you can work with that. Through self-confidence you’ll get cooperation and real contact.
Anita is a certified coach and children’s coach and a member of the Center for horse coaching (www.cvpc.nl). This is one of the leading coach companies from Belgium, and The Netherlands. There are coaches in The Netherlands, Germany and even in Aruba.
Sun Dance Ranch has a natural herd with around 20 horses that are excellent mirrors in a coach journey!