(Video at bottom of post)
GOOD MORNING to all, or afternoon, where ever you are in the world)
In 2009, I traveled to Lafayette Louisiana for a Level 1 Certification with EAGALA. (Equine assisted growth and learning association)
Here’s a LINK for more explanation about the program.
At that time they still had mental health professionals, and equine specialists, with Level 1, 11, certifications. When I took my three day training, it was in 2009, so I’m sure the curriculum has changed a bit. It was one of the most amazing learning experiences I have been through. And I got a certificate that gave me 23 college credit hours in counseling.
I usually go into these type of things as an observer…but at the beginning of the class the instructor told us to not be surprised if feelings, emotions, reactions come to the surface.
I was literally emotionally caught off guard.
I got Level 1 EAGALA certified
HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN ACCESS ALL OF MY SOCIAL MEDIA, POETRY, YOUTUBE AND MY FAVORITE “THINGS”. ALSO, BE LOOKING FOR MY AMAZON STORE, WHERE I SHARE ALL OF WHAT I USE for HEALTH, WELLNESS, AND MY VAN BUILD OUT PRODUCTS.
At the beginning of the class, on the first day, there were horses in the arena, just hanging out. Enough for all of us, and we had to choose a horse and bring him or her back to the other end of the paddock, with no halter, no food, no ropes, nothing, just ourselves and our ability to communicate what we wanted our chosen horse to do.
I walked around a bit looking at the horses and trying to get a feeling, and ended up choosing a 4 year old cutting bred gelding. He was amazing. (I almost bought him and took him home.). I managed to communicate what I wanted him to do, and we made it back to the other end of the paddock. No halters, no treats, no buckets of food…just me and the horse.
The next three days brought out “stuff” that I had ignored for years. Stories were told by licensed mental health professionals about their experiences using this type of therapy, some I cannot share because of the nature of the sensitivity of the patients and their traumas. But I will say that one story showed how much this type of therapy works…a young child who didn’t communicate due to extensive trauma, began to open up with a gelding he had bonded with and was finally able to speak his truth, and begin his healing.
Check out all of the good ole’ Levi’s favorites, or the new groovy stuff.
Needless to say, I’m going to go through the training again, for a refresher. Just for my own well being at least.
If you are interested in this… a fully licensed EAGALA team consists of an equine specialist, and a licensed professional therapist. One person can’t be both.
But it’s so worth it. I promise. Here’s the link again