This is the third time I’ve done this – mainly so I can keep my certification renewed and it was a great chance to network and keep up with new stuff. It all comes under the banner of Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) or Therapy (EAT) which is becoming more widespread as therapy. Last time the training was in Austria and as I’ve said, this time was a bit of a trek. There’s a part two in the same place this summer, but I don’t think I’ll have the cash!
We had a different trainer this time, Mickey from the USA, so she brought a whole new slant on things. It was far more tiring this time, maybe me, maybe the weather, I don’t know. The training was more relaxed, but its the first time I’ve heard so many people question the method and disagree with it. What their final verdict is I can’t tell. There were Germans, several Americans, mostly due to the USA airbase in the area, a Dutch couple, a Swiss lady and me as the token Brit! This time, the trainees themselves were discovering things about themselves, which shows how powerful this therapy can be. There was annoyance when it was not picked up that a trainee was in tears, but I could see why myself. It was a totally unreal situation with people watching, a disparate band of people who didn’t know each other and a task that wasnt related to this group situation. The trainers did debate what to do, and I think they made a right decision to let the group deal with it. In real life, a parent, sibling or friend would deal with this. My only question is that if you are providing emotional safety, is comfort a part of this?
We worked though all the standard exercises and what stood out for me, is that I step in too soon, when people should be allowed to,’follow the process’. We also did role play and I was put in the role of the Mental Health expert which I found really difficult as I couldn’t stop watching the horses. Yet Edith and I both felt we’ve been working together on the right tracks and this has helped us to add more skills to help people.
The only thing I didn’t like was the end, it ran over and people had to go and there was no formal Goodbye, or certificate giving or even a photo shoot, which left me a bit lost. Similarly, the translation between the two languages maybe made things take longer and maybe it would have been better to stick to English or German. However, I was so tired at the end all I wanted to do was get back to the Hotel and crash out! Do look at the articles below.