When we set out to educate ourselves about something, the goal is to remember what we learn for the long haul. How many times have you thought to yourself, “If only I could download that information into my brain…?”
Horses can help with that download. Learning through an experience with a 1300 pound, living, breathing, responsive being gets about as much of you involved in downloading information to long term memory and understanding as possible.
Notice how we are taught to take notes when listening to a lecture, or break out the highlighter marker when reading a textbook. These simple activities move us farther into the experience of absorbing the information. The more of ourselves that we can involve in learning, the longer we can retain the information. Inspiring all of our senses and involving our whole bodies in the process of learning is an advantage that traditional classroom teaching and even the most elaborate of corporate seminars with PowerPoint presentations and props cannot deliver.
Marcia Conner, on her Ageless Learner site, writes a concise but comprehensive description of experiential learning, and quotes author David Kolb from his book Experiential Learning, as he “describes learning as a four-step process. He identifies the steps as (1) watching and (2) thinking (mind), (3) feeling (emotion), and (4) doing (muscle).”
From the world of childhood through the corporate world, the experience of learning self-awareness, presence, trust and decisiveness is an ongoing process. The growing field of Equine Guided Education is offering immediate and lasting results.
Just outside Melbourne, Kay Ivanac and Sally Brinkworth founded EGE Australia, and are not only providing valuable lessons in leadership and teamwork to people of all ages, but are also fulfilling their mission to grow the industry and help support the existence of Australia’s nearly quarter million horses.
Aptly named “Horsepower,” EGEA’s programs exemplify the profound and valuable aspects of learning your strengths and weaknesses in communication and relationships, both personally and professionally. The EGEA website is a rich resource in describing the work and its potential benefits: http://www.equineguidededucation.com.au/
Well written Ashley. We are forging ahead down under.