When considering Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL), many people want to know what activities they’ll be doing. It’s important to remember that EFL is not about the activity, but rather the learning and insights gained from working with horses. Given that, people STILL want to know what it looks like and what they’ll be doing during a session.
So, here are five examples of EFL activities that are perfect for corporate team learning and development:
- Horse Personality Test: In this activity, each team member (or small group) is paired up with a horse and asked to observe the horse’s behavior and body language. They then draw parallels between the horse’s behavior and their own personality traits, identifying areas where they may need to improve or develop. This activity is great for building self-awareness and promoting personal growth.
- Horse Communication Challenge: In this activity, the team observes a group of horses interacting with one another. The group is tasked with decoding what the horses are saying to one another. What each participant contributes to the story tells us a lot about themselves at the same time. We can gain insights into what’s going on for members of the team through their observations of horse communications.
- Horse Grooming: In this activity, teams are paired up with horses and tasked with grooming the horse. This activity helps teams develop empathy and emotional intelligence, as they learn to connect with and care for another living being. It also provides an opportunity for team members to bond and build trust between each other, as they might find themselves in vulnerable positions while trying to clean a horse’s hoof for example.
- Horse Leading and Following: In this activity, teams are tasked with leading a horse through a series of obstacles or challenges. The kicker is, sometimes the horses want to do these activities and sometimes they don’t. Either way it’s an enlightening experience to see how people react. Team members must learn to communicate effectively with the horse and work together to navigate the course – or not! This activity helps teams develop their leadership and teamwork skills, and provides a fun and engaging challenge that encourages creativity and resourcefulness.
- Horse Resumes: In this activity, teams are asked to create an (honest!) professional resume for the horse that they’ve been paired with. After interacting with the horse for some time (this activity goes well at the end of a longer session) the participants can describe their horse’s personality traits in workplace-speak. This can be funny and enlightening, and often shines light on some of the experiences and feelings team members have about their own workplace environment and how they and their colleagues show up.
These five creative activities are just a few examples of how EFL sessions can be structured to meet the needs and goals of your professional team. Remember though, it’s not about which activities you do! When you work with a certified EFL practitioner, participants will walk away with skills and understand that they didn’t have before, regardless of which activities they do.