Tell me more about the activities with horses

Each activity with the horses lasts up to 30 minutes and is followed by a group discussion led by our facilitators.  Experiential activities with horses are used to target beliefs, habits, and behavioral responses.  These are examined during activity debriefing so participants can gain greater personal insight about themselves, and how they interact as a group to accomplish goals.

All activities are on the ground (not riding) in a covered arena.  No previous experience with horses is needed.


How long is a workshop?

For a group of 6 to 12, a minimum of one day is recommended. Many clients come for the day, and gain valuable lessons for life.  We also offer personal development series.  Check our Facebook page for schedule.


Is it therapy?

No. Our facilitation model is based on adult experiential learning, and facilitation theories and methods (Kolb, Pfeiffer- Jones).


What do I wear?

Remember that you are dressing to work with horses. Wear clothes that can get dirty, and closed toe shoes with socks—no sandals, no exception.


What about weather?

Programs are held year-round.  In the Northeast, winter temperatures hover around or below freezing; summers are warm. You will spend time in a covered but unheated arena. Dress appropriately for the weather. It is best to layer clothing during all seasons.


What if I have allergies?

If you have known allergies, please consult your health care professional for recommendations. We keep a clean environment, but it is a farm with animals and plants.


Do I need to be fit or athletic to do this program?

No.  There is no riding involved and any level of fitness is fine. If you can walk a half mile, you are fit enough to participate.  If you have special needs, and prefer not to walk, you can still be an active team participant. Anyone can enjoy learning from horses in this environment.


Why do you use horses, not dogs or other animals?

Horses are prey animals who depend on their accurate reading of your intentions to survive.  Each horse is hard-wired to read your non-verbal communication, and gives you instant feedback.  In herds, horses have an organizational model that most executives find inspiring.


What if I have never worked with horses?

You learn about safety around horses as soon as you begin the workshop, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you learn to communicate with our gentle giants. Horses are confidence builders: there is no right or wrong with the activities involving horses.


What if I have experience with horses?

People who love horses love this experience because it gives them a chance to observe, and learn from horses in a different environment. Our experiential coaching is not about horsemanship or riding; rather, you gain insights about yourself from horses, other participants and our facilitators—you get 360 feedback in real time!


Is it safe?

Safety always comes first. While accidents can happen, we take precautions to make the experience safe and fun for everyone by constant monitoring and feedback throughout the exercises with horses.  In addition, our horses are carefully selected for their “people skills” and we maintain our facility to rigorous safety standards.


Who handles catering?

We love good food, and are lucky to be in the Hudson Valley, where excellent caterers and fresh farm produce are readily available.  We offer several choices of seasonal menus.  Snack and beverages are available all day.  Please let us know if you have any food allergies.


How about lodging?

Overnight accommodations are available near our facility. We’ll be happy to help you with area inns.


Where is the data showing that working with horses makes a difference?

While a lot of our knowledge is anecdotal, we are working hard to bring science to the field of Equine Experiential Education. We worked with the University of Kentucky on their pilot study of horses and emotional intelligence. We welcome opportunities to discuss other research projects.


Where can I learn about equine assisted learning (EAL)?

Visit the sites of organizations that offer certifications in EAL, such as Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A), The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), and PATH International.



The Horse Institute

21 Finkle Road Ancramdale, NY 12503



The Horse Institute

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