Equine Facilitated Mindfulness (EFM)
EFM is a discipline intended to promote personal mindfulness by working with horses. The basic premise is that safe horse handling requires the horseman/woman to be mindful of the horse, the environment, and themselves every moment they are with the horse. By default, simply being with a horse is practicing mindfulness.
EFM is not psychological therapy. It does not involve the diagnosis or treatment of any mental health disorder. It does not include the practice of yoga or meditation.
Natural Horsemanship and Mindfulness
There is a natural synergy between mindfulness and horsemanship. To be with a horse requires you to be mindful. When you are (truly) with a horse you are practicing mindfulness. The principles of natural horsemanship and mindfulness form the overarching theme for the practice of Equine Facilitated Mindfulness.
The EFM Program
EFM is based on a foundation of safe horse handling practices and is informed throughout by the principles of natural horsemanship and mindfulness. Upon demonstrating competency in the basic skills to safely handle a horse on the ground, participants have the option of continuing their equine facilitated mindfulness practice in one of two streams: Mindful Companionship; or, Liberty Training – Strengthening the Connection to Your Horse. Each of these program components is described in the paragraphs that follow.
Safe Horse Handling
The safe horse handling module is a prerequisite for the Mindful Companionship or the Liberty Training Stream. It involves seven to ten hours of one-on-one instruction that will prepare you to safely handle a horse from the ground. At the end of the module you will know the most important practices to keep you and the horse you are working with safe.
The safe horse handling module is outlined below. Each of the links provides an outline of what will be covered in each session. In each outline you will see a number of questions that will help get you thinking in the right direction. Please do your best to give these questions consideration before you arrive and know that you will have answers to them before you go:) You will also find links to supplementary materiel which you can choose to read if you wish; however, it is not necessary to do so prior to the session.
EFM Session 2 – Becoming the Leader Your Horse Needs
EFM Session 3 – Using The Application and Release of Pressure to Motivate a Horse
EFM Session 4 – Enhancing your Equine Communication Skills
EFM Session 5 – Building Trust
EFM Session 6 – Putting it all Together
EFM Session 7 – Safe Handling Assessment
IIn this stream we will explore interesting ways for you to develop a deep and meaningful relationship with an equine mindfulness companion, one where you and your horse will be able to enjoy living in the present moment together. This stream will be based on activities such as grooming and walking the horse, as well as teaching the horse some ground based games you can have fun doing together. This stream will be offered as a combination of one on one instructional sessions and independent practice under the terms of a horse lease
Liberty Training – Strengthening the Connection to Your Horse
No matter what equine discipline you are drawn to – dressage, trail riding, or anything else – liberty training can strengthen your connection to your horse by improving your leadership and equine communication skills. Practice in this stream will be based (in part) on the teachings of Jonathon Field who in turn was taught by Pat Parelli. This stream will be offered as a combination of one on one instructional sessions and independent practice under the terms of a horse lease.
Introduction to EFM
Introduction to EFM is a complimentary session that affords you the opportunity to meet me and horses and will help you decide if this is something you might like doing. If you would like to come out for an introduction please call or text Brendon at 613-438-9642. The link below gives you an idea of what to expect and provides some administrative details you need to know such as directions to the barn, safety rules, and liability waivers.