Equine Assisted Learning

Team-building With Horses using Equine Assisted Psychotherapy in Toledo


Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Our passion is in understanding the behavior of people and the behavior of equine. It is a wonderful concept to blend the two. Our instructors are  Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (Eagala) certified. Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning.  It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a horse professional working with the clients and horses to address treatment goals.  address mental health and personal development needs.   

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Equine Assisted Team Building

Equine Assisted Team Building provides experiential training in groups specifically geared toward working together in teams. Team building with the assistance of horses is fun, enlightening and is retained. This type of learning is strength based and solution focused. Horses provide instant honest feedback so participants can experience freedom from judgment, just authentic responses to actions and interactions. When your team shifts, it's evidenced right away in the actions of the horses. This is an emotionally safe environment for teams to grow and learn. Every team building experience is customized for your team. A Team-building with Horses Workshop can help:

  • Teams become more productive by learning new ways to collaborate
  • Teams who need to reach higher levels of effectiveness through better communication
  • A team that is ready to kick off a new working relationship.
  • Groups working through diversity issues.
  •  Groups who are bogged down with the old way of doing things.

Leadership Traning with Horses

Watching wild horses interact socially and fight for positional power mirrors our own emotions and feelings. As leaders, we are caught between two forces: The one we need to tame or put under control and the other is our unbridled passion. Horses are used as this incredible metaphor for leaders based on revolving themes such as leadership, partnership, relationship, trust and communication. As a leader, you need to be emotionally stable, and possess a high degree of emotional Intelligence (EQ) yet be passionate about your work. Using horses in leadership training creates experiential opportunities for exploring and expanding our human potential. Experiential learning is one of the most effective ways to learn. These experiences teach skills for developing intuition, compassion, boundaries and communication. Horses give us a way to explore ourselves as energetic beings and to develop the ability to communicate with others more skillfully. Essentially, we work in the horse arena to be better prepared for the business arena. Horses also promote cross-cultural interaction and participation in an ever- changing work environment. All activities are done on the ground (no riding) and NO prior horse experience is necessary. Horses help create leaders who: 

  • Have the needs of the group in mind.  
  • Accepts responsibility for making decisions.  
  • Can communicate a clear vision. 
  • Has earned the trust of the group. 
  • Delivers hope through personal commitment.

About the Instructor

Deborah Duke is an experiential Learning instructor who teaches people that the most effective communication relies on our non-verbal actions and personal motivations as much as it does rational thought and speaking. “Horses are this incredible metaphor for leaders and leadership based on themes revolving around partnership, relationship, trust and communication.”

Duke Farm offers many different programs ranging from a few hours to multiple days. When people have difficulty getting a horse to do something they want it to do, it stems from a lack of trust on the horse’s part. By teaching people how to get the horse to trust them and follow their directions, Duke is teaching people how to be leaders without using words.

By taking away speech, because horses don’t respond to speech, the participants are forced to work together as a team to communicate with the horse on a more visceral, holistic level.


The Lead Mare (ppt)