Free Equine Assisted Coaching to All U.S. Veterans!
Hanaeleh is pleased to announce our Certified Equine Coaching program for U.S. military veterans. This program is sponsored by a grant from the employees of Boeing in Orange County, CA. All sessions are no-charge to U.S. Military veterans.
What is Equine Assisted Coaching?
Equine Assisted Coaching helps veterans build healthy, authentic relationships at home, work and school through meaningful engagement with horses.
There is a reason why Winston Churchill said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” He knew something about the equine species that many are just beginning to learn.
Horses operate the way a mirror does, reflecting back everything we need to see about ourselves. Sometimes the mirror shines on our greatness, joy, happiness and success, and other times it exposes the darkness and our shadow. Just being in the presence of a horse is healing for most people.
Equine Assisted Coaching transforms the human heart and spirit. Horses are very “present” beings, meaning that they do not focus so much on the past or the future, but live in the moment. They are the perfect animal to help leaders develop presence, self-confidence and awareness.
Equine Assisted Coaching allows vets to successfully transition into civilian life. ‘Breakthroughs’ occur more easily and organically than traditional coaching methods as horses do not judge people…and they have no agenda. They are large, strong animals, but they are also prey animals and therefore trust with a horse must be earned; they are brutally honest, mirroring our body language and acting accordingly.
A Veteran’s Experience With Our Program
“My participation in the Equine Assisted Coaching Program (EAC) for Veterans at Hanaeleh helped me grow in my interpersonal skills with my family and other people in my life. My strengths and struggles with my horse mirrored other relationships in my life. After weeks of building this relationship with my horse we became bonded. I cannot describe in words what it was like to accomplish a bond with my horse- just a feeling unmatched anywhere. I am grateful to Hanaeleh EAC program for giving me the opportunity to make these changes.” — Andy
- Six Week Sessions
- 2 hours Per Session
- 4-8 Veterans Per Session
- Evening and Weekend Sessions Available
- Focus on Individual Goals of Veteran
- No Cost to Veterans
Hanaeleh’s Veteran’s EAC Program is based Carolyn Resnick’s Seven Waterhole Rituals and other natural horsemanship techniques. Resnick began with watching wild horses in nature, and witnessed the rituals that create harmonious communication within a herd. Many of the bonding rituals are very clearly observed when two horses first meet, while they are grazing, and how they determine who will be the leader of the herd.
Horses train each other to fit in socially within the herd and how to keep a position of respect with one another in their everyday relationships. The goal of the EAC program is to use the lessons that allow horses to live peacefully together to teach people how to build authentic and healthy relationships in their everyday lives.
Our 6-week program focuses on Resnick’s first four watering holes, which include:
1. Sharing Territory
Veterans will learn what it means to share territory with one or more horses, both in the stall and in the arena. Sharing territory is just that; sharing the same space. Being in the same space is not the same thing as sharing; some people try to overpower the space, and some people try to hide within the space. The goal of this exercise is to learn how to share the space in equanimity. This may seem simplistic at first, but being able to share the same space in harmony with an 1,000 pound animal can sometimes be a daunting experience! Sharing territory supports veterans while making them more aware of how they both perceive others in a relationship, and how they are perceived themselves. This exercise helps veterans in building and strengthening relationships throughout their everyday lives.
2. Saying Hello
When first meeting an individual, sometimes that person can seem closed off, overly gruff, angry, or can just come on too strong. It is difficult to accurately describe these actions to another person, but as a horse is a mirror to our actions, it is immediately apparent when a person initiates a conversation with a horse. As the horse is a prey animal, he must ensure that any new relationships will not threaten his life. A person must come across as both non-threatening and genuine in order to start to gain the trust necessary to establish that first relationship. Saying hello helps to identify and teach veterans the skills to initiate that first step in the relationship. These skills in turn help them to start to establish trust in themselves and other fellow human beings.
3. Taking Territory
Taking territory is based upon the natural herd dynamics that exist within a band of horses. Each horse has a definite rank within the herd, and they must identify their own rank by interacting with other horses. In order to place higher up on the ranks, a horse must command the respect of the rest of the herd by being confident, intelligent and establishing trustworthiness. Horses who are too aggressive or too submissive will be pushed out of the herd. Taking territory teaches veterans how to establish that confidence and trustworthiness in their relationship with the horse, while still commanding respect. The exercise helps veterans establish respect and leadership in a positive way.
4. Leading from Behind
Leading from behind is based on Resnick’s observations of wild horse herds. It may seem natural for the leader to be in the front, but in reality, horses push one another from behind. The horse who is in the lead is often being asked to go forward by the horse behind him. The exercise may seem simplistic at first; how difficult is it to push a horse away? The goal, however, is not merely to push the horse away, but to give the horse cues to start and to stop using just one’s body language. People who are too submissive will not be able to move the horse forward; people who are too aggressive will be able to move the horse forward, but will not get the horse to stop, or to come back. Again, the horses are mirrors of our body language, and this exercise immediately identifies to people the physical presence they are putting out to the world. This exercise helps supports veterans by giving them a visual understanding of their own presence and their own leadership skills. The exercise helps them move through relationship and confidence issues that they may be struggling in their daily life.
How Much Does It Cost?
We never charge veterans for our services. We simply support vets who want to live more satisfying, productive lives by providing ‘a leg up’ through our six-week program.
When Is It and How Long Are the Sessions?
The EAC program is a six-week program and each session is 2 hours. Please fill out the form below for more info or e-mail our program coordinator Kelley White: [email protected]
Where Is It?
All EAC sessions are held at Hanaeleh, a non-profit horse rescue, in Trabuco Canyon, CA. A map will be furnished upon registration.
Who is My Coach?
Kelley White brings over 20 years of experience in the field of education, families and children. She began working in an alternative education setting, and this experience led her to open Coastal Mountain Youth Academy- a non-profit recovery high school for young people and their families. Her equine certification allows her to offer equine services to help individuals who have experienced trauma. This unique blend of experiences allows her to bring many different skills and tools to the individuals, families and groups that she serves to help them make a positive change in their lives.
How Do I Sign Up?
The first step to joining us for a six-week session is attending our orientation. At orientation you will get to know our Equine Team, which includes our rescued horses and hear their stories. We will also will focus on why, how and what we do in our Equine Assisted Coaching Program in detail.
If you are unable to attend orientation but would like to participate in our next session, please contact Kelley White by email: [email protected] or by phone: (949) 874-1236 to schedule an individual orientation.
Please fill out the below information below to attend our next orientation.