Equine Learning Experiences Australia Magazine May 2012


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This is a magazine that Equine Learning Experiences Australia and Finding Futures clients who participated in the 10 week program collated together. It is a collection of stories and pictures from the program outlining the love , laughter and learning that each person gained from their 10 week experience. Enjoy!!!

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Equine Learning Experiences Australia Magazine May 2012

  1. 1. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012       Finding  Futures  Equine  Learning  Program    Class  of  May  2012:  Billy  Jo  Curle,  Jake  Plover,  Ashley  walker,  Miranda  Pugh,  Brodie  Foster,  Emma  Rose,  Brannon  McDonald.  Program  Director:  Emily  McVeigh  Co  Facilitators:  Matthew  Thomas,  Cindy  Jacobs,  Paul  McVeigh,  Sally  Slew,  Razzle  Dazzle,  January  Jones,  Maddy   1        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  2. 2. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012          Equine   Learning   Experiences   Australia’   and   ‘Finding   Futures’  participants   have   come   to   the   end   of   their   first   10   week  equine   learning   program.   And   to   celebrate   the   fun   and  learning  that  has  come  about,  ELEA  and  the  participants  have  taken   the   time   to   document   their   experiences   and   the  personal  development  that  has  come  from  the  program.         2        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  3. 3. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012       Finding  Futures  Equine  Learning  program     Billy  Jo  Curle  -­‐  May  2012      “The  equine  learning  program  covers  a  lot  of  skills  and  activity’s  that  I  wish  I  could  have  participated  in  three  years  ago  when  welfare  first  took  my  two  girls  (Billiska  and  Cheryl)  off  me;  I  think  this  course  would  have  helped  and  can  help  the  other  people  out  there  who  are  going  through  the  similar  problems  as  I  am  going  through,  I  think  the  course  would  have  had  worked  a  great  deal  more  back  then  but  it’s  better  late  than  never  and  the  equine  learning  program  has  helped  me  quite  a  lot  over  the  past  ten  weeks,  I  have  a  better  understanding  of  thing  that  are  happening  around  me  and  to  me,  I  have  a  lot  more  confidence  now  then  I  had  when  I  first  started  this  course  if  something  is  bothering  me  I  deal  with  it  or  I  say  what’s  on  my  mind  (  being  congruence  matching  my  inside  feelings  with  my  outside  feeling,).   3        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  4. 4. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012      People  may  not  like  me  for  it  but  it  saves  me  from  bottling  up  my  feelings  and  doing  something  stupid,  I  have  also  never  been  good  with  working  in  groups  or  team  work,  I  was  always  picked  on  when  I  was  younger  but  that  changed  very  quickly  with  this  course  by  the  second  week  in  my  small  group  were  having  a  lot  of  fun  working  as  a  team,  problem  solving  and  even  looked  at  me  for  leadership  which  I  had  never  been  before  and  the  most  I  have  gotten  a  lot  of  things  out  of  this  course  is  my  writing  and  a  lot  of  confidence.”     Billy  Jo  Curle   4        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  5. 5. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012       JAKE  PLOVER   FINDING  FUTURES  EQUINE  LEARNING  PROGRAM   Feb    -­‐  May  2012    We  work  with  the  horses  for  ten  weeks.    We  did  grounding  with  the  horses  to  learn  about  the  5  senses.    I  learnt  to  feel  more  of  my  environment  other  than  to  think,  this  means  we  can  get  a  lot  more  from  our  environment.    We  also  did  work  on  leadership  skills;  I  learnt  that  a  good  leader  needs  to  be  supportive,  honest  and  loyal.    I  then  practiced  using  these  leadership  skills  on  ‘Sally’  around  an  obstacle  course.     5        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  6. 6. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012    When   we   did  the   grounding  exercise  I  said  I  was   relaxed  but   I   was   not  being  congruent   and  even   though   I  said   I   was  relaxed   I   was  feeling   a   bit  annoyed   about   my   TV   breaking   that   morning.  Sally  then  reflected  off  that  and  bit  poor  ‘January’.  Emily  asked  me  what  was  going  on  and  asked  me  to  be  congruent,  I  then  told  her  what  I  was  really  feeling   and   that   ‘Sally’   was   just   reflecting   my  annoyance.  Emily  explained  that  being  congruent  is  important.  We   learnt   about   honesty,   teamwork,        congruence.  We  did  problem  solving  we  did  clear  communication,   empathy   we   did   work   on  authentic   self   voice   and   false   self   voices.   6        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  7. 7. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012    Authentic   self   voice   is   when   we   really   believe  something.   An   example   would   be   ‘I   am   a   good  person’.   An   example   of   a   false   self   voice   would   be  ‘I  am  an  idiot’,  these  are  things  that  other  people  have   told   me.   Emily   explained   this   is   someone  else’s  opinion  and  is  a  false  self  voice.    We  worked  work  on  body  language,  I  learnt  that  people  read  a   lot   from   the   way   our   body   is.   For   example   if   our  shoulders  are  tight,  then  people  can  think  we  are  worried   about   something.   If   we   are   relaxed   our  bodies  are  relaxed.  the   biggest   learning   I   will   take   from   the   program  and  use  in  my  life  is  asking  for  help.   7        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  8. 8. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012      Brannon  has  learnt  that  if  he  wants  the  horses  to  connect  with  him  he  needs  to  ground  himself  and  be  mindful  to  the  present  moment.    He  has  also  learnt  that  applying  force  to  get  a  horse  to  do  something  will  not  work.    He  is  learning    that  his  body  language  and  energy  will  have  a  direct  effect  on  how  the  horses  respond  to  him.    Brannon  is  now  going  to  start  applying  this  increase  in  self  awareness  to  both  his  personal  and  professional  relationships.     -­‐ Brannon  McDonald  -­‐                                             8        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  9. 9. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012      Miranda  Pugh      One on One Activity- entrainmentWhile stroking and engaging with Razzle I felt warm, peaceful, relaxed and at ease with her. Mybody was relaxed without any tension. Breathing was steady and I was completely focused on her. Ifelt connected to her, didn’t want to leave her side. Felt completely accepted, this made me feelemotional and teary. This feeling stayed with me as I drove away from session. I felt loved. Justwanted to keep cuddling and stroking Razzle, I felt distant from the outside world. She wanted to benear me and not run away. Felt warm and fuzzy for the rest of the evening. Razzle is so precious. Ifelt something being released from me, not sure what! Didn’t want to return to reality. Razzle was sowarm.While focusing on leaf alone my eyes began to ache and my body became tight. I started feelingtired, it became hard to stand and stay focused on leaf. When I could focus on my wholeenvironment I was more relaxed, calm, peaceful and warm. Grounding myself calmed my minddown; I felt warmth around my body. Got a little startled when horses made a noise.False and authentic self-voice- We need to be true to our feelings. We don’t need to dosomething just to impress someone. Being false leads to unhappiness.Team Work- working together to complete a task. It involves clear communication andbeing open to suggestions from other people. Including everybody, regardless of theirabilities everybody’s contribution is valuable.Observations VS Interpretations- How each person views the world and theircircumstances is different. What I interpret as cute someone else might think is ugly. Butthey can’t dispute the colour of something unless their colour blind.When we set up the obstacle course without instructions people did the course the way theyfelt comfortable to do so even if it was meant to be done the opposite or a different way. 9        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  10. 10. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012    POEMLet it go, let it outLet it all unravelLet it be and it will beA path on which to travelThe horses were so loyal to us, week to week. They seemed to want to keep the connection with us;they drew us near to them. I felt a bond with them and they seemed to feel the same.Our personnel boundaries need to be flexible depending on situation we are in. Ourpersonnel space is the area an arm’s width or so around us.I have also become more aware of what I value and what I need to protect in my life. It’s okto stand up for myself.Anchoring ActivityMy highlight during this activity was having Maddie watch my every move; I felt connectedto her, and didn’t want to move to far away from her. I found it interesting how she justwatched me with no desire to move. I felt safe around her and drawn back to her when Istrayed too far. While grounding myself I felt peaceful, my body felt warm and my feet feltlike they were being pulled or drawn into the earth. I felt steady. I felt energy being releasedfrom my back and legs. I wanted the horses to come closer so I could stroke them. I learntwe can have a connection to people from a distance without being in their face all the time.There’s some sort of energy, not sure what.It’s like I’m becoming free or freer. 10        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  11. 11. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012    This week I really enjoyed heart activity where I connected to Razzles, I didn’t want to leave her side.She seemed to want to be near me to which made me feel attached and drawn to her. I became lostand in a trance, time felt like it stopped for a while, all I wanted to do was to keep stroking andhugging her. Couldn’t feel her heart beat, but then again I can never find my own pulse but I musthave one somewhere. My heart was drawn to her, she was pulling me in. Once finished and I let hergo, I noticed she followed me back to the group watching me the whole way. When I sat down shewas still watching me. I kept thinking “you can leave now, but at the same time didn’t want her to.”I felt loved, special, accepted and drawn to her.BoundariesOur personnel boundaries need to be flexible depending on situation we are in. Ourpersonnel space is the area an arm’s width or so around us. I have always had trouble withthis either invading people’s space or letting people walk all over me. I seem to have noboundaries then get hurt so I end up with a 6 foot fence around me and don’t let anyone inincluding people I trust most. I put myself out for people and they take advantage of me andI feel intimidated and used. Working with the horses has helped to improve myunderstanding of boundaries. I have also become more aware of what I value and what Ineed to protect in my life. I have a right to feel safe. It’s been great to get a visual of whatI’ve been doing experiencing for as long as I remember. When the horses invaded my worldI felt unsafe and became protective and defensive. At the same time felt I want to welcomethem in and give them a hug, felt compassion for them and a little guilty. 11        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  12. 12. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012    Not understanding this concept in the past has made me feel isolated both in the workplaceand in general life. I don’t remember not being scared to some degree in any job, fear oflosing job has always been there no matter how well I seem to be doing or what people tellme. I’ve always felt different to everyone else, like I’m missing something.More recent years have seen me find some true friends who seem to accept my faults in thisarea and use looks or phases to pull me up. For the 1st time in my life I can be myself withoutfear.When my boundaries are violated my whole world suffers, I become distant from everyone inmy life even if they had nothing to do with the reason. Whenever I stand up for myself, I amtold that I am mentally ill in need of serious help from a psychologist. Most of the time ittakes me ages to build my confidence up to do this, when it goes wrong I shut off completely.This results in me developing my own little world where I rarely interact with others aroundme on a meaningful level. I tune into my music and most people close to me can tell ifsomething has happen by the music I have playing in the car. If I am happy motivating orsilly songs are playing but if something has happened angry or depressing songs or songs ofresilience or revenge are playing.I hope to change this cycle and the horses have given me more of an understanding. I amlearning that what I want counts, and that people need to respect me as much as I need torespect them. I am worth at least this. It’s ok to stand up for myself.Overall my equine learning experience has been an amazing journey of self discovery. My selfawareness has greatly improved. My confidence and self-worth has improved. I loved feeling theconnection with the horses. The learning I have gained has been invaluable in my life. I feel moreequipped to keep a job in the future. Grounding would be helpful because it would help me see thebigger picture in a situation. Knowing I am able to make a valuable contribution will increase myconfidence to see myself as an equal in the workplace and make worthwhile contributions to a team. Ifeel freer and walk with a spring in my step. I realised my contribution and view of the world isvaluable and can help others in their journey. Sometimes the best things can come along whenyou’re at you least expect and willing to try anything.Miranda Pugh – ELEA participant May 2012 12        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  13. 13. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012        Learning!                                                                                                                                              Wellbeing     Equine            We  did  a  lot  of  work  with  the  horses  (Razzle  Dazzle,  Maddie,  Sally  and  January!)  Before  any  activity  that  we  did  for  the  day  we  did  grounding  and  the  horses  calmed  down  a  lot  and  sometimes  joined  in  the  gathering  with  us  while  we  where  grounding  ourselves.  The  other  activities  we  did  where  clear  communication,  body  language,  congruence  /  Incongruence,  leadership,  false  self  voice  /  Authentic  self  voice,  problem  solving  and  overcoming  obstacles  in  your  life,  team  work,  observation  vs  interpretation,  laser  eye  vs  soft  eye,  mind  body  method,  and  boundaries.  But  to  the  end  of  the  courses  I  learnt  a  lot  from  Emily  in  the  ten  weeks  and  I  can  use  everything  for  the  10  day  period  of  time.  Brodie  Foster    -­‐May  2012     13        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  14. 14. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012             Ashley  Walker        On  Thursday  we  all  go  to  the  horse  program  to  work  with  the  three  horses  we  brush  them  and  we  get  to  paint  them  and  i  felt  like  i  didn’t  want  to  leave  them  and  razzle  she  look  like  she  was  going  to  go  to  sleep  we  walk  are  around  the  yard  she  made  me  felt  so  calm  to  be  there  and  maddy  she  love  it  when  i  brush  her  then  there  was  sally  she  was  calm  when  i  got  to  work  with  her  she  love  it  trust  her  with  razzle  i  had  so   14        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  15. 15. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012    much  fun  working  with  her  she  made  me  feel  so  happy  and  the  last  day  i  felt  like  crying  cos  it  was  so  sad  to  leave  to  all  the  horse  hope  someday  meet  again.  When  i  felt    uncomfortable  around  maddy  because  i  didn’t  want  her  to  step  on  my  foot  i  felt  emotional  .After  that  happened  i  felt  better  and  more  confident  around  horses  and  people  .  Emily  explained  that  i  had  entrained  with  the  horse  and  that  was  a  good  thing  .  I  can  take  what  I  have  learnt  with  the  horses  to  help  me  in  different  kind’s  of  work.  –  Ashley  Walker  2012       15        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  16. 16. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012     Emma  Rose  Through  the  equine  learning  program  I  have  learnt  quite  a  lot  about  myself  through  the  horses.  The  main  subject  we  covered  which  really  stood  out    for  me  was  ‘Authentic  self  voice’  and  ‘False  self  voice’.  I  have  learnt  to  listen  to  and  trust  my  authentic  self  voice  rather  than  my  false  self  voice  (which  is  how  others  perceive  me  and  think  I  should  act  or  feel  about  certain  things),  being  true  to  myself  and  not  just  going  with  everyone  else’s  expectations  of  me.  The  grounding  exercise  has  also  helped  me  a  lot  in  everyday  life.  I  tend  to  overthink  and  stress  about  everything  however  mundane,  so  using  the  grounding  exercise  has  lowered  my  anxiety  and  helped  me  relax  a  little.  I  have  really  enjoyed  spending  time  with  the  horses  each  week  and  always  leave  feeling  content  and  relaxed.         16        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  17. 17. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012                        This  magazine  has  been  proudly  compiled  by  ‘Equine  Learning  Experiences    Australia’  and  the  ‘Finding  Futures’  participants,  Miranda  Pugh,  Emma  Rose,  Brodie  Foster,  Billy.Jo  Curle,  Jake  Plover,  Ashley  Walker  and  Brannon  McDonald.As  the  writer  ,  developer  and  primary  facilitator  of  the  program  ,  I  feel  humbled  and  proud  to  be  part  of  the  growth  and  development  of  such  an  amazing  group  of  people  over  the  past  10  weeks.  Each  week  I  was  met  with  eager  and  happy  faces.  A  group  of  people  with  a  willingness  to  learn,  laugh,  cry  but  more  importantly  to  grow.  Thanks  so  much  to  the  ELEA  herd  of  horses  for  your  amazing  wisdom  and  authenticity.  Even  when  we  could  not  see  the  truth,  you  were  able  to  kindly  and  graciously  point  it  out!!    A  huge  thank  you  to  my  husband  Paul  of  which  this  program  would  not  be  possible  without  all  your  support  and  input  to  so  many  components  of  ELEA.    To  the  team  of  co-­‐faclitators,  Paul  McVeigh,    Cindy  Jacobs  and  Matthew  Thomas  .  And  last  but  not  least    to  Tracy  Landt  from  Unicorn  Park  Equestrian  Centre  for  your  wonderful  facilities  and  support.   17        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012    
  18. 18. Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia    May  2012           18        ©    Equine  Learning  Experiences  Australia  2012