What can you learn from a horse about leadership? Ask Grant Golliher, local Jackson Hole Horse Whisperer, and you will get quite the explanation and if you’re lucky, first hand experience in the corral. Grand Dynamics International has worked with Grant Golliher of Diamond Cross Ranch to facilitate the transference of the lessons from the corral to personal and professional lives of the participants. This article highlights a few insights around the idea of Equine Experiential Learning.
If you are interested in a powerfully facilitated development experience with a renown horse whisperer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, contact us today to find out more or book your next corporate retreat experience.
At first glance, working with horses to develop leadership skills, cohesive teams and highly efficient sales professionals may look a bit woo-woo. It isn’t. Over 200 peer-reviewed research studies in everything from affective neuroscience, biochemistry, applied behavioral economics, performance psychology, adult learning styles and even quantum physics to correlate and explain what is actually happening in the horse-human interaction.
The method of optimizing the learning experience involves an approach that frames the lessons the participants are about to experience, in specifically designed horse/human relationship-based exercises, first-hand for themselves. The experience of working closely with an horse in a corral, often an “unbroken” aka never been ridden before, is something that becomes powerfully etched into the memory of participants. Those memories take lessons of personal and professional growth and anchor them for the participants to as they apply and transfer the concepts to their own world. As business business metaphors are introduced throughout the exercises, eyes widen as that ah-ha moment emerges when a lesson is embraced through self-reflection and self-discovery. These kinesthetic lessons are not easily forgotten.
“Those of us employing a relationship-based approach to Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning (EFEL) in the personal and professional development business know how powerful the approach can be for our participants. The success we’ve witnessed traveling the country these past four years conducting workshops, from Hawaii to Montana to Florida, has been remarkable. We’ve seen rapid, developmental progress made in combat veterans, women leaving county jail, VA counselors, juveniles in detention, at-risk children, clinicians and business professionals. The approach delivers a powerful shift in one’s perspective of self, others and how the interplay between human beings (and horses, too) has a biochemical, neurological and psychological affect that subtly defines the nature of our relationships. Whether we’re leading a team of professionals, selling to prospects, or simply interacting with our friends and families. We know this works because we’ve seen it working.” This excerpt is from the following blog:
Efficacy of Equine Facilitate Experiential Learning
Now there’s a solid, scientific research study that confirms what we know anecdotally. Researchers Patricia Pendry and Stephanie Roeter of Washington State University published the study, “Experimental Trial Demonstrates Positive Effects of Equine Facilitated Learning on Child Social Competence”, in a 2012 edition of the professional journal, Human-Animal Interactions. Conducted as an eleven week after-school program, the study demonstrated improvements in the youth’s’ self-confidence, self-esteem, school bonding, positive social behaviors, school grades and achievement test scores. To quote Pendry and Roeter, “Results echo findings from prior correlational, anecdotal, and case study evidence, which suggest significant positive associations between participation in equine facilitated programs and various aspects of adjustment and wellbeing.