Frequently Asked Question 

Please find below some frequently asked questions regarding Skerrett Equine and the unique services we offer.

What would someone expect from a session with one of the horses and a Facilitator? 

When I conduct an individual session my first focus is on getting to know the person I am working with. I want to build rapport with them and understand a bit about who they are and what they want to get out of the session. I feel that it is very important to create, and hold, a safe space for the client. This allows them to explore deeper aspects of themselves and feel comfortable in expressing how they feel.

Then depending on the nature of the session, or the areas that the client is choosing to focus on, I would select one or more experiential based activities that involve the horse and the client. The activities I choose embody the qualities that the client would like to develop. Some of the activities are leadership based and others are more subjective and are based on self-reflection and self-discovery.

If a client chooses a reflective session then the focus will be on allowing the horse to guide them to discover their hearts desire. As human beings we often ignore our hearts agenda in favour of listening to our intellect or what other people think of us. Therefore we are often disconnected to ourselves and our true feelings which causes us to become disconnected to people in our life. So the main goal of a reflective session is to reconnect people with their hearts agenda and through this reconnection the client rediscovers a sense of self love and authenticity.

If the client chooses a leadership based session then the focus will be on the clients individual style of leadership and allowing the horse to guide the client to find a more balanced and effective style of leading. Horses are very perceptive to our body language and energy and therefore they respond very accurately to the energy that we bring into our interaction with them. The horses feedback allows me to guide the client to embodying the elements of a more empowered, effective and balanced style of leadership. 

As a result clients will develop important insights and awareness around their own behaviour patterns. I support the participants in actively exploring these insights through their own engagement with the horses. The result is that the client can then directly embody these new insights and experiences, allowing them to gain trust in this new way of being.

The important difference with using horses for personal development is their unique ability to facilitate life changing and transformative experiential learning. Horses have no agenda and reflect perfectly your current way of acting and being in a non-judgemental way. Horses respond to subtle shifts in your energy, emotions and body language giving you instant real time feedback to help direct your learning.



What sort of people are you reaching out to? What kind of people have been coming? 

This style of personal development is suited to anyone that is interested in learning more about themselves. I have worked with people from the corporate sector attempting to improve their teams and leaders as well as people that are suffering from mental illnesses. I have also worked with everyday people that just want help navigating life’s challenges and struggles. This work is based on the premise that we are all sharing this experience of being human together. We are all on some level seeking to gain a greater sense of meaning, purpose and fulfilment on our journey through life regardless of who we are.  



Is this type of work aimed at people with mental health conditions?

The work I do with horses can greatly assist individuals with mental health conditions. However, the benefits of this type of work are broad spectrum and can also help those who are simply looking to change and experience true personal growth and transformation. The work I do also has a special place in professional development. For example, team building and leadership training, which is an area that I am also very passionate about.



Why are horses specifically good at helping people…and in what way?

Thousands of years of nonverbal communication between horses in herd environments has made them masterful at reading and communicating body language and intention. Even the subtlest shift in energy or emotion from a horse can be sensed and interpreted by another horse without the need for verbalisation.

As human beings, our body continuously transmits subtle energy which is consistent with our mental and emotional state. As our mental and emotional state changes, so does our subtle energy and body language. What makes Horses so good at helping people is their exceptional ability to pick up on these subtle energies and and reflect them back to us like a mirror image, they respond with incredible accuracy to how we really are in the present moment.

When we are authentic and we allow ourselves to be emotionally vulnerable horses always respond in an amazingly supportive, nurturing and healing way. Horses honour us when we are true to ourselves and they can sense it when we are not being honest about how we feel.

Even when we try to hide our feelings horses will still respond to our underlying emotions. Horses can see through the social masks that we often wear in order to conceal how we are really feeling. The horse opens the doorway for us to let go of our persona’s and masks so we can step fully into a more authentic, and connected way of being. With horses, you can’t fake it because your body language and energy never lies.

Horses then become a guide for us as we explore the inner terrain of our psyche allowing us to deeply immerse ourselves in the depths of our emotions without getting lost or overwhelmed. This experience brings us back in touch with out true nature catalysing powerful transformation on a mental, emotional and physical level.



Is it a holistic approach? How would you term it? 

Yes, I believe it is very holistic as horses are used therapeutically to address many different mental, emotional and physical disorders and conditions. Some of those disorders and conditions include:

  • Post-Traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Addictions
  • Eating Disorders

Horse related therapy has certain distinctions and modalities that depend on what the individual facilitator focuses on. When facilitators focus purely on mental health issues it is classified as Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and when it is more focussed on personal development it is classified as Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning.

The work that I love to do is more focussed on experiential learning and personal development, but again it can benefit anyone that is open and receptive. 



Who came up with the initial idea? 

The idea of using horses therapeutically dates back to the ancient Greeks. The earliest recorded writings came from Hippocrates who was a physician and mentioned the therapeutic value of horses in the healing process. The benefits of using horses therapeutically was also mentioned in 17th century writings where horse riding was prescribed for people with gout, neurological disorder and low morale.

The majority of modern day Equine related therapies have emerged in the last 80 years, which has brought with it a much more widespread awareness and understanding of its uses and benefits.

I chose to study with Linda Kohanov who developed Eponaquest, her own model of Equine Facilitated Experiential learning and personal development (EFEL) in the 1990’s. I found that her model of EFEL resonated with me the most out of all the models that I experienced. I completed my apprenticeship with her in 2014, becoming qualified in Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning (EFEL) as well as Riding Focussed instruction (RFI) and have been practicing it ever since. Even though I had already completed a diploma in counselling I really wanted to integrate my love for horses and my horsemanship skills into a much more embodied way of empowering people.



How have horses helped Ben in his life?

Horses have helped me in so many ways I don’t know where to begin. I grew up around horses on my fathers farm in Tamworth and I have always felt that I have an affinity with them… even when I was a child. I think the biggest way horses have helped me is through allowing me to ‘see the forest from the trees’ so to speak. There are so many times where horses have helped me realise what is important in life and what is not. At the same time they offered me an avenue of self reflection and healing that has transformed my life. During my career as a horse trainer I realised that training horses wasn’t really about the horse, it was about me and the energy that I brought into the relationship with the horse. This made me realise the power of horses in assisting people in personal growth and transformation.



What services do you offer?

We offer a variety of services including:

  • Individual sessions
  • Family sessions
  • Personal growth workshops
  • Teambuilding workshops
  • Leadership Training

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