Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy share the essential element of experiential, accelerated learning and personal growth. Imagine accomplishing more in a few sessions than could be achieved in months of traditional therapy or life coaching! Equine Alliance Youth Foundation is proud to offer these innovative therapeutic programs serving San Luis Obispo county residents. 
Equine Assisted Learning, or EAL, is groundwork-centered, interactive learning in the dynamic presence of horses. Unlike horseback riding instruction or therapeutic riding, EAL takes place on the ground first, and emphasizes the non-verbal relationship between horse and human. Participants are encouraged to closely observe and interact with the horse, in order to understand and challenge their own assumptions and habits. EAL can improve self-confidence and social skills, help us to become congruent in mind and body, and shed light on our unconscious feelings and behaviors. Equine Assisted Learning can unblock creativity, non-threateningly reveal the key to resolving crisis in our lives and relationships, and help to illuminate the path forward. EAL sessions are facilitated by an Equine Specialist and designed, with the client, in a collaborative, individualized process. 
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, or EAP, is a nationally recognized field that complements and accelerates traditional mental health counseling. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, EAP is a short-term approach, and can be a wonderful addition or alternative to traditional talk therapy. EAP is incredibly effective for identifying sources of trauma, and for increasing the accuracy of assessments and the focus of treatment plans. Perhaps most remarkable is the potential to restore a client’s sense of emotional balance and congruency in relatively few sessions. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy can be used as a powerful tool for treatment of attention deficit disorder, substance abuse issues, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and low self-esteem. Interacting with horses — dynamic and inspiring living beings — adds metaphoric and reflective strength to conventional therapy, and creates a non-threatening environment for revealing and accepting the authentic self. 
Equine-assisted therapy is an internationally-recognized intervention, known to be especially effective in helping young people with issues of low self-esteem, communication, regulation of behavior, problem-solving and coping skills. Horses have an extraordinary ability to read the body language and mirror the inner struggles of clients. Equine Assisted Therapy is a powerful way of helping these young people to find their own internal controls and ability to manage difficult feelings and difficult situations.