In ancient times Original People learned to survive by observing the animals and learning from the plants. One could say that nature and animals were the first teachers and guides for human evolution.
The Medicine Horse Way programs partner with the wisdom of nature in helping people take a courageous look at the unconscious patterns that limit their ability to thrive in life. Special attention is given to creating an environment that is safe and respectful of the needs, ideals, and vulnerabilities of both human and animal participants.
Antelope Medicine signifies knowledgeable action. Change requires action. Horse Medicine signifies power, when you have the tools to access your power you will then be able to make the changes in your life that you are hoping for.
Carol Roush, founder of Medicine Horse Ranch in 2003, believes that all beings deserve the opportunity to enjoy a fulfilling life. "We each have a purpose for being here on the earth at this time, a purpose that no one else can fulfill. We each have the responsibility to attend to our individual evolution so that we can bring our specific gifts to the whole. The intention of all Medicine Horse Way programs is to teach the tools we all need in order to be the change we want to see in the world."
MEDICINE HORSE WAY
BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES
All Medicine Horse Way Recommended Instructors, Advanced Instructors, and Master Instructors are committed to the following philosophy and professional practices.
The MEDICINE HORSE WAY approach to Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is an interactive, innovative learning format that actively engages horses in the work of advanced human development. We teach personal empowerment, boundary setting, authentic community building, mindfulness, mutually respectful connections with nature and all beings of the earth, connection with intuition/inner guidance, the role of spirituality in our life path, and emotional/social intelligence skills. Our intention is to assist and support clients in learning a new way of being, one that emphasizes authenticity, collaboration and experimentation, to “Be the Change We Want to See in the World”.
We know there are hundreds of pathways to get from where you are to where you want to be, and we know that Medicine Horse Way isn’t for everyone. What you will get from our programs are life skills that you can easily transfer into your own life and truly change the things that aren't working for you. You owe it to yourself to do a bit of research, read a few websites, interview a few instructors, and then if Medicine Horse Way resonates with you, we will welcome you into our community and we'll do our best to help you heal and grow into a happier heart centered life lived with joy and deep peace.
The following are the guiding principals and standards of practice for all Medicine Horse Way Instructors
We shall represent ourselves only within the parameters of our experience, competence and professional training and act accordingly.
We pursue personal and professional development through further education, training, supervision, and practice, including continuing education as provided by MEDICINE HORSE WAY. At all times we maintain a level of introspection and an awareness of our own process so as to create a deeper connection to our authentic selves that will translate into effective teaching.
We shall create a safe setting for clients and horses and ask clients to sign a written safety agreement. We ensure that all EFL activities are designed and conducted in a manner that respects and provides for the safety, dignity and welfare of horses and clients.
Through our interview and/or application process, we make a concerted effort to determine that individuals applying to attend an EFL group possess has the ability to SAFELY participate in and benefit from the group experience and activities with horses.
In choosing instructional activities we make every effort to ensure that the inherent level of emotional and physical challenge will be appropriate to the emotional agility, skill level, and well-being of the horses and clients involved.
HORSES AS PARTNERS
We honor and respect our horses as our partners and co-facilitators in this work.
We regard the welfare of the horses entrusted to our care as paramount to the work of EFL. The horses’ choice to engage in this work or with a particular client is honored, trusted, and supported at all times, as is their health and care.
WELL-BEING OF THE CLIENTS
We are guided by our desire to co-create a new way of being and acting in the world with clients and horses and do our best to “Be the Change”.
We respect the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual autonomy of our clients. We listen to their sharing and provide a safe container for their personal processes to unfold. We respect the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality and self-determination in making decisions. We support them in considering the consequences of their choices, and empower them to chart a course for their lives by helping them differentiate between false self-beliefs and the activation of the authentic self.
We are honest, fair and forthcoming in our professional relationships. We work to clarify our roles and obligations, accept responsibility for our behavior and decisions and adapt our methods to the needs of clients and horses. We maintain an awareness of the effect that our own belief systems, values, needs and limitations may have on our EFL work.
We are aware of our influential position with respect to clients and actively avoid exploiting their trust AND vulnerability. We are sensitive to and respectful of the fact that clients and horses have varying degrees of comfort with physical contact. Except when safety is a factor, clients and horses have the right to limit or refuse physical contact and to set appropriate boundaries with Instructors, other clients and other horses.
Because of our ability to influence the lives of others and affect the field of EFL, we exercise special care when offering our professional recommendations and opinions.
We ensure that all our staff, volunteers and/or assistants involved in EFL programs or trainings are adequately trained to perform their tasks competently, and that they are aware of and knowledgeable about MEDICINE HORSE WAY principals and the Authentic Community guidelines.
We shall maintain clear and honest business practices with clients, employees, other Instructors and the public, including making clear agreements regarding appointments, workshop times and fees.
When a workshop is created and advertised we will fully commit to it from start to finish, avoiding cancelations as much as possible. Our marketing strategy is to “under promise and over deliver”.