Joystone Pathways Equine Facilitated Wellness

What is Equine Facilitated Wellness?

Equine Facilitated Wellness, or “EFW” for short, is a term that describes programs in which humans and horses work in partnership experiencing connection, and facilitating growth.

Equine Guided Coaching falls under the category of EFW. When observing a herd of horses and herd behaviour, there are a number of small yet profound interactions that may bring to the forefront thoughts or beliefs we have about ourselves, others, our relationships, and the world. These thoughts and beliefs can create barriers between us and others. When experiencing a facilitated session with equine partners, we can observe, identify and transform the barriers to our wellbeing.

Our programs are informed by neuroscience, psychology and spirituality, and nurtured by my mentors, Mena Canonico (Mena & The Freedom Herd), Delena Austin (Wisdom Ranch & Counselling) and Sue McIntosh (Healing Hooves).

Sessions are designed to support individuals, couples and families in transforming their experience of themselves and the world around them. Each session will be tailored to the individual/group; the sessions will be structured, yet, allow for flow and the guidance of our equine partners.

Some of the benefits of an EFW session are:

As the late Wayne Dyer has said:

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Observing horses can create new levels of awareness.

Equine Guided Coaching brings many additional benefits to a traditional coaching practice – including being in nature, and experiencing heart resonance with horses. Evidence, such as the journal article by Colin A Capaldi, et. al. Flourishing in Nature: A review of the benefits of connecting with nature and its application as a wellbeing intervention from the International Journal of Wellbeing, suggests that “connecting with nature is one path to flourishing in life”. According to Heartmath Facilitator and University of Arizona professor Ann Baldwin, PhD, there is now research that supports what was once only anecdotal evidence, that being present with horses allows humans to “attain a balanced harmonious state of being.” For more on Dr. Baldwin’s research, please view this webinar “Heart to Heart Communication with Horses”. Dr. Baldwin’s research uses heart rate variability via EKG to measure the impact on Heart Rate Variability when humans and horses are present with one another in a facilitated experience with an Equine professional.  

A moment of connection with Teddy

In addition to traditional coaching modalities, I introduce an opportunity for artistic expression into every session. This may be something simple like modelling with clay or beeswax are you observe the herd, through to a full expressive art themed experience – where painting or pastels will be involved. Creating art for the sake of expression has many incredible benefits, including lowering cortisol (the stress hormone), increasing confidence and self-esteem, developing problem solving skills, and bringing quality to one’s life at any stage.

If what we have shared here has sparked your interest, and you want to learn more about our programs, please click the link below: