Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP™) "Tim and Bettina have taken what we previously knew about the power of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy to the next level!"
Rhonda Smith, Executive Director of Spirit Reins, Inc.
Never tie a rope halter again! These handmade halters are beautiful yet functional, with six unique styles. They can be made to fit any size equine, in virtually any color, and the patterns available are vast. Our most popular style, the Lead, Ride, and Lunge halter is a 3-in-1 halter that can be used for all of your Natural Lifemanship sessions. These halters are a must have! Please call or email with questions. read more...
Maximize the Power of the Human-Horse Relationship in your Therapy Practice Through Three Days of Intense Relational Work with an Untrained Horse "The Natural Lifemanship model, in which building and understanding the relationship between human and horse is the key therapeutic process, takes equine-assisted therapy to a much more profound level!"
Laura McFarland, Doctoral Student
Natural Lifemanship for Parents, Caregivers, and Educators is an innovative and experiential program that uses horses to teach a way of interacting with children that utilizes sound principles of equine psychology to teach parents, foster parents, and caregivers how to develop relationships with children that foster trust, mutual respect, healthy communication, and cooperation. Simple principles are taught while building a relationship with a horse in which the horse learns to think for himself and do the right thing because he thinks it is the right thing to do. Participants are given the opportunity to discuss how to apply the principles learned to more complex relationships with children. The shift in horse training from an often controlling and intimidating approach to a more humane and psychological methodology, has been closely paralleled by the same shift in child rearing. Natural Lifemanship horse psychology is based on simple, easily understood principles that aid in developing relationships based on trust, respect, understanding, and love. An underlying belief is that a sound principle is a sound principle regardless of where it is applied. Therefore, when caregivers and parents gain a clear understanding of these same principles, they are able to transfer them to their relationships with children.
The participants will learn how to use the principle of pressure and release to help their child feel safe and secure, increase their ability to control themselves, and build an internal reward system. In general, it outlines how the adult making a request should respond to the feedback given by the child as a result of the request. To build a healthy relationship, it is important to make requests of each other. When a request is made in a relationship, this can be thought of as “pressure.” This language is used because it is easily transferred to many different situations. Participants will learn how adverse childhood circumstances affect brain development, and how to use this principle to build neural connections in the brain thereby improving their child’s ability to make good decisions. They will also learn how to use resistance and crisis as learning moments that build rather than destroy relationships with power struggles or permissive actions. All other principles will be built on this one as parents learn how to teach their children the valuable truth and life lesson that “the reward is the release of pressure.” It is through this principle that parents will learn when to effectively and appropriately use natural and logical consequences, negative reinforcement, and positive reinforcement. This principle provides a framework that brings together and simplifies many of the parenting techniques taught in other programs.
Participants will learn the Principle of Self-Regulation. Horses, like humans, respond to our body energy or intensity level. Parents will learn that when working with a horse (or guiding a child), if their body energy is out of control, they are less likely they are to get the desired response. They will learn the relationship between body energy and pressure, the barriers to self-regulation, and how to control themselves so they can appropriately utilize the principles taught. Parents will learn to teach their children that “If you don’t appropriately control yourself, someone else will.” However, they will also learn that a dysregulated parent cannot teach this principle to their child. Parents must first be in control of themselves, if they are to teach their children self-control.
Parents will learn how to use the Principle of Handedness to teach their children emotional intelligence and how to deal with sensitivities or triggers. The goal with all children is that they become “emotionally ambidextrous.” Parents will learn what this means and the importance of utilizing this principle when interacting with their children.
Caregivers of children with attachment issues will learn to use the flight zone principle to reduce their child’s intimacy barrier, thereby improving their child’s ability to form healthy relationships and attachments. They will learn how to use this principle to help children truly desire balanced attachments, instead of using attachment behaviors to appease or manipulate.
Participants will learn the principle of appropriately moving one’s feet to gain respect, trust, and cooperation from their child. Through this knowledge they will gain a clear understanding of the differences between passive, aggressive, and assertive, and the effects of each. They will learn how this principle is related to other principles learned in this program.
All of the above principles teach the horse to do the right thing because he believes it is the right thing to do, instead of doing it because he’s afraid not to do it. He doesn’t do the right thing because he thinks the adult believes it is the right thing to do. He does not do the right thing because he believes he will receive a “treat” or external reward of some kind. The horse learns to attach and detach appropriately and to cooperate because he has decided that is the best way to get his needs met. He has learned to do the thing that builds rather than damages the relationship. This is the point where “horse whispering” transitions to “life whispering.” The ultimate goal with all children is to teach them to do the right thing because they believe it is the right thing to do, instead of doing it out of fear, intimidation, or appeasement. Natural Lifemanship teaches parents how to give appropriate power back to their children.
Participants learn by observing, but most importantly, they will be given the opportunity to practice the principles learned with a horse. Caregivers are likely to interact with their horse the same way they do with their children. Horses ignore, resist, argue, and fight. Caregivers will learn how to respond to these behaviors in the moment. They will then learn how to apply the principles to relationships with their children. They will learn appropriate ways to deal with frustration, confusion, anger, and other emotions that make effective parenting a challenge. The growth experienced in a simple and sound relationship with a horse is transferred to more complex interactions with their children. This enlightened horse sense will transform the way caregivers teach children how to be self-sufficient adults.
Please see our events page for details on scheduled trainings and seminars.
Please contact us to schedule an event at your facility. Prices vary depending on the number of participants and the location.
Natural Lifemanship counseling services features a type of therapeutic intervention that is relationally rich and developmentally sensitive. It utilizes horses, sound principles of equine psychology, and an awareness of human brain development to repair and enhance all of life’s relationships. It is driven by the beliefs that a sound principle is a sound principle regardless of where it is applied, and that all mental health issues result in dysfunction of relationships with self and others. read more...