Equine-facilitated learning (EFL) is an educational approach to equine-assisted activities. EFL content is developed and organized by credentialed practitioners with the primary intent to facilitate personal growth and development of life skills through equine interactions.
Click here to read the EFL Guidelines.
For the difference between EFL and EFP, see the FAQ page.
For more on EFL, see EAAT Benefits.
Please refer to the PATH Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation. EFP Standards and the Psychosocial Safety Guidelines are available in the individual member’s only area, in the Standards Manual Section J starting on page 9.
Equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP) is defined as an interactive process in which a licensed mental health professional working with or as an appropriately credentialed equine professional, partners with suitable equine(s) to address psychotherapy goals set forth by the mental health professional and the client.
Click here to read the EFP Guidelines
See Precautions and Contraindications section of the Standards for Certification and Accreditation Manual for more in-depth information.
For more on EFP, see EAAT Benefits.
The Role of the Equine as Partner in EAAT
New scientific research continues to reveal critical information about equine sentience- their abilities of perception, cognition, memory, and emotions such as pain and fear. Equines are able to perceive, respond to and learn from the impressions they receive from minimal sensory stimuli. The stimulus may originate from changes in human biochemistry, body language, or vocal intonations. It can also come from changes in the equine’s environment, relationships with other equines, or the equine’s general health In this way, equines make decisions based upon the stimuli they experience from others or from their environment (Hangg, 2005; Nicol, 2002; Proops, McComb, & Reby, 2009; Saslow, 2002). These abilities are based in natural, biological, physiological, and psychological traits of equines. Each equine is unique in personality, and has individual likes, dislikes and habits. The information gained from equine communication can be highly useful in all EAAT settings. Listening to equine communication can have an effect on the care of the equines, their rate of burnout, and the success of the human-equine interaction. In EAAT sessions or lessons, viewing the equine as a partner invites opportunities for relationship building and skill building with all participants served.