THE FBEAP MISSION STATEMENT
Elaine Davis’ Faith Based Equine Assisted Philosophy educates, promotes, and supports professionals in the practice of authentic equine-assisted work. Authentic equine-assisted work honors and integrates natural horse and herd behavior as a model for human mental, emotional, and spiritual health using the equine-assisted philosophies.
FBEAP: Faith Based Equine Assisted Philosophies
EAP: Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
EAL: Equine Assisted Learning
FBEAP HEALING PHILOSOPHIES
Particular principles and exercises (based on equine behavior) are integral to the understanding and practice of Faith Based Equine Assisted Philosophies. There is valuable training in the world of equine-facilitated work, but if it does not include the following components, it is not genuine FBEAP as intended by the Founder of the field.
Awareness of how our equine counterparts respond (physically or mentally) to pressure (physical or emotional) and pain (physical or emotional) can give us insight into our own responses. Do we know when we are feeling pressure versus pain? Do we respond appropriately and healthfully? Horses teach us how to evaluate and respond to the world around us. How did Jesus respond to pressure versus pain?
Both aspects of life are essential, but not necessarily in equal parts. Horses have mastered their individual balance between time at attention, and time at-ease. We learn to identify our own needs and imbalances, as well as those of the people around us. This simple, yet profound principle teaches us to be more effective communicators, businesspeople, friends, and human beings. When do we see Jesus ‘pay attention’ and when do we see Him ‘at ease’?
New and unknown circumstances elicit a notable response from horses. Typically physical, this response demonstrates a safe, measured, and therapeutic way for humans to confront the more fearsome aspects of life. A mental metaphor can be made to signify the physical Re-Circle Process to optimize our way of perceiving and thinking about situations we encounter every day. Do we see Jesus ‘re-circle’, and what does it look like?
Horses provide both physical and emotional metaphors into our own behavioral patterns. When do we push? When do we pull? Do we do one more than the other? When do we push and when do we pull? How does our pushing and pulling behavior affect others? What does it look like when the Holy Spirit ‘pulls’ us, ‘pushes’ us, and comes along side of us?
THE NONVERBAL ZONES:
Do you know what you are saying when you aren’t saying anything? Horses make good use of their body language to convey the most basic and important messages to each other. Humans do the same. Sometimes what our mouths say is not in alignment with what our bodies say. The three nonverbal zones identified in EAP instruct us to be more effective communicators by aligning our verbal and nonverbal messages. Can we locate Jesus and/or the Unseen Facilitator (the Holy Spirit) in these zones? What are the purposes of the different positions?
CONFRONTATION (This philosophy has been developed by Elaine Davis and is unique to Faith-Based EAP Philosophies).
Horses confront everything both positive and negative. They confront everything for one single reason: the survival of the herd! All correction is to teach and impart success, both for individual horses and the herd as a group.
The outcome of their correction doesn’t end in division and disunity. Quite the opposite; when individuals learn their proper place, healthy boundaries, good communication, humility , self control, peace, patience gentleness, goodness, meekness, and respect for self and others, they become effective, useful, integral members of a thriving herd. Confrontation is an important part of the way the herd learns, stays safe, communicates and becomes a thriving community. The herd is empowered by their unity.
FUNDAMENTAL EAP EXERCISES:
The most effective equine-assisted exercises will always be the most basic and straightforward. Complicating exercises with two many components, rules, or consequences tends to cloud the meaning and make metaphors more difficult for clients to understand.