EAQ® Horse Awareness Certificate
The EAQ Horse Awareness Certificate provides the underpinning knowledge and skills required for those working with horses in equine assisted learning or equine facilitated therapy. It can be undertaken by anyone interested in becoming more aware of horses, you do not have to be considering a role as a facilitator to take part in this course.
In this video, four trainee facilitators talk about their experiences on the Horse Awareness Course and the difference between this and their previous way of thinking about horses.
Who can take the Horse Awareness Certificate?
Anyone can take the Horse Awareness Certificate. It would be appropriate for you if you are interested in handling horses from the ground. You don’t need to be an equine assisted learning facilitator to take part.
Is there riding involved in the Horse Awareness Certificate?
There is no riding involved. There are opportunities to observe horses and learn more about how to handle horses from the ground.
How can I be assessed?
Initial assessment takes place on your first training course when you are able to assess your own skills against the assessment criteria.
You may need to attend further training and practice with your own horse in order to attain the necessary standard.
I've done lots of natural horsemanship, why would I do more training?
The skills that you need as a facilitator are different from those usually taught to people who want to ride.
The course helps you to look at your horse with different eyes, to increase your awareness and understanding.
We have found that increasing awareness of the horse has helped facilitators to increase their awareness of their learners.
What about health and safety?
Working with horses can be dangerous, so the more aware you are of the horse's behaviour, the more you will see and the sooner you will see it. This in turn will help you to keep learners more safe, allowing them to experience being with the horses without constantly warning them of the dangers.
What do I do if I want to take a certificate?
What skills are included?
The skills that are covered in the certificate include:
Observe and interpret horse behaviour
Understand horses in a herd
Understand how horses learn
Understand how to reinforce desired behaviour
Shape a desired behaviour
Develop feel with the horse on a lead rope
Help a horse to overcome fear of an object
Ensure the horse's mental and emotional well-being
There are additonal criteria for those wishing to show their competence at working with horses and learners together in an equine assisted learning session.
Some of the skills are covered in the e-book 'In Tune with Your Horse' by Tricia Day and available from Amazon.