Equine Facilitated Learning…

is an experiential approach to learning that promotes personal skill development thru equine guided activities. 

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WHY HORSES?

Horses are always in the present moment. Horses do not judge, nor do they have expectations for us. Their responses to people are genuine and honest, with immediate feedback. Interacting with horses during a guided EFL session allows the participants to experience acceptance, awareness, and connection.


HOW DOES EFL HELP? 

VIRC’s Equine Facilitated Learning activities focus on developing connections and relationships, strengthening both a sense of self and ones place in our community. Through hands-on activities and tasks, participants develop emotional, cognitive, and physical skills.

For Example: When grooming a horse, fine motor skills and focus are strengthened. The participant is encouraged to connect with the horse through its breathing and body language. By increasing their perception of how their own posture and actions affect the horse, the participants improve their spatial awareness while becoming grounded, receptive, and present. 

When doing groundwork with the horses, multitasking, emotional control, fine and gross motor skills and balance are all developed and strengthened. The participant experiences how to move with the horses, how to communicate with them, developing healthy and correct responses to stimulus. 

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Equine Facilitated Learning has been proven to help with emotional. Cognitive, and physical skills such as: 

  • self awareness 

  • communication 

  • empathy

  • behavioral issues

  • self esteem 

  • sensory integration 

EFL can be a beneficial experience for all humans with or without facing challenges such as:

  • ADD/ADHD/ODD

  • PTSD

  • Autism

  • Anxiety

  • Grief/Depression

  • Eating Disorders

WHY VIRC?

Our facilitators are highly trained, compassionate and patient. With decades of experience on topics and issues ranging from learning disorders to suicide, our instructors meet participants where they are, with empathy and insight. Our goal is to increase the individuals sense of connection, place, and self. 

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WHO CAN PARTICIPATE? 

All are welcome! EFL sessions are open to participants from ages 4 and up. We offer sessions for private clients, families, and groups. Sessions are 60 minutes in length, held outside at our beautiful Vashon Island farm. 

INTERESTED? 

Please complete the REGISTRATION, INFORMATION, CONSENT AND LIABILITY FORMS. 

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All forms must be completed and returned, along with the non-refundable assessment fee of $65.  A doctors RX is not required, but acknowledgment of the clients diagnosis and/or mental or physical condition is of value to providing the best experience.

Here are the steps to enroll in our program: 

  1. Download, complete and return the Registration, Information and Consent forms and the Liability Release.

  2. Indicate your preferred/available time choices.

  3. Attach a $65 check made out to VIRC for application processing/intake assessment. Mail payment to POBox 2074, Vashon WA 98070

  4. Or Email it to info@vashonislandridingcenter.com and pay online here: