Equine Assisted Learning Programme

What is Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)

Equine Assisted Learning is unique approach to experiential learning, one where you will work with and alongside horses for the purpose of developing core social-emotional competencies and realising both personal & professional development goals. (e.g. leadership and team building). Anyone can benefit from EAL – adults, children & adolescents.

How does it work

Horses are prey animals and as such, monitor their environment, and the people in it, 24/7. They rely on their keen flight instincts and strong social connections within a herd for survival. By observing and working with these natural behaviours, horses can help us become aware of our own behaviours, responses and actions and the need to modify them within the arena and in daily life. Equine Assisted Learning as a tool for growth and development of Emotional Intelligence often focuses on the following key areas: self and social awareness, self management, problem solving, decision making, communication and relationship skills.

How will a session look

Sessions are usually 1 hours or 1.5 hours in duration. During this time you will be working with horses at liberty within the arena. Our facilitators are like translators, there to facilitate learning between you and the horse rather than to instruct, teach or offer any form of therapy.

All activities are ground based i.e. there is no horse riding involved and no prior horse experience is required, in fact if you have a lot of traditional equine experience, we might even ask you to suspend it for the time you are with us and leave most of what you have learnt at the gate!

Sessions are usually booked as part of a 6 – 8 week programme allowing time to work through a selection of activities based upon your requirements. An initial trial session can be booked before hand to see if it is something you are interested in pursuing.

Why choose Festina Lente for your EAL experience?

Here at Festina Lente we are leaders in the field of EAL and intent on maintaining our standards of excellence whether that’s in the Facilitation of sessions or in the areas of research and education. As well as being a space to experience EAL sessions for yourself, Festina Lente is also a leading educational facility, training top EAL Facilitators from Ireland and abroad.

We offer the only accredited Quality in Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Level 6 Life and Workplace Coaching / EAL Facilitator Training Programme on the island of Ireland and our CEO and tutors have been selected to train equine organisations globally including The Donkey Sanctuary, Mare & Foal Sanctuary and more.

Experiencing EAL sessions within the boundaries of Festina Lente helps to ensure that any growth in personal development & well being takes place in a supportive, nurturing and inclusive environment and under the guidance of experienced and friendly facilitators. Both your personal safety and our horse welfare considerations are paramount in each and every session.

How do I discover more?

Please get in touch with us at eal@festinalente.ie or  call Nicola at 01-2720708 ext 213 or email