Learning to Listen Centre

There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man
— Winston Churchill

Who are we?

The Learning to Listen - South and Autism Angels - South Team.   From left to right, Jo Richardson, Jo Osborn and Rebecca Kelly

The Learning to Listen - South and Autism Angels - South Team.  

From left to right, Jo Richardson, Jo Osborn and Rebecca Kelly

The Learning to Listen Centre is  home to Learning to Listen - South, Autism Angels - South and Haelan Therapy.  Together we create a wellbeing hub combining nurturing holistic treatments with Equine Facilitated Coaching and Learning.  Located at East Hall Farmhouse, St Paul's Walden, Hertfordshire, the centre is set in the rural idyll of the Bowes-Lyon Estate.  

Using unique equine facilitated concepts and models, Learning to Listen provides personal and professional development opportunities for individuals and businesses wishing to create the very best for their lives, either in 1-2-1 sessions or in a group environment on the Foundation Programme.   Autism Angels is Learning to Listen's sister charity and provides support for families and professionals with children on the autism spectrum through the Mentoring Programme and Family Fun Days.  We'd love to meet you and introduce you to our herd of horses, so please read on to find out more.


Equine Facilitated Coaching

Click here to watch some examples of children and adults connecting and working with our herd.

Equine Facilitated Coaching (EFC) is an emerging field in the world of personal development.  It is unique in the way it uses horse to help people work through their problems, issues and fears.  Horses have a great intuitive ability to mirror our energy and can communicate this through their body language.  In the same way that Transformational Coaching can truly awaken who you really are and where you want to be, EFC takes this one step further allowing for ‘in the moment feedback’ from the horse to the client.  The wisdom of the horse is second to none.   Sessions are truly powerful and transformational.  As trained Equine Facilitated Coaches, Rebecca and Jo work in association with Learning to Listen to provide EFC sessions on a 1-2-1 basis or in groups as part of  the Foundation Programme.     

*You do not need to have any experience with horses                                                                                                                                           


Why horses?

Jo working with one of our children on Autism Angel's Mentoring Programme

Horses are incredibly sentient and empathetic animals.   They are reactionary animals and have a range of emotions that create powerful and honest feedback that is immediate. Something as subtle as the flick of a tail can reflect frustration in the client, yawning can reveal contentment or a gesture of submission.  In Equine Facilitated Coaching, a therapist, who is an expert in reading all of these horse behaviours, uses the horse as a tool to help clients raise their awareness of, and work through self-limiting beliefs.   

According to Sarah Shearman (founder of Learning to Listen and Autism Angels) horses, like people, find it easier to be with an authentic energy rather than someone who may be struggling to identify their real thoughts and feelings.  I.e. if we are afraid of a situation then we have a choice either to acknowledge our own truth or deny it.  Acknowledging our fears and vulnerabilities is often seen as a weakness however the horses show us that we are more powerful by being authentic with ourselves and others.  An easy question to ask yourself here is which leader would you rather follow?  One where the truth is shared or one where it is hidden?   Through the wisdom of the horse you can work through and understand your self-limiting beliefs and create the best life yet for yourself.

Rebecca working with a client during one of Learning to Listen / Autism Angels taster sessions

Rebecca working with a client during one of Learning to Listen / Autism Angels taster sessions

Research

HeartMath Institute conducted a study and found that because a horse’s electromagnetic field is so much larger than our own, by being in their presence they can actually positively influence us and make us feel better when we are around them.  The research has shown that people around horses can experience many benefits including lowering of blood pressure and heart rate, increased levels of beta-endorphins, decreased stress levels, reduction in the feelings of anger, hostility, anxiety and tension, improved social functioning and increased feelings of empowerment, trust, patience and self-effacy.    


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