Equine Affinity – novel approach to using horses to develop personal self-esteem

Catherine Bray and Laura Dunton Clarke, both from St. Leonards, have teamed up to launch Equine Affinity, a revolutionary training business that uses horses in a new and powerful way, without riding them, to help personal and professional development.

Equine Affinity specialises in Equine Guided Learning and therapy which gives businesses and individuals an opportunity to use horses to help personal and professional development. What makes the business unique is the way that it has combined four specialist areas: psychotherapy, coaching and training, bodywork and equine behaviour.

Catherine has over 20 years’ experience with horses. For the past three years, Catherine has been practising Equine Guided Learning and Therapy. She is a certified EAGALA practitioner.

Laura is a coach, mentor and trainer with over 10 years’ experience in the education, public and private sectors. She has worked extensively with young people who have experience of social care and with those at risk of exclusion. As well as designing and delivering training to senior managers in the public sector, she has coached and trained primary school children.

Laura joined forces with Catherine after experiencing a taster Equine Guided Learning session which she found to be life changing.

The new business blends Catherine and Laura’s experience together creating a range of training programmes that they believe could be uniquely useful for participants.

Equine Affinity Managing Director Catherine Bray explains: “I developed a curiosity in this work as I observed many horse and human interactions over the years and wondered what it is that draws us to horses? The horse has many qualities to offer us and that goes beyond the saddle and into our everyday lives. For example, they don’t judge, they help us to access our true being and they help us to remain present.”

Horses have been successfully used as a form of therapy and professional training worldwide for a number of years, particularly in the United States and Canada. Increasingly this way of training, especially in areas of leadership, management, communication skills and team building work, is expanding in the UK.

Equine Affinity Director and Coach Laura Dunton Clarke added: “Horses are herd animals and have a defined role within the herd – this mirrors the workplace and, like people in the workplace, horses respond well to ‘authentic leadership.  As well as being perfect for corporate customers, we believe that equine training is going to be extremely popular with teachers, as what can be learned about being authentic when working with horses can directly translate to working authentically in the classroom.”

On Thursday November 3rd 2011 starting on 6.30pm, Equine Affinity will be hosting a launch event within the stunning location of Bedgebury Park. The event is designed to inform people about this innovative and exciting work. There will be a short presentation followed by a live demonstration and the opportunity to meet some people who have already benefitted from this work.

Anyone interested in attending the launch event, or wanting to find out more, can email info@equineaffinity.co.uk or find them on facebook. This event is free of charge to attend but spaces are limited so please contact them first before coming.