Frequently Asked Questions about EAL and sessions with Horses at Ravenheart!


Why are horses helpful for self-development and personal growth, healing, grief, relationships, team-building, recovery, and learning?

  • Horses are naturally highly aware of their environment and to anyone or anything in it, including people, animals, the weather, traffic, etc.  
  • For their own safety, and the safety of their herd mates, they are highly aware of body language, feelings, and emotions. Through specific exercises, careful observation, witnessing, a safe, respectful, and highly supportive environment, and an opportunity to be in a natural outdoor setting, participants can gain awareness and a deeper understanding of their patterns, struggles, and challenges, and learn new skills and coping abilities. 
  • Beyond the classroom, counselling office, or boardroom, horse facilitated sessions and activities provide people with opportunities to discover and develop their potential to thrive and reach their best potential.

In partnership with professional coaches, counselors, therapists, these are some of the daily life challenges horses can provide benefits for: 

  • Grief & Loss
  • Youth and adolescence life skills and empowerment
  • Family relations
  • Abuse
  • Depression, anxiety, stress
  • Learning Challenges
  • Autism spectrum
  • PTSD & Trauma

 At Ravenheart we can provide opportunities with our horses, in a positive and supportive environment, that may assist people of all ages and abilities in life skills such as: 

  • Trust and bonding
  • Healthy Relationships and Social Skills
  • Self-regulation and focus
  • Empathy and understanding
  • Courage and confidence
  • Personal safety and recognizing danger
  • Change and transitions
  • Cooperation, responsibility, and problem solving
  • Self-awareness and Self-Esteem
  • Leadership                                                                                                              

I’m nervous around horses, and they scare me.  Can I benefit?

Yes you can!  At Ravenheart, we make every effort to ensure that everyone feels safe and respected (yes, the horses too!), right where you are, while helping you recognize and break through old patterns. Sessions can be done “over the fence” without close contact with horses, until you are ready to move through your fear. Previous horse experience is not required, and there is no riding involved.

I’m allergic to horses! Can I still participate safely?

Please give us a call so we can discuss your concerns about allergies. In many cases we can find a way to work around this issue, through sessions over the fence, no physical contact with horses or equipment, and being creative so everyone can have an opportunity to participate.

What should I wear?

  • You might get a little bit grubby! Horses are like that. ♥ Dress very casually, in layers for the weather, comfortable clothing that you are OK getting dusty or stained.
  • Wear comfortable shoes or boots, and be prepared for Saskatchewan weather changes. It may start out cool in the morning, and then be very hot and sunny in the afternoon. It may rain, or become cold or snowy, depending on the season.
  • Wear sturdy runners, hiking boots, or sturdier footwear, thinking about uneven ground, mud, and other “horsey” contributions. Please don’t wear soft or open-toed shoes, sandals, dawgs, etc.
  • For your comfort, please bring a sun hat, rain gear, rubber boots, bug spray, and sunscreen – all depending on the season and the weather!

 Is Ravenheart open all year-round? What happens during bad weather?

Yes, although we adjust for extreme weather conditions of course, like very cold, snow, high winds, or heavy rain. We have indoor spaces for people, and a covered area for working with the horses. We may have to postpone and reschedule  your session/retreat for these circumstances.

What happens in an equine assisted learning session?

  • All sessions take place on the ground (no mounted exercises), with a certified equine-assisted learning facilitator and horse specialist, along with one or more appropriate horses or ponies. Sessions are designed and customized to the unique needs of the individual participants and/or goals of the group or organization
  • Sessions may include exercises with the horses at liberty (no halters, lead ropes, tethering), or using lead ropes, halters, and specific equipment like poles, pylons, and other obstacles that the horses are lead through or encouraged to navigate based on the structure of the exercise.
  • Some of the work we do with the horses and participants involves body, emotion, and mind awareness through reflective sessions, journaling, body scans, and grounding.

What kind of professional training does Ravenheart Facilitator(s) have?

The facilitators and equine specialists at Ravenheart are professionally trained and certified.  Carol Marriott has a life-time of experience with horses,  is a Certified Equine Assisted Learning Specialist, and has trained with and studied with some of the best professionals in this field. She is also a Certified Life Coach Practitioner, and has trained with a variety of professional EAL, horsemanship, personal growth, and spiritual teachers for the past 25 years. We are committed to continuing education and training and participate regularly in educational opportunities in this field to continue to offer the best we can to our clients. Our horse specialists are life-time horse owners and enthusiasts and our approach with our horses is one of positive reinforcement and respect. Our EAL insurance is provided through Capri Insurance.

 I’m very knowledgeable and experienced with horses already. Will I get anything out of this?

Yes, we are sure you will! In fact, you are already familiar with the kind of feedback horses can offer you. You understand that horses can “feel” everything when you are interacting with them. An experience of EAL may deepen your knowledge and appreciation of just how this non-traditional way of being with horses can be, and show you how you might view and understand horses at an even deeper level.

Will we get to ride the horses?

Generally there is no riding involved with EAL sessions.  Depending on the type of sessions and format, some participants may have an opportunity to ride. Ravenheart does not offer trail riding, or riding lessons, but does offer beginner horse care and safety around horses. Call or email for more information about these services.

Thanks for taking the time to read this FAQ. Call or email us if you have more questions, or would like to book a session, workshop, retreat, or beginner horse care lesson.


Phone: 306-542-3557                          Email: ravenheart@sasktel.net




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