What is Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL)?

The horse/human connection and partnership has existed for centuries and has taken many different forms based on horses’ collective contribution to our progress and development. Within the last twenty-five years, an inspiring and innovative horse/human partnership has been formalized into a therapeutic discipline practiced within North America and around the world.

Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL) is an energetic and beneficial equine assisted learning modality that seeks to empower individuals through participation in an experiential learning approach; in other words, to learn by doing. This unique modality engages people by offering them the opportunity to fully participate with their mind, body and spirit. 

Horses help us by being active participants in these learning situations and offer us a genuine and enlightening interpretation of reality from their perspective. As an effective means to improve well-being, focus on personal development, manage stress, build self-confidence, develop leadership skills, and nurture emotional learning, the FEEL approach can benefit youth and adults alike.

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Learn from the herd

Why are horses excellent teachers?

As prey animals, horses are acutely aware of their environment and have developed excellent communication skills in order to survive and thrive. They are instinctive and natural, and they mirror or reflect the emotions and energy of the people around them. Their survival as a species has depended on their sensitive observational skills and intuitive knowing.

Through FEEL sessions, we can learn from horses by paying attention to their honest and non-judgmental feedback about our own approach to daily living.

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Learn From The Herd

How does this feedback happen?

As there is no judgment in a horse’s response to us, their feedback is honest, direct, and curiously accurate. Here’s why:

In a safe and nurturing environment and partnering with the horse as teacher, develop your intuition, create new possibilities in your life, and find your path through the wisdom of the horse!

Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL)

What can I expect at a FEEL session?

Each session is individually tailored to include achievable goals as identified by each client. All FEEL activities are done at ground level and there is no horseback riding involved. Comfortable and weather appropriate clothing with closed toe/closed heel boots are recommended as the sessions occur in an outdoor, barn or arena setting. Each session is approximately 75 minutes in length and your interaction with a horse may include grooming, leading, and/or observing their communication and behaviour. Sessions also focus on skill-building in the following areas: verbal and nonverbal communication, intuition, building trust, using your senses, body awareness, relationship building, creating clear intentions, boundary setting, decision-making and problem-solving. FEEL sessions are very effective and, on average, your goals may be accomplished in four to five individual appointments. No prior horse experience is required!

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Anna-Marie

Anna-Marie Duffy

About your guide

With over 25 years of healthcare experience, Anna-Marie has grown to appreciate that a wide range of therapeutic modalities are needed to fulfill the needs of people who are seeking authentic, compassionate, and mindful growth and healing opportunities. After a long absence from horses, Anna-Marie reconnected with these beautiful creatures in 2015 and began to expand her understanding of the positive impact that animals, and specifically horses, have on humans. In order to further her knowledge of the horse/human connection, Anna-Marie completed a Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL) certification from Horse Spirit Connections in 2016; an Advanced Level I FEEL certification in 2018, and an Advanced Level II FEEL certification in 2020. With this newfound knowledge and a belief that horses are amazing teachers who hold much wisdom and healing for us, Anna-Marie began offering individual, semi-private, and group-based opportunities as a FEEL certified facilitator in 2017.

Anna-Marie Duffy proudly partners with Isabel and Chuck Hathaway of Hathaway Farm Equine Therapy to offer sessions and workshops, horse-assisted Reiki Energy Healing sessions, and horse-assisted Celtic Shamanic Coaching opportunities. Please inquire for more information!

Click here to go to Hathaway Farm Equine Therapy

Testimonials about Anna-Marie's coaching:

I felt lighter on the way home – physically, mentally, and spiritually! I had a kink in my neck for the last 2-3 days and it’s now gone!! What a great way to start the weekend!

C.P., Registered Nurse

This was my first FEEL experience. I felt Anna-Marie’s support and immediately connected with the horse. I would highly recommend this form of healing and self-exploration to anyone.

K.L., Systems Analyst