One reason why birds and horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses ~ Dale Carnegie

Horses Plowing Seeds for Success©

(Professional Development
for Undergraduate & Graduate Students)

Do you feel you are ready to take on your career?

Graduation is near, are you worried about your future?

Do you have the skills it takes to manage
personal and professional goals NOW?

Statistics on the stress levels of students in college reveal that 58% report feeling worried about their grades. Additionally, 71% state that their grades have a direct affect on their level of stress...

In the current economic recession, career placements are not only more competitive, but so are internships and graduate schools. With 1.5 million new college graduates competing for fewer openings (estimated that for every position there will be 3.4 applicants), it is imperative to have the confidence and presentation skills to make that proverbial first impression count. (Collegiate Times, May 2009)

Horses Plowing Seeds for Success is a specifically designed workshop for both undergraduate and graduate students who are preparing for a professional career. This focus includes but is not limited to Pre-Med, Pre-Law, Nursing, Business Management, Sales/Marketing, Human Resources, Psychology/Mental Health, and Social Services.

Horses Plowing Seeds for Success can help students develop awareness of the subtleties of self-presentation and communication that are necessary for effective professional interactions. Horses teach life skills that are essential when transitioning to a career path. Horses train us to notice at all times the information that we convey.

photo courtesy of Free Spirit Wellness Center

photo courtesy of Free Spirit Wellness Center

Horses develop our instinctual, emotional, and sensory intelligence - aspects of ourselves that may be underused or weakened in our quest for the correct answers on exams, the perfect class paper or approval from authority figures. Yet all three forms of intelligence are necessary in effective life encounters.

As swift, powerful, and sometimes intimidating animals, horses create a natural opportunity for students to overcome fear and develop confidence. For example, in a group setting sometimes there may be one or two students who are truly fearful of the horses. When these students are able to be honest with their fear, invariably, there are one or two horses in the herd who will quietly and carefully introduce themselves. By contrast if a student is truly fearful of interacting with the horses, but acts like a "bully" in the attempt to conceal his fear, the horses only react to the fear - they pay no attention whatsoever to the bully façade. In this scenario the student quickly learns that they are much more successful to present themselves with honesty and integrity - much like they would on their resume or first impression job interview.

Because it is difficult, if not impossible, to bluff one's command of a situation around horses, students learn how to cope with feelings of insecurity, ask for help, and succeed at developing authentic self-assurance. One example of this might be when a student is asked to get a horse to walk over a pole on the ground, which by itself seems very simple. However, if the student approaches the horse with a forceful nature or false confidence, yet truthfully there is doubt or tentative insecurity about completing the task - the horse won't budge. This can naturally foster a "scan", or self-evaluation of intentions and how being congruent is so important to success.

Embarking on a new career is a huge undertaking and one that requires refining certain skill sets. After time spent with the horses, students will be able to integrate "learnings" that will help them ace that big job interview, bar exam, internship or residency.

Spring Reins of Hope has created specific exercises with the horses to help students:

  • Improve attention, mindfulness and focused abilities
  • Cope with stress, deadlines and performance anxiety
  • Become aware of incongruence of intention vs. behavior
  • Identify and respect boundaries in ourselves and others
  • Become aware of subtleties of non-verbal and verbal communication
  • Find their authentic self

Resources on Professional Training and Development with Horses
Resources for Collegiate Programs with Horses