Suzette Bernadine Belgarde Explores Equine-Assisted Coaching and Its Uses

Horses, by their very nature, are the perfect animals to assist in helping individuals who may otherwise struggle to develop presence, self-confidence, and awareness.

Suzette Bernadine Belgarde

That's according to Suzette Bernadine Belgarde, an equestrian expert, and advocate of equine-assisted coaching from Faribault, Minnesota.

Equine-assisted coaching is touted to help improve communication skills, establish an understanding of deeper trust, and to reinforce the importance of clearly defined goals with a view to more quickly overcoming obstacles and challenges.

The process of equine-assisted coaching improves an individual's ability to effectively cooperate during times of uncertainty and to understand the importance of roles and responsibilities.

Suzette Bernadine Belgarde

Equestrian Expert

Undertaken in a professional or personal capacity, on either a group, team, or individual basis, the practice has increased massively in popularity in recent years. Used predominantly by businesses to develop leadership skills within their organizations, or by high ranking executives to improve themselves personally, it's a rapidly growing market.

With that said, horses have been used in various forms of therapy and for developmental assistance since ancient Greek times, with documentation dating back as far as 600 BC. Modern documentation begins in Europe in 1946, with formal documentation from the U.S. starting in the 1960s.

Equine-assisted coaching takes much of its understanding and many of its disciplines from this and subsequent documentation, with the practice, now taking place in over 40 countries globally.

"The process of equine-assisted coaching improves an individual's ability to effectively cooperate during times of uncertainty and to understand the importance of roles and responsibilities," explains Belgarde.

It also helps to develop a deeper found respect for an individual's surroundings, according to the equine assistance expert. "It's about mindfulness and paying attention to a particular or given environment," she adds.

Other benefits are said to include accelerated development and understanding of leadership capabilities, improved self-belief, increased confidence, increased awareness, development of new approaches to leadership in the face of adversity, and, as a result, a particular ability to lead successfully in trying situations.

"Participants have told me personally how profound and effective equine-assisted coaching has been for them," says Belgarde.

"Ultimately, to bring about our very best selves, we need to receive timely, candid, and forthright feedback, all delivered without any sense of judgment," she suggests.

"Horses," Belgarde adds, in conclusion, and wrapping up, "are the masters of this."

Equine-assisted coaching is a variant of equine-assisted therapy, an area in which Suzette Bernadine Belgarde specializes, and which involves treatment centered around horses or taking place in an equine environment.

Also known as hippotherapy, activities are generally tailored to the promotion of physical, occupational, and emotional growth in individuals suffering from a wide range of health and wellness complaints. These include cerebral palsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental delay, dementia, autism, genetic syndromes, and traumatic brain injuries, among others.

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Categories: Animal Husbandry

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