La Poderosa Family
call this program La Poderosa Family Workshop in honour of one of
our mares who is now deceased but was such an important member of
our equine family. She is missed and we have very fond memories of
program is a family support workshop intended to foster healthy
relationships between siblings or parent and child.
addresses the dynamics in the family system and how interpersonal
issues affect relationships. While the family works with a horse
they are exploring and learning ways to increase communication and
conflict resolution skills. The client experiences his or her real
role in the family system and the parent is made aware of ways to
rebuild trust. The process of interaction with horses enables the
family members to practice and build on their individual strengths,
learn patience, and increase healthy functioning in a family
Dealing with horses helps both adults and children to cope with
stress and become more loyal, honest and supportive of one another
Helpful ways to keep their cool
Techniques to function under duress
Ways to strengthen their family relationships
Reduce anxiety and guilt
Become better listeners
Develop skills to help deal with conflict
Develop emotional control
Become more self-assured
Horses are masters at reading non-verbal cues, body language and
emotions. If a family member comes to a program resistant, or
minimally responsive, flaunting the lingo they think a therapist
wants to hear, the horse will know it and not respond. The horse
has no motives and sense the incongruity the person is displaying.
The horse provides the feedback and is a very good indicator of
what a family need to work on to build healthy family relationships.
Each family member learns to identify healthy and unhealthy
behaviours in themselves, and about the natural consequences of
their actions in the family mix. The equine teaches the members
that you are part of a team that they need to pull together, join
forces and support each other.
Much can be learned from simply observing horse behaviour. Horses
can be obstinate, playful or moody. They have a variety of "herd
dynamics" such as pushing, kicking, biting, squealing, grooming one
another, and grazing together. In the process of observing and
describing the horse and the interactions between the horses, the
family can learn about themselves and their own family dynamics.
New moms can observe how a mare cares for a foul and learn positive
parenting skills and become aware of ways to strengthen their own
relationship with their children. During sessions sometimes
members of the family simply participate by being present while
another family member grooms and feeds the horse. Other times they
work as a group or in pairs, as determined by the treatment
The La Poderosa Family Workshop Program can be structured to help
families in crisis, or facing difficult decisions. Working with
equine helps the family resolve issues and strengthen their bonds,
especially in situations where trust needs to be re-established.
Even those members of a family that exhibited aggressive or
non-responsive behaviour toward other family members can become
calmer and more communicative around horses.
The La Poderosa Family Tree Family Workshop Program ties in very
closely with Circle of Courage philosophy as our program embraces
the values of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.
We’ve designed the program to show the family that, like the herd
dynamics of the equine, the family must have shared values that
coincide with any community to create a vibrant family environment,
that children have a role and parents have a role, and with mutual
respect for the core values, the family unit not only survives but
Other Equine Assisted Healing Programs
Professional Development and Team Building Programs