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Horse Sense Business Sense
6919 Meadows Town Road
Marshall, North Carolina 28753

Phone: (828) 683-7304
Fax: (828) 683-6281






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Horse Sense Business Sense helps professionals in the many fields of Equine Assisted Practices offer top-level programs in their communities through workshops/trainings, symposiums & conferences, consulting & immersion programs, curriculums, a working student program, and much more.

Over a decade ago, Horse Sense began the journey into becoming a top-notch EAP/EAL facility. We are eager to help other Therapeutic Horsemanship, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning programs make it, and make a difference, in their community.

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What's New at Business Sense?


Match-Making Clients and Horses

One of the things I guard against, in all this talk of categories and quadrants and such, is thinking that a particular Horsenality™ is the best or only horse for a given diagnosis or situation. I want to guard against match-making the horse and the client. Although I may have suspicions about which horse is going to be a great fit for a given client, I’m almost always going to start out with that horse in a group of horses, giving the client and the horse a chance to determine for themselves what happens next! I’m interested in being open to “mutual choosing,” such as happens when the horse and human appear to select each other. If left up to simply my choice of a particular horse for a client, many wonderful learning moments might never have happened. Some of the most insightful sessions have happened when I allowed the horse to choose the client!

The Healthy Horse and EAP/EAL

One of the key questions that came up in the process of researching this book and having these conversations is: What is a healthy horse? Young or old, healthy or unhealthy, horses offer feedback when being invited into relationship. We ask them to do all sorts of things, tolerate various forms of sensory input, and even put up with situations involving a great deal of repetition. This is perhaps the more import- ant question one should ask before selecting any horse for session, certainly out of a sense of responsibility toward the horse’s well-being, but also because it makes sense that a horse cannot be fully balanced or appropriate for client interaction without being healthy, depending on the kind of interaction. So I’ll try to define a healthy horse. A healthy horse is sound, not just in body, but in mind and spirit as well. She is getting her basic needs...

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Opening Doors

A friend of mine recently shared her family's New Year's ritual and I wanted to share it with you.

Of course, at midnight, there is merry-making and the new year's first kisses and hugs and shouts of "Happy New Year!"  But, then the family gathers around the back door of their home, opens the door and shares memories (good and bad) of the year just passing.  It's a time to thank the year for all it has brought to them.  They close the door and head to the front of their home.  Opening the front door, they talk about all the things the new year might bring - their hopes and dreams and goals.

It's a very symbolic ritual of what we've been talking about - planning ahead for your business and then appreciating what has worked and considering what has not, and then looking forward yet again.  Before that door closes on 2015, take a few minutes to appreciate your business and what you've accomplished in the past year. And, then open the door to the new year just beginning!

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External Relationship Management: Developing Social Facility

A client’s ability to successfully negotiate the spectrum of social awareness concepts does not guarantee fruitful interactions. Just because they get what someone’s thinking or intending doesn’t mean they’re able to react appropriately or effectively. Social facility is need- ed to build on social awareness to allow smooth, effective interactions. Knowing and correctly interpreting what’s going on is only the first step; social facility takes us through the rest of the interaction.

According to Goleman (2006), the spectrum of social facility includes:

  • Synchrony: Interacting smoothly at the nonverbal level
  • Self-presentation: Presenting ourselves effectively
  • Influence: Shaping the outcome of social interactions
  • Concern: Caring about others’ needs and acting accordingly. (p. 84)

Much of the work in EAP-EAL takes place in the realm of synchrony, or its opposite, dyssemia, a deficit in our capacity to read non-verbal signs (Goleman, 2006, p.91). We often see dyssemia in the form of a “social blind spot” with autism/autism spectrum disorder (ASD) clients; I suspect we’ll see it more and more as clients lose opportunity for face-to-face communication and hence have less practice in reading non-verbal signs (email, texting, and chatting require no non-verbal skill!). Synchrony, on the other hand, is as simple (and complex) as successfully shaking another person’s hand. Have you ever felt “off” in your timing when you’ve offered your hand to another? Have you ever thought someone was reaching to shake your hand when actually he wanted to hug? Have you ever felt the other person hold your hand too long? That’s all about synchrony. Nearly all equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning engages in examining synchrony or dyssemia in clients, offering an opportunity to talk openly about these ideas...

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