Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

June 08, 2018 - By Noël Cox Caniglia

Prescott College Equine Program Hosts 13th Annual Symposium

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The Prescott College Equine Program (EQP) hosted its 13th annual Best Practices symposium, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, at Juniper Well Ranch in Skull Valley, Arizona. The thirty participants including current students and faculty, alongside previous faculty and alumni from the late 1960s to the 1980s, providing a multi-generational community. The breadth and depth of experience ranged from pioneers to emerging scholars and practitioners in the equine assisted learning and mental health fields.

Honoring the giants of the past and nurturing the various interests of current students was a major emphasis of the gathering. Students facilitated TED Talk-style presentations included fostering curiosity in inquiry, using EAMH strategies to heal women with post-partum diagnoses, and bridging historical Lakota equine lifeways with their current reconnection to balanced mental health. Faculty and alumni presentations included longitudinal equine research, dancing with horses, and experientially-facilitated-discovery relating to the concept of minding horses. Each participant represented her own current best practice—as a practitioner, student, or representative of a nationally and internationally certified equine organization.

The breadth of perspective and depth of inquiry at the symposium left participants evaluating their work on increasingly complex levels. This resulted in a renewed commitment to pioneer a way forward through which EAL and EAMH best practices center on the integrated wellbeing and empowerment of horses, Nature, and human others.