Phase 1 is aimed at the individual finding out about themselves, their teammates, the horses, and the environment. Attendees often feel way out of their comfort zone in unfamiliar surroundings with new people. We will discuss feelings and emotions such as anxiety and how it affects behaviour. The attendees will work with the horses on the ground as well as in the saddle and experience how their emotions and attitude affect the horse. We will discuss empathy and building a relationship through mutual respect and understanding. Through working with the horses they will become aware of the significance of non-verbal communication and the importance of congruence.
As part of their personal development, they will set life goals and complete team and leadership tasks. Other activities will include photography and archery as well as an introduction to the environment.
Phase 2 aims to improve horsemanship techniques, challenge fears and anxieties but at the same time build on trust, respect, and compassion. It will develop communication skills, problem-solving and coping strategies, self-confidence and self-esteem. Developing awareness, both of self and others, will lead to stronger friendships and effective team work.
An introduction to conservation and map reading will provide an exciting challenge and the opportunity to put it into practice in the beautiful surroundings of Glen Tanar. This will be the first step towards the John Muir Award. Overcoming uncertainty, whilst gaining new skills and recognising personal strengths are some of the important and rewarding outcomes of this process.
The final week is about exploring the attendees potential. By planning and preparing for an overnight expedition attendees will discover a great deal about themselves, their emotions and behaviour. Participants will plan the route and pack all necessary equipment. They will then ride the horses to the pre-planned destination where they will set up camp for the night. The last day will include attendees giving a short presentation on their experience of the course. This can take any number of formats from audio recordings, art, poetry, photography or by using more traditional methods. An award ceremony will follow these presentations