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  • Writer's pictureAlex Gulland

A Natural Fit

I have been working/training in the Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) for the last three years and during that time, I cannot help but notice that there are more women drawn to this area than men.


Some people like to link this back to a romantic notion that as little girls we liked to treat horses like dolls - enjoying hugging and kissing them, brushing their tails, braiding their manes and painting their hooves.

For me it is definitely nature rather than nurture.

However I disagree with the above wishy washy girly though, as I believe that women are drawn to this area because they are fascinated by the psychology, behind both the people and the horses.

What is Equine Facilitated Learning?

Before I go any further, for those who do not really know what Equine Facilited Learning (EFL) is - it is the practice of working with horses to help people with a number of issues eg anxiety, lack of confidence, depression, ADHD, relationship problems, leadership problems and much more.

Alex Gulland

All the work takes place on the ground with the horse, no actual riding takes place.

The horse works directly with the EFL practitioner. In an ideal EFL session the horse will reflect the true feelings of the client and we move forward from there, to hopefully help them work towards resolving their issues.

I was recently listening to a Radio 4 show by Rory Sutherland an ex work colleague.

This insightful show was entitled ‘Thought Cages’, the most recent episode looked at the subject of how we can achieve greater diversity by being less fair.

In the show Darwinian philosopher and rationalist Helena Cronin, (London School of Economics ), provided research to show that there are aspects of human behaviour, interests and ways of perceiving the world that are hard wired into us from birth.

She goes on to explain that girl babies, prefer to look at a human face and boys tend to look at objects.

So from an early age we (women), are looking for signs, signals and feedback from human faces - this is pretty similar to how we work as EFL practitioners.

I am not saying that women are better in the EFL area than men, but that the job role seems to be more of a natural fit for women.


I would love to do my own research into this area, if someone out there is willing to partner with me please get in touch.

In the meantime, to find out more information about Equine Facilitated Learning, please go to my website:

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