"The horse shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear." ~ unknown
Grounded by years of clinical research and social observation, Whispering Equine is founded on the principle that through partnership with horses a WHOLE PERSON can be created - a whole person with the ability to live and appreciate a more fulfilling and well-rounded life.
Whispering Equine represents a company and facility that provides support, encourages growth and assists in the continued well-being of an individual through the medium of an equine facilitator, such that they are able to tap into and embody the very best possible versions of themselves.
Specifically, Whispering Equine employs Equine Facilitated Learning ("EFL") practices (as defined and accredited through Professional Association of Equine Facilitated Wellness- "Pro-EFW"). The practice of EFL has varying forms of expression that can and will be individualized based on necessity and circumstance in order to achieve the maximum results. It is defined as: An educational approach that includes equine facilitated activities incorporating the experience of equine/human interaction in an environment of learning or self-discovery. EFL encourages personal explorations of feelings and behaviors to help promote human growth and development.
Engaging with horses allows people to experience a pure and authentic relationship. It is much safer to explore a relationship void of judgment or criticism with a horse than another human being. They offer unconditional support and prove to be empowering in their equine human interactions thus promoting the process of trusting self and others and enabling a new and lasting confidence.
Along with providing healing to humans, Whispering Equine also offers a program to help our equine companions. Energy Healing is an experience that can help improve the life of horses and the connection with their owner or rider.
While Whispering Equine has an extensive repertoire of tools and experience to draw on, the ultimate and persisting goal is to enhance the quality of life for both humans and horses by creating a greater connection and understanding between them and within them.
The founder and primary facilitator of Whispering Equine is native Calgarian, Carrie Watson. Though born and raised in the city, Carrie always found her way to horses. She immersed herself in many areas of the horse world over the years - volunteering at the Fish Creek trail riding stable, going mountain trail riding and packing, belonging to a Pony Club where she focused on jumping and cross country sessions, working as a horse day camp instructor, volunteering for therapeutic riding, taking natural horsemanship training and recently equine facilitated wellness training. It wasn't until she had to face some challenges in her personal life did she realize that horses were who she turned to for support, relief and personal growth.
After attaining her Bachelor of Kinesiology and Bachelor of Education degrees, Carrie started her adult career as a high school teacher and volleyball coach. It was during this time that she was able to discover the love and ability she had for helping teens reach their goals...whether it was in sports or other areas of their lives. Because of this experience as a teacher, coach and mentor, Carrie found that students trusted her and were willing to open up and share parts of their life with her and other students, particularly when away on team/class trips. It was in the witnessing of both youth and adults opening up and experiencing new sides of themselves, either through horses or in alternative environments, along with her own experience of having horses to help her through her life challenges, that Carrie made the difficult choice to leave her teaching career. Her passion began to fuel her dream of starting an equine facilitated wellness business. She researched associations to take her training with and thus embarked upon her in-depth training and certification process with Pro-EFW (Professional Association of Equine Facilitated Wellness).
Through the training for the Equine Facilitated Learning Professional and Equine Professional certifications, she has created her two main versions of EFL work at Whispering Equine; Introduction to Horses and Personal Growth and Healing. During Personal Growth and Healing sessions, Carrie partners with and works alongside mental health professionals in their work associated with the recovery and healing processes. This partnership allows clients to experience an enhanced, authentic and therapeutic experience in an alternative environment.
A main focus for Carrie is to help introduce or connect people with horses in a different way than just the traditional riding lessons. She believes there is a need to give horses a voice, so to speak, as she sees them as sentient beings that have so much to offer humans. Horses are more than just a "tool" or "vehicle" for work or pleasure. Getting to know and connect with a horse from the ground up, in an environment filled with respect and trust is key to people and horses having safe and fulfilling relationships/partnerships/ interactions.
Based on this premise, Carrie has created the Introduction to Horses program as a part of her company's EFL work. "I want to be different then other equine instructional facilities. I can offer a program that will allow a person to learn to connect with, care for, and grow with an equine partner. I look for a healthy and respectful relationship to be created between the client and the horse before they get on the horse's back. I don't believe it is respectful or even sometimes safe to just pop a person up on the back of a horse they have never met or connected with. The horses here at Whispering Equine "sign up" and choose to work with specific clients. They intuitively seem to know who needs which horse’s help and guidance in the various sessions.”
One of Carrie's over all goals in providing these types of sessions is to allow people a different perspective in either reconnecting with their own horse or preparing future horse owners for their start in any equine sport activity. It is Carrie's hope that through her work she will be able to provide many "special moments" between clients and horses. As more individuals and horse facilities take on this sentient being perspective, society will see healthy horse/human partnerships flourish in the work, pleasure and competitive worlds of equine interaction.
Carrie is also a certified Mentor for Pro-EFW, where she supports certification candidates on their own certification and personal journey with this amazing line of work!