Gateway Farms Equine Assisted Learning is located just an hour north of Toronto, in the beautiful hills of Mulmur, Ontario. 

836421 4th Line | Mulmur, Ontario

T: 519.216.4021


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Five Tips to Make the Most of Your EAL Experience

Dedicating some of your time can enhance your workshop experience.

When people visit Gateway Farms, they expect a meaningful experience. Like any workshop, you take part because you want to learn something, or gain a new perspective or insight into your life.

But we lead busy lives. Twenty years ago, the slick devices in our pockets would seem like science fiction. Today, your phone enables you to multi-task in unbelievable ways. 

The time you save, and the things you do with that time, comes at a cost. Relationship problems, poor memory, and increased rates of depression have been linked to our dependency on technology.

So although your initial intentions were sound, it’s plausible you haven’t thought about your EAL workshop since booking. To help you get the most out of your experience, I’ve gathered five things you can do to ready yourself. Read on to find out what they are.

Put Aside 15-30 Minutes of Your Time

The first advice I always share with my new clients before they come to our workshop is the easiest: Schedule up to thirty minutes to sit down without distractions and think about your life.

Okay, maybe that’s not so easy. But if you can find the time to reflect, the results will amaze you. Put away your phone and other distractions. Keep a pen and paper by your side. Then sit down with a cup of tea and let your mind wander.

That’s it. Write any stray thoughts that come into your head. See where they lead you. Often our biggest obstacles come to the surface first. Maybe you want a raise but your boss ignores your requests. Why is that?

Or maybe your marriage isn’t going so well. Last week you had a big fight and things haven’t been the same. What could you do to mend the relationship?

Consciously maintaining your awareness when you’re at the farm and working with our horses drastically improves your outcome.

What Is Your Ideal Set and Setting?

I’ve borrowed the term set and setting from an uncommon source, but I believe it suits our topic.

Set is short for Mindset, or your state of mind. Where would you like you mind to be when you arrive at the farm? Do you want to be calm, open, eager to learn? Or do you want to be anxious and worried you’ll embarrass yourself?

Of course, you’d prefer the former.

Human intention contains a lot more power than you may realize. By actively imagining your state of mind, you help to bring it into conscious awareness. I’ve found that clients who imagine their experience prior to the workshop enjoy themselves more. Not only that, our horses respond to them in surprising, positive ways, too.

Setting means being honest about your surroundings, your environment.

If you’re like me, you walk around all day with assumptions in your head. I’ll give you an example.

On my way to a coffee shop, I assume it won’t be crowded and the coffee will be perfect. But when I reach the entrance, the line up goes outside and around the corner, and the baristas are sweating through their shirts.

Sometimes assumptions are harmless. Other times, they detract from our experiences. So be realistic about your expectations. Check out our about us page and read some more of our blog posts.

Simplify Your Problems into One question.

To expect fulfilling answers, you must find the proper questions.

Despite the hundreds of self-help books that claim otherwise, real progress is slow. We can’t solve all of our problems in one hour. We’re lucky if we can tackle one.

On your way to the farm, come up with questions you want answered. Then whittle them down to one or two.

Ask Friends and Family to Describe You in a Word or Sentence.

I believe people change - all the time. Who you are now is not necessarily who others see. You will act differently around your child than you will around your husband, for example.

By asking your family and friends to describe you, you get a window into other versions of yourself.

Collect the answers. If you want, write them down and bring them with you. When you work with our horses, remember how others see you and compare that to how the horses interact with you.

Relax and Be Present

No matter what happens in your workshop, one thing is certain: You’ll love working with our horses.

Regardless of how much you’re able to prepare (or not prepare), do your best to be present during your time with us.

Listen to the facilitator’s instructions. But most of all, relax.