Creativity Challenge – Francisco Ambriz Submission

Experiences in La Herradura Center for Human Development (La Herradura Centro de Desarrollo Humano HCDH) using the 5 C’s in the Assisted workshops with Horses, camps and special courses.

I would like to start by sharing a verse that defines a lot what we are trying to do in the HCDH

 “This will achieve the final mission of the world

When everyone rests on himself

And each one

Give each one

What nobody wants to demand ”

Rudolf Steiner


Since 2014 we decided to open to the public and share this place to contribute with a grain of sand to our society, initially they were only Assisted Workshops with Horses for companies and groups, then there were the Camps and Courses for children and young people, and currently also  We do workshops and camps for families.

In the HCDH we are clear that it is urgent to improve the core of any society, “The Family”

During all this time we have received people from many parts of Mexico and a few from other countries, but all with the same objective, “Discover something of themselves in a practical way, which is usually very difficult to achieve if someone else tells you”, And this is one of the pillars of the Experiential Pedagogy, so here we focus on everything that is taught in the classroom, we live it, we reason together and improve our skills on the same day. There are workshops ranging from a few hours to 10 days and summer courses lasting from 1 week to 5 weeks. During all that time we do different activities aligned to the topic that is being reviewed with the group, some we do with Horses, others with different ranch animals, some we do with Archery, some with agriculture and others in simple contact with nature.  The important thing is to learn from everything that surrounds us but above all from nature, based on respect and collaboration with all living beings.

No matter how long the workshops or courses last, nor what activities we do, we always use the HCDH method developed by us and that basically integrates three pillars:

  1. A process and structure based on interaction with nature
  2. The Power of Acknowledgement – by Judy Umlas
  3. The Experiential Pedagogy model from the Anthroposophical approach – by Rudolf Steiner

Next, I would like to describe how and why we use the 5 C’s of the Acknowledgement that Judy Umlas recommends. Basically all the workshops and courses we start with a frame so that the group knows what it is going to be treated, and one of the first things we deepen at the beginning is about how good we feel when we give and give us Acknowledgement  , (at this time it is when we are making use of the first C – Consciousness), at this time we notice that the participants begin to be curious and intrigued them a lot if the acknowledgement will work with the group as well as with the examples we talked to them,  Then we start the dynamics and we indicate to the participants that during the rest of the workshop or course they observe the actions and efforts of their classmates and choose the ones that each one wants to Acknowledge (this is where we use the second C – Choose) but we also explain that  they need to have the courage to give those Acknowledgements, we explain that it is much easier if they choose the best time to do it and in an appropriate way, thinking how to do it, complete, correct and from the heart (here we use the following two C’s Courage and Communication), that is when the participants are surprised at how quickly they can feel the effects of giving and receiving the recognition, after each dynamic we make a feedback  of what has been learned, including how to give recognition, this helps them to improve more and more the way in which they give each recognition, at this moment an introspection process begins in each participant and as the dynamics and activities of the course or workshop continue  to be easier and more frequent than the participants to observe all the details of what is happening around them to be attentive to identify those efforts or actions that deserve to be Acknowledge.  (Thus we use the fifth C where we are generating the Commitment of all to do it continuously from our feeling and perceiving).  At this time of the workshop, participants enter a process of discovering a power they had in them and had not known how to use it.  Most of them show us their enthusiasm to start applying it in their daily lives.

In this way, we include the 5 C’s as part of the methodology of the workshops or courses where the participants arrive with very individualistic thinking “I” and they leave the course with a thinking of a group or team “we”. We achieve that the participants learn how to get closer to their classmates, friends, family and all those with whom they interact. Within the activities assisted with horses, we have found that people who quickly adopt the habit of recognition towards their peers, find it much easier to relate to the horses.  I still cannot say exactly what this is due to, but we will continue to observe in detail and analyze this phenomenon until we have a more solid basis for making an accurate statement.  At this time I can only make the following assumption in this regard: “people who adopt recognition as a habitual way of relating are happier people with themselves and therefore less stressed;  on the other hand, horses see people as members of their same herd and they do not judge, they only react according to their perception, so they tend to relate better to those members who are in the best mood. ”

Basically this is how we use the Power of Acknowledgement in all our courses and workshops.  Later we will be sharing other articles and if possible some videos with testimonials of what the participants live. I take this letter to thank all the team that has made it possible for these workshops and courses to be so successful, I know it has not been easy, because we have had to study, read, prepare and on many occasions we have had to sacrifice personal or family time  to prepare the workshops or courses, fix the facilities, practice among us before applying it with the participants, but I am sure that for all of us it has been a very important growth process in our lives.  I hope we remain for many years this wonderful team that we have been so far.