Stable Mind

Why Horses?

Horses are highly social and are driven to seek connection. As horses are non-verbal forming a relationship with horses requires a person to be self-aware, regulated, empathetic, open to an authentic relationship, and responsible. For those struggling with emotional trauma, it can be easier to start with learning how to have a healthy relationship with a horse. Then transfer those skills to everyday life interactions with those around them. 

As prey animals, horses are highly attuned to their environment and are sensitive to people’s emotions. Possibly even more so than dogs and other animals typically used in assisted therapies. Horses are capable of sensing a person’s feelings instantly and giving feedback such as moving toward or away from the client. A horse’s survival depends on their ability to be alert to very subtle cues, they are especially aware of how each human differs both on the in and outside. A person must have the ability to read the horse’s response and then regulate their interactions to be sure that they are congruent with their intentions and emotions. Horses react honestly, quickly, and non-judgmentally. They can give individuals feedback about themselves that does not make them defensive the way it would if it came from another person. Equine-human interaction is highly rewarding for both parties when the connection is respectful and regulated. Horses are highly motivating, fun, and rewarding on many levels. This allows the individual to build self-worth from a sense of competence and affiliation.   

What is Equine assisted therapy (EAL)? 

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is an experiential approach that promotes the development of life skills for education, professional and personal goals through equine assisted activities. In an EAL setting, equine-human interaction is guided by a planned learning experience to meet the identified goals or desires of the participant(s). During each series students will be guided through activities with the end goal being the development and or strengthen of fundamental life skills that will equip them with the tools needed to confidently set and achieve life goals. ( Problem solving, Decision making, Critical thinking, Creativity Communication, Patience, Empathy, Teamwork, Controlling emotions, and  Confidence). No Session will have the same end result as the impact on each child’s personal growth will be based on the uniqueness of each child / equine relationship. 

- 12 week series 

- Same group of students attending 3 consecutive sessions each week for 12 weeks.

- Students will learn basic horsemanship, grooming graduating to advanced horsemanship includes horse care, forming connections, responsibilities, greater communication and understanding of the horses. Social-emotional skills learned become highly transferable to everyday activities and interactions. 

Activities Incorporated 

     Focus: Connection 

          - Grooming 

          - Leading

          - Learning horse body parts 

          - Games/Obstacle courses 

     Focus: Gaining a sense of accomplishment and new skills 

          - Communication-saddling / bridling

          - Trust- lunging

          - Bonding- work with equine rescues 

Barn Chores/Management

     Focus: The give and take of a relationship. Horses need their homes and equipment kept clean and well-organized 

          - Cleaning tasks 

          - Watering and feeding

          - Organization and following directions