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WHAT IS EQUINE
Equine Assisted Learning is an objective based educational experience with horses. Youth work in a group setting with a horse as one of their teammates to complete basic exercises. Throughout the exercises, the horse will respond to participants' behaviour which clearly defines their strengths and limitations. In order to have the horse cooperate, Youth will learn to recognize and modify any ineffective behaviours to achieve success with the horse and, ultimately, with everything that they do. There is no riding involved, instead participants work alongside the horse to learn valuable life skills in a fun and exciting atmosphere!
The benefits of learning with horses are endless and the results are profound. Current research shows that this experiential form of learning results in higher academic grades, improved social skills and positive mental health benefits. This specific program has proven to be effective, powerful, positive, educational and creative, in several University studies. Exercises are developed to encourage self confidence through validated, hands-on experiences.
WHY DO WE WORK
WITH A PREY ANIMAL?
Over 2,000 years of experience...
Horses are profound teachers due to their herd/prey instincts, complete lack of judgement, and non-verbal communication. Horses depend on a leader for mere survival alone. Their security comes from knowing that the members of their herd are looking out for them. Once domesticated, horses seek leadership from the humans who handle them. If we are not the leader, the horse will be!
Once our participants are taught the basics of understanding how the horse communicates, he or she can become the leader the horse seeks. When the horse feels safe, cooperation is a hundred fold and we can easily get the horse to do what is asked of it. When the horse is met with confusion, aggression or insecurity he will disengage and stop participating with his team. These responses are clear and consistent, creating highly teachable moments where Youth can understand the cause and effects of their behaviour. Facilitators are always on hand to parallel the learning back to everyday life situations so that Youth have an experience to draw on that helps them to retain the lesson.
A horse's natural sensitivity provides us with a perfect barometer for human nature. The honest and unspoken communication expressed by the horse eliminates barriers that are present in human/human interaction. Horses instinctively react to stimulus by sensing body language, verbal, and non-verbal cues. They provide an instant and honest reaction, causing Youth to identify their personal strengths and limitations and learn to modify their behaviours. Every time the participant interacts with the horse, the horse will; respond to stimulus, expect and demand leadership, respect rules of the 'herd', and live in the moment.
With a horse as teammate Youth will work through fun, objective based exercises. Throughout the exercises, the horse will respond to both individual and group stimulus. Without opinion, he will communicate through body language, clearly responding to the team's behaviour. Youth will learn their personal strengths and limitations and also how to modify their behaviour to achieve success. Facilitators will parallel the learning to everyday situations so the skills will be carried back to real life.
BUT WHERE'S THEIR
Your Youth are learning rock solid skills with our horses! But if their head isn't in the game, their training will suffer. So what do we do about that? We plant the seeds of a Growth Mindset in every Youth we serve. They don't want a bunch of lecture or paperwork and we don't either! So we make it simple and fun to integrate a Growth Mindset with tools that really make a difference! Gratitude, acts of kindness, working through fear, visualization... these are all part of equipping your Youth for their best futures!