At the first meeting we sit down with each participant, discuss their goals and what they would like to see happen by the end of their session(s). Once we meet with them we plan a series of activities for them to focus on to achieve their goal. All sessions have hands-on activities that are simple but challenging enough to have them think, process and find a solution(s) to meet their goal with any number of the 11 horses we have on site.
Our programs are based on goal oriented results which will differ by participant and the fact that each one has their own individual goals, objectives and way of learning. We work closely with the family, therapists, educators, and any other individual working with the participant to determine the goals. Once the goals are defined, we plan a horse/human activity to focus on the positive completion of that goal. By working with the horse and the nature of this program the goal may refocus our activities.
In our programs we use hands-on learning techniques by focusing on the horse and human interaction in a non-verbal setting. We work with the participants and horses to develop activities where the participant learns through a process of doing or observing in a passive but active manner. We give the participant a task and let them work it out to the best of their ability while keeping them and the horses safe. We do not offer any verbal instructions; we however may lightly suggest or hint at possible resolutions if we see the participant losing confidence. In this work we do not pressure the participant or expect a certain path to get them through their assignment. The goal is for them to solve a problem no matter how simple and to reach their goal to the best of their ability. The goal-oriented tasks are designed to allow the participants time to process and develop their own plan of action in order to complete the task to the best of their ability. All tasks are done on the ground with the horse(s) either on a lead line or at liberty.
Depending on the goal, the participant may interact with any one of the 11 horses or a group of horses in different areas of the stable, such as the indoor arena, outdoor ring, round pen, or even out on the trails.
By working with the horses, the participants will see an improvement in social skills, speech skills, anger management issues, psychological, emotional & behavioral challenges, improved balance & grounding of the human body, build confidence, self-esteem, and promotes physical activity and movement in an outdoor setting. While working on these skills we strive to bring awareness to the participant on how their energy, personality and actions affect the horses and how the horse mirrors what the human is feeling or doing. We also work towards a calm, stress-free and low energy environment where horses and humans are at their best, allowing the participants to incorporate this into their own lives.