Equine Assisted Learning
These experiential programs are designed to help youth, ages 8 and up, build an armour of skills so they know how to protect themselves, and how to move intentionally through the challenges they will experience in life.
Youth will find that this work is not only educational, but naturally allows for the growth and development of strength-based life skills such as effective communication, enhanced problem-solving, a better understanding of body language, and respect for personal boundaries, among others. Participants develop self-awareness about their own behaviour through powerful teachers, the horses.
In the horse, participants experience a teacher, a motivator, strength and calmness. The value of working with horses to learn new skills has been proven time and time again in the teaching of young people, especially teenagers. Horses understand how to differentiate between potentially threatening behaviour and a calm and assertive nature, and are ideal teachers for helping people build strong skills because once a person is taught the basics of working properly with horses, he or she can become the leader the horse seeks. When the horses feels safe, cooperation is a hundred fold and the person can easily develop a clear channel of communication and partnership. Horses will never judge, they will always forgive, and they will always listen to the participants true spirit.
Participants who have the chance to do this type of work are able to learn how to modify their behaviour through sets of exercises that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. They are able to bring that knowledge back to their regular lives, as everything we do with the horses parallels how we can work with other people, and even how we can work with ourselves. This type of teaching cannot be delivered in a classroom as it is the experience of being in close contact with horses that has the most effect on young people. As they build strong solid skills through working with their teachers, youth will have experiences to pull from when they are faced with choices in everyday life.
Equine Assisted Learning acts as a beautiful educational pathway to help develop empathy and kindness as well as help with:
~Behavioural disorders ~Low self-esteem ~Bullying ~Drug abuse ~Emotional issues ~Poor communication ~Inability to work with others
Some of the benefits identified are:
~ Improved view of physical health and wellness.
~ Experiencing physical touch in a healthy and safe way with horses.
~ Increased mental wellbeing, which can include uplifted mood/feelings, enhanced cognition & perception, awareness of thoughts, self, intellect, emotion, judgement and identity through perceptions of self.
~ Social wellbeing through improvements in interpersonal relationships of the individual’s relationships or associations with friends, family, community and the Universe. All programs are focused on becoming a better communicator through the understanding of space, body language, and dialogue.
~ Positive changes in behaviour through increased awareness of self and others. Horses have clear boundaries and let us know where and when they are uncomfortable with us, and when we've crossed boundaries. These skills carry over into how we interact with others and how we allow others to interact with us.
One of the many bonuses of working with horses vs a classroom setting is the component of interactivity - we all learn differently, but we all take away lessons that we learn through our own experiences. As the part of the only Nationally Recognized Equine Assisted Learning Program in Canada, each of our exercises are custom designed to maximize learning potential and focus on developing individual skills as participants work through each fun interactive group challenge.
~ develop relationships
~ accept responsibility and accountability
~ overcome barriers to find change
~ be encouraged to be creative and innovative
~ find opportunity in working together
~ realize the benefits associated with effective communication
~ and recognize the value of mutual trust, respect, and personal integrity...
All while having fun!
Our youth curriculum programs range from 8 and 12 sessions and happen in a safe and secure learning environment. This allows the effectiveness of the course to take hold, as well as the tracking of advancements in each of the youth participating. We work with parents, youth, organizations, etc. to create the right program layout for the youth involved.
Contact Us to set up your next individual or group program!
What can a 1200 pound teacher do for our kids?
Communication, Bonding & Togetherness
With all of the busyness in today's world it can be challenging to get enough quality time with our families. We chose to offer this program because we see a need within the community to have a place where families can go to intentionally spend time together in a relaxed environment, while also learning skills that will improve life at home.
This is a space for a 'time-in', to reconnect and have some fun while creating new and stronger pathways for communication, respect and team work. Participants develop and practice life skills together, but in learning from the horse, minimize the pressures that can come with team-building activities.
Every family member comes in on equal footing, and everyone gets the opportunity to act as the leader of the team. Horses respond to each individual's energy and requests differently, so not only is our self-awareness enhanced, but our awareness of our family members is heightened. We get to see each other's strengths and weaknesses, embrace each other's uniqueness, and find ways to work together as a unit where everyone succeeds. Equine Assisted Learning has the added benefit of creating the space for people to offer one another support and assistance in an easy, minimally stressful way. People often come away with a new perspective of themselves and each other.
By showing up, being part of the team, and taking personal responsibility while acting in the best interest of everyone involved, participants get the chance to truly know what it feels like to work together. Each session includes a specifically designed set of exercises, working towards a specific goal, with the horse(s) as the central focus. As we gain a deeper understanding of the horses, ourselves and each other, we become more effective in all aspects of our relationships, and in our lives.
At the end of each session there is time set aside to debrief, where everyone has the chance to reflect on and absorb what they have worked through, and how it can come back with them into daily life. This is a space where individuals also have a chance to show their appreciation and gratitude for one another's gifts and talents.
The Family Programs can be done alone or in combination with any of our Horsemanship or Wellness Programs, and can be scheduled in a weekly format similar to our Youth Curriculum Programs, or as Day Camps.
Contact Us to set up the your next family adventure!
Let your soul shine
We are not used to feeling safe and vulnerable; we are used to wearing masks and attempting to exhibit strength whether it is authentic or not. Especially as women, we have been trained to believe that the world is not a safe place; we are fear-based, and we are shame-based, which makes us disingenuous. We put up a façade and pretend we don’t have the deepest, darkest parts of ourselves because we think the world would not accept or understand how we came by them.
Horses recognize your true self, and respond to your stimulus by being able to sense physiological changes in your body as you work with them and with other people. These programs work because they have been designed to develop feelings of trust and self-confidence as well as many other emotional and behavioural improvements, with increased results each time we participate.
Like anything we do in life, if we want to continue with our forward progress, fighting anxiety and depression while maintaining emotional health, it’s not a one-time fix. If something is working for you, then it’s best to stick with it and do it as often as you can. If you want a body that's toned and in shape, you work at it regularly to maintain what the body requires. Similarly we must work at emotional health, recognizing when we feel changes that are positive, and notice where and how those changes settle within.
Horses are naturally grounded all the time, just as all energy must be grounded like an electrical circuit in our homes. As they do this naturally through their connection to their environment, staying in constant contact to earth, they stay present in their lives, helping us to stay in the moment as well.
There are no magic cures in life – it’s all a process. You have to take responsibility for your happiness, no matter where you're at in life. A great first step in understanding yourself is through the power of the horse. Their pure honesty helps you to find truth and vulnerability. You don’t have to get rid of the fear or shame – you just have to stop keeping it a secret, and they are able, without judgement, to get you to your true authentic self.
Ask yourself these questions:
~ Are you hiding ongoing battles with severe depression, feelings of sadness, loneliness, emotional health issues and anxiety that contribute to depression?
~ Are you embarrassed because you have so much in your life and cannot understand why you would have such feelings?
~ Do you have thoughts of self-hatred?
~ With so much emotional pain, do you find it tough to get out of bed?
~ Are you just exhausted by your thoughts?
~ Do you doubt yourself and your direction in life?
~ Are you craving emotional balance and inner peace?
~ Are you ready to find your natural talents, gifts and passion so you can move forward with power and confidence?
Whether you are rich or poor, famous or not, have everything you could dream of or are attempting to make your dreams come true, if you don’t allow yourself to tell the truth about who you are and experience vulnerability, you won’t be able to connect with horses, or with other people. We all look after our outer-selves on a regular basis, so why are we holding back putting time towards our inner health, especially when we know it will create so many overall benefits? All over the globe, these programs are helping women with tools to improve their emotional health. And that's where the true beauty of who you are exists!
The Authentic You Workshop are 2 full days of self-care time. They offer women the power to change, to discover their next step, and the chance to find and become their authentic selves, and that’s a beautiful thing. By interacting and working with - but not riding - the horses the women involved will be guided to a deep level of self-knowledge
With horses we must be authentic. They can read us and feel our energy, they know our boundaries and they see the real you. Horses are prey animals and the number one thing they want to feel is safe! They can easily discern between calm and nervous energy. When they feel safe and are approached with authenticity by our true vulnerable selves, they will get us on the path to really knowing ourselves. It sounds simple, yet it is a difficult task for humans in our society.
These workshops are offered throughout the year, and are available to private groups. If you'd like to be added to the waiting list for the next workshop or plan one of your own, please contact us!