When students first arrive at the barn they will be greeted by the horses for the day, meeting them in the arena. Then they will come up to the classroom and we will chat about what we are trying to achieve for the day and the objective we want to practice. After knowing the plan, we head back down to the arena and work with the horses for there majority of their time at the barn. Then every class ends the same, as we wrap up back in the classroom and reflect on what the horses taught us. Each week we focus on new social skills and ways to regulate our emotions. We practice these skills and model what they look like with the horses and then parallel those interactions with areas we can improve on in our homes and classrooms.
EQE classes are designed to help students build social and emotional strategies. This program is an additional way to reach our kids that makes the horses the teacher. We are constantly in awe of the connection and respect students and horses have with each other. This gives each student an experience to pull from when they are faced with choices in everyday life, as they build strong, solid, skills working with their horses.
EQE sessions operate in 8 or 12 weeks cycles, focusing on specific objectives that link back to the obstacles, anxieties or frustrations, we face everyday.
Our youth curriculum programs usually operate through school groups. The schools and the team at Equine Empowerment work together to communicate during the program so that homeroom teachers and administrators know the objectives of the week, and the names of the horses each student had. This way reinforcement extends between the classroom at school, and the classroom at the barn. Students love to share information about their time at the barn with their homeroom teachers and parents. This creates a more lasting change with their connection to the horses being the catalyst.
What Is Equine Assisted Learning?
Equine Assisted learning or EAL is an experiential learning program that focuses on Team Building, Communication, Trust and Confidence. Horses are used as the teachers and team-mates to help learners of all ages, develop in these areas. EAL is a method of reaching students that is researched and results based, with schools operating internationally.
We use horses for Equine Empowerment because they require us to be completely and totally present in the moment at all times. Additionally horses are a vacuum to great leaders, so we can adjust our leadership styles and practice them with the horses, and the horses will respond predictably and instantly. They love affection and praise yet are up for any challenge and puzzle.
By their intuitive nature and innate sensitivity, horses can provide facilitators with a window into the participant's personality. As a prey animal, they are sensitive to the stimulus of each participant. They react to the stimulus through body language and participants must adjust their feelings and behaviors to work successfully with the horses.
WHAT CAN A HORSE TEACH YOU THAT A HUMAN CAN'T?
Horses consistently model assertiveness and teach us how.
Horses can't lie or overthink a participants motive.
Horses feedback is honest and instant.
Nature provides them with instincts and senses that are very astute and predictable.
Help to instill empathy and kindness in the participants.
Horses have natural herd behaviours that require trust, respect, and teamwork from all members of the team.
Horses automatically respond to confusion, frustration and anxiety.
They lead through assuredness - not brute force.
Horses have distinct personalities and through this, they all have different methods of teaching.
Our EQE horses love attention and affection. They want to be in the barn each day with the students. They get as much from the students as the students get from them.