Embracing Healthy Change
Activities With Equine
Healthy Change Ė Structured Activities With Equine is a program
especially suited for clients with mental health issues. This is a
therapeutic, recreational, and life skills program focussed on the
mental health benefits of interacting with equine. The program
provides socialization, recreation, interaction of clients and
horses, and the care and training of the horse. These connections
provide life skills training, rehabilitation and employment
opportunities for individuals with mental health issues. This
program benefits individuals of all ages and vulnerabilities.
Emotional healing is about peeling back the layers of the past,
breaking the cycle of pain and suffering, identifying what triggers
negative feelings and behaviours and building a set of skills to
handle such emotions in a positive way. These are invaluable tools
for developing social skills and relationships with the humans in
the clientís world. As clients learn how to appropriately interact
with the horse they are exposed to a sense of freedom and
achievement which gives them some building blocks for becoming
self-reliant and managing behaviours.
Scene One: Imagine a teen who is having difficulty connecting with
other people, unable to communicate feelings, unable to concentrate
or control emotions, the level of frustration evident in every
gesture. The teen is fragile.
Scene Two: Picture this same young vulnerable person partnered with
a 1200 pound animal, walking side by side around a coral or a
pasture, being the leader in the coral, having the horse respond to
this leadership role, the teenís focus is on the horse, the horse is
focussed on pleasing the teen - returning affections, their mutual
respect, the hand extended, the horse eating from this little hand,
the teen being able to stroke the horses strong muscles.
Startling contrast isn't it? Understanding two things, first that
horses are different and more gentle around young people and second
that the horse is honest, straight forward and does not judge, we
can see profound things happen when the child accepts this
relationship at face value. The horse and their mutual relationship
is the centre of the teenís attention. There is no space or time in
their relationship for the teen to be fixated on past or negative
events and the horse couldnít care less if someone has been in jail
or has a learning disability. The horse accepts the teen with
absolute honesty and no manipulation which helps break the cycle of
emotional pain the teen may have endured in previous relationships.
this Embracing Healthy Change Program the client discovers how to
connect with a living being, one that is not destined to hurt them
emotionally because, no matter what the circumstances, the horse
will not reject the client once the bond is formed. Horses are
loving thinking beings who don't judge and accept the
unconditionally. Therefore, dealing with a horse gives a person a
really positive non-judgemental experience.
Embracing Healthy Chance is especially beneficial to individuals who
have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Foster parents
can benefit from the interaction as well.
Other Equine Assisted Healing Programs
Professional Development and Team Building Programs