Equine Assisted Learning
In a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and an equine professional, horses are used experientially for emotional growth and learning. Participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors and patterns.
Horse therapy helps youth deal with life issues
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)--The teens frantically wave their arms, snap their fingers and make clicking sounds with their tongues in an attempt to get the horse to follow them and step over a piece of plastic pipe suspended across two overturned plastic buckets.
Unexpectedly, the pipe rolls from its perch onto the ground and the horse unintentionally steps over it.
Psychotherapist and registered nurse Pat Dubois reminds the kids that the verbal instructions were quite simply to get the horse to step over the pipe without touching the animal with their hands or pretending they were holding food.
The teens from A New Day Youth & Family Services, a short-term shelter for at-risk children, were engaged in exercises as part of Raising Hands for Horses, a program that Dubois operates out of her Corrales home.
The "equine-assisted psychotherapy" program focuses on emotional issues, while a related "equine-assisted learning" program focuses on life skills and issues related to academics and behavior.