BENEFITS include and are not limited to improved:
- Self-esteem and emotional well-being
- Focus and attention span
- Verbal and communication skills
- Listening skills
- Fine and gross motor skills
- Outward focus, compassion and empathy
- Quality of life
Specifically, here’s how some of our activities can help!
- Physical: Grooming incorporates large muscle groups as well as fine motor skills. The child is stretching, bending and reaching, (sometimes picking up hooves!) which requires strength, balance and coordination.
- Social/Relationships: Children develop relationships with our volunteers and the horses they care for. Children learn the importance of compassion, communication, cooperation and respect when working with their horse and their leader.
- Routine/Sequencing: Grooming has a specific order to it, which brings routine and sequencing into play. Knowing when and how much to feed the animals daily also encourages the importance of routine.
- Awareness/Focus: Horses and animals talk to us with body language. Learning to listen to body language is, in large part, what keeps us safe around these powerful animals. Children learn to be focused, present and "in the moment" when working with them.
Calming: Horses and most other animals respond favorably to a slow, quiet demeanor and a soft voice. As children become calmer and more soothing, they begin to notice the positive effect their behavior has on the animals.
- Confidence/Empowerment: The development of the animal/human bond assists children in gaining respect, trust, and leadership skills. It empowers them and builds self-esteem, which motivates them to try new things!