Activities to Skills
Tools to help throughout life
Our mentors use the horses and the farm to provide participants with a variety of experiences so they can learn new skills, many activities can achieve more than one skill, below is only an example of what some activities might look like. Each person is different and therefore each of our programmes vary and students progress through in different ways and times.
Horses are excellent at building emotional safe connections. They are non-judgemental. They are accepting, and give trust based on 'present' positive interactions.
General interactions with the horse, doing simple grooming tasks and receiving positive feedback from the horse and mentor.
Horses are the masters of non- verbal communication. Students learn this language when interacting with the horse, receiving immediate feedback from the horse.
Asking the horse to move in a certain direction or leading over an obstacle course. Body language from you is key for the horse to willing oblige. Giving clear directions.
Horses interpersonal dynamics are very similar to ours, so they facilitate social skills and teamwork, whilst working with them.
Students see they can become the leader with the horse, and the horse listens. This confidence is transferred into working with others on practical tasks.
Horses and the farm environment are very sensory experiences so ideal for students who are highly emotional or withdrawn.
Students benefits from the calming heart rate of the horse (Co- Regulation) through touching the horses. Practicing calm decisive movements with the horse will also aid these skills.
Horses are curious and playful and help students learn boundaries, problem solving, perseverance and resilience.
Horses are gentle and don't take offence, creating a 'safe' environment to practice and keep trying different methods, having the confidence to try again until they get the result they needed. Unconditional support from mentor.
Horses want you to be their leader, so are ideal to demonstrate to students what good leadership behaviour looks like.
Students learn and see how to engage and be seen as the leader by the horse. This responsiveness, decision making and planning can then be applied to other social situations.
The horse's interactions totally encourage resilience, they don't get upset, or judge, but patiently wait for you.
The overall learning from the programme supports positive learning, and this naturally grows resilience to any problem or situation.
A variety of practical skills are used and taught to allow students to experience the social and emotional behaviours.
All the skills being observed will assist the participants in their daily lives.
Activities - Horse:
Catching and haltering horses
Tying up horses
Weighing and preparing feeds
Leading and handling skills
Maneuvering over obstacles
Learning horse behavior
Picking up horses feet
Painting and dressing up horses
Animal hang out time
Relays and horse games
Activities - Farm:
Adventures into the hills
Planting natives, vegetables, soil types, weeds
Working with dogs
Fencing and paddock jobs
Use of tools
General farm maintenance
Drawing and painting