“Where the Horses do the Teaching”
This program is enhanced by life skills lessons that focus on peer pressure, positive communication, problem solving, conflict resolution and other teen social needs. It also explores alternatives to participating in negative activities or behaviors.
F.E.E.L is a powerful, professional and effective approach. The goal of equine enhanced learning is to provide hope and healing to children and youth that suffer from substance abuse, behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, depression, anxiety, relationship problems or quite simply, the everyday stresses and pressures of being young and having to cope with peers.
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK
Equine enhanced experimental learning opportunities have proven to be a practical approach in teaching youth alternative skills for individuals to overcome when faced with difficult challenges and negative influences.
F.E.E.L provides an opportunity to work through a Building Block tm equine enhanced learning program specifically designed to bring out the best of those that enroll as participants. F.E.E.L wants to help teenagers feel better about themselves, increase their self confidence, inspire them to reach their full potential to make a positive difference in their lives.
Each exercise is custom designed to maximize the progressive learning potential and focus on developing individual skills as participants work through each interactive group challenge. Teams will work to: develop relationships, accept responsibility and accountability, overcome barriers, to find change, be encouraged to be creative and innovative, find opportunity in working together, realize the benefits associated with effective communication and recognize the value of mutual trust, respect and personal integrity.
The F.E.E.L program provides participants with a profound journey of learning. Horses in this program are powerful teaching tools. They immediately respond to what the participant is doing. Participants act, horses immediately respond, while our facilitators are there to provide guidance and allow the child to find a solution.
The most frequently asked question is, why horses? Horses are extremely sensitive. They are aware of their surroundings and are quick to react. Like many of our children, wild horses must be on constant guard. Nature provides them with instincts and senses that are very astute. Every horse is different, just as every child is unique. They watch for the slightest movement and can discern the difference between a calm non-threatening approach and anxious, nervous energy.
To understand how this process works, we must first realize how horses understand their owners rules for survival. In a horses world, the standards are clear, easy to understand and dealt with swiftly if challenged. Knowing this, we can alter our teaching techniques towards children to be more effective. Horses look for strong leadership and are willing to follow when they find a confident leader. Horses respect the stringent outline of the hierarchy. If we provide contradictory behavior, the horse will begin to question and challenge our authority to lead. The head mare and stallion work as a team for the safety and strength of the herd. The entire herd works together to teach their offspring the laws of nature. Horses, like children, crave to be in environments in which consequences are swift and fair.
Young people discover how sensitive horses are, how kind and forgiving they can be; our facilitators identify the ‘Teachable Moments’ in team building exercise that serve to enhance the child’s self-awareness, interpersonal skills and leadership abilities.