Teen Leadership Program
“From going to the horse farm I see a different me-like a calm, focused, determined me. I think the horses helped bring that out of me and helped me find it. This experience also teaches people like me that if you are focused you can do anything, like build trust with an animal. I now realize the horses aren’t just animals, they are kind of like people. I say this because they have feelings, they learn right from wrong. They need to build trust and helped me in the right direction, just like people do. So going to the farm was not just a grade it was a way to find your true self and what your capable of doing”
Teens struggling with mental health or substance abuse often feel alone and isolated. The horse’s unconditional acceptance helps them feel a sense of connection with other living beings and with the larger world.
Photo Credits: Tracey Buyce
This is an experiential program designed to develop positive leadership qualities in youth between the ages of 13 – 18. This program is ideal for use by schools and community based organizations. Students and their teachers (and/or counselors) incorporate an equine facilitated learning experience using groundwork exercises and activities with the horses to address their academic needs and social behaviors. These “hands on” exercises and activities are designed to help adolescents build self-esteem, increase skills in safety, judgment, and awareness of self and the external environment, gain confidence and leadership skills, improve emotional self-regulation, and develop team building skills. Horses respond to our behavior and provide us with honest and clear feedback about ourselves. It’s the insight adolescents, in particular, need in order to develop skills critical for success in their everyday lives. This program enhances classroom discussions and collaborative reflections through the experiential learning that takes place in this unique environment.
Integrated Extended Day Teen Leadership Program
This is a 5 hour weekend and/or summer day program. The focus is on developing those skills as described above in the self-leadership program. Adolescents with teachers, adult sponsors, or counselors incorporate an equine facilitated learning experience using groundwork exercises with mindful, collaborative, nature-based art activities. Both equine exercises and art activities are designed to promote positive changes in their social behavior and exposes them to elements of nature that they may not be able to otherwise experience.