They may be large but horses are one of the most gentle and intuitive creatures on earth. To spend time in the barn in their calming presence watching as you work; to feed and care for them, to groom them and feel their warmth and companionship of our equine partners….is our reward. And it is one that regularly give that helps reduce stress, blood pressure and improves overall health in exchange.
Horses are herd animals with a strong emotional sense that they use to respond to the emotions of the herd, be that equine or human. The therapy is in the companionship and the relationships we build with these magnificent animals. PATH International, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, acknowledges many different types of “equine-assisted activities.” But in its most general sense, interaction of any type between a person and horse is an equine-assisted activity.
Building a relationship with a horse is like having an emotional mirror; if you are feeling angry or sad a horse will sense that and respond to those feelings. Horses don’t hide their emotions so even if we are not conscious of negative feelings, the horse knows. Spending time with these intuitive animals can reduce anxiety and stress levels, improve moods and create a sense of peace and contentment,
At Heartland we offer a number of equine-assisted programmes to take advantage of the amazing emotional bonds our horses create and to help build emotional awareness, confidence, social skills, impulse control, problem-solving skills, trust and empathy.
The beneficial effects of pairing Alzheimer patients with horses has been validated by numerous studies and confirms that equine-related activities which allow interaction through grooming and bonding boosts the patient’s mood with the effects lasting for an extended time. At Heartland, we are committed to helping people lead better lives by connecting them with these extremely intuitive animals.
Our 8-week program runs in 3-hour sessions and is available for individuals or groups of up to 10. Participants have an opportunity to get hands on horse experience in a safe, non-threatening environment. The program is highly flexible so it can be modified based on the needs of the group and includes:
We’re working on some more great programs to benefit our community. Add your name and we’ll send you an alert when the program is ready to begin.