HorseZone for Youth is a program where participants (13-17 yrs) are given the opportunity through fun, interesting, ground-based activities with horses, to experientially discover core mental health constructs vital to emotional health and practice developmental life skills. As the youth work with horses, (creatures who mirror emotion and give immediate feedback to the child’s attitudes and actions), they learn a tremendous amount about the impact of their communication, actions, and problem solving skills. This program facilitates the rapid acquisition of social and emotional intelligences, which empowers each young person and gives them a fresh sense of self and a hope and belief in their ability to affect a positive impact on their current lives and future. In a non-threatening atmosphere surrounded by nature, while carrying out assigned tasks with non-judgemental horses, the youth are given a rare opportunity to experience highly attuned animals that become living breathing metaphors and powerful stand-ins for the people, issues, and challenges in their life, and offer safe reflection and compelling feedback for fears and anxieties they may be facing. In the hands of the skilled EAGALA team, the horses’ unique sensitivity helps youth understand their own internal processes more readily than hours of talk, and to practice vital life skills that are translated into everyday life. HorseAccord follows the principles of trauma-informed practice and the EAGALA Model has an emotional safety component embedded within the framework. The nine (90) minute weekly sessions are held during school terms and the program ends with a closing ceremony where participants are awarded a certificate of participation. Sessions focus on the following topics:
Emotional (Intrapersonal) Intelligence: learning to recognise one’s own and other’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.
Social (Interpersonal) Intelligence: learning and practicing situational awareness, presence, authenticity, empathy and a range of non-verbal and verbal communication skills such as listening, providing feedback, and using metaphors.
Trust and Respect: developing healthy boundaries, appropriate assertiveness, and appreciating perspectives of others different from their own.
Relationship Skills: dealing with peer pressure, bullying, and family dynamics.
Team Work: practicing being a team player, negotiation, and resolving conflict without aggression.
Self-Regulation: reducing stress and anxiety, learning strategies to relax and self-sooth, practicing problem solving skills, and managing anger.
Control and Choices: understanding choices and consequences and practicing taking control of one’s future through informed choices.
Identity and Personality: fostering resilience and optimism, increasing creativity and adaptability, developing confidence and self esteem, identifying personal strengths and growth areas.
Motivation and Goals: achieving success through personal responsibility, self motivation, concentration and attentiveness, goal planning, and overcoming distractions and obstacles.
HorseZone is not a riding program. When adolescents work directly with horses on the ground on an equal footing it enables them to better read the horse’s actions and reactions to process and solve life challenges. For further information or to book into this program, please call us or provide your email address via the “Contact Us” page and we will be sure to contact you.