Social and emotional skills come easy for sone but for others may need to be both modeled and taught. Click here for a simple survey for yourself or a youth in your life.
Any of these challenges can be incorporated into our mounted or unmounted work. See below for examples of skills and related exercises:
As seasoned facilitators, we structure activities to help clients
explore various themes.
The possibilities are endless!
Some exercises can be based solely on observations of horses amongst their herd (body language and other non-verbal communication methods), hierarchy and leadership roles, dominant vs aggressive behaviors, social bonds, play and more. Other activities might have a client or clients more physically engaged.
Below is an example of a theme-based activity:
Assertiveness is a skill regularly referred to in social and communication skills training. Being assertive means being able to stand up for our own or other people's rightist a calm and positive way, without being either aggressive, or passively accepting "wrong/" It means balancing respect for self and others. An assertive person will experience significantly less stress, as this is a critical coping skill.
Participant is taught how to lead a horse . . .to walk forward, to stop, to turn right and to turn left.
Varations: A time limit or obstacle course may be added to create a more
challenging situation; couples, families, sibling or teams can work in pairs with
one or more horses.
As the leader, what was it like to make requests of this large and unfamiliar animal?
How did the horse respond to the signals given?
As the leader, how assertive did you need to be with the horse?
When asserting yourself with the horse did you feel calm? Stressed? Somewhere in between?
Did the horse's behavior exhibit calm or tension in response to the leader's signals?
How does this activity relate to real-life situations where your assertiveness is required?
What did the horse teach you today about assertiveness?
How can you use that in your everyday world?
If you worked in teams, what was it like to share the responsibility of leading the horse(s)?
Did both members feel they contributed to the outcome?
How did the horses(s) respond to the team? Was there planning involved? Did the plan change?
What strengths did the team? What was challenging about working as a team?