The Pony Express Equine Assisted Skills for Youth is a life skill/leadership program for kids ages 12-18 years of age utilizing our rescued horses as teachers, healers, and agents of change. Having a sense of power and control over our actions and future is known as self-efficacy and is clearly linked to possessing a sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Our programs provide a safe, non-judgmental learning environment for kids to develop self-worth and self-esteem. Through specific horse related exercises our program enhances kids’ ability to achieve the following outcomes in an authentic learning environment:
· Build relationships based on trust, respect, communication, and team work
· Make healthy choices and establish boundaries
· Experience unconditional love through safe, healthy, and positive attachments
· Stay present focused and engaged
· Heal Trauma
For those of us who work with horses, we know how amazing this form of connection can be and what it has to offer. It can be equally powerful for individuals working through trauma, many of whom are experiencing disconnection, dysfunction, or toxicity in their lives. We are pleased to announce that Aurora has given us the opportunity to create a safe place for patients to work with horses and receive their therapeutic benefits.
Horses are authentic and as such make exceptionally honest teachers for individuals who may not be aware of what they are radiating, and are possibly being incongruent. Horses help us to move from our heads to our bodies and in doing so become more grounded, less stressed and anxious, and have a better understanding of how we relate to others, and why others relate to us in the way that they do.
Horses provide us with opportunities for safe, healthy attachment without judgement. Studies show that oxytocin, released through bonding and attachment, influences and helps regulate social behavior, fear, stress, and pain, and fosters tranquility, well-being, memory, and learning. Oxytocin also induces states of rest and digest as well as a state of calm that supports connection.
Horses are large and powerful. Working through fear and building confidence arise naturally when engaging with these animals. Horses respond immediately and honestly and will mirror human body language and emotion. People learn that when they change themselves and their approaches in healthy and positive ways the horses respond differently and each is rewarded instantly. We are grateful to Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital for making this new program possible. Thank you!
Happy Couples & Horses, how horses can keep your relationship healthy
Did you ever think that you could improve your communication, connection, conflict resolution and your relationship with the help of horses?
Romantic relationships are important for our happiness and well-being. Yet with more than 40 percent of new marriages ending in divorce, it's clear that relationships aren't always easy. Research shows that one of the most common causes of failure in relationships points to a breakdown in communication. According to Mehrabian’s communication study; only 7% of what we say verbally with words actually communicates, 38% is based on tone of voice and 55% is communicated through body language. This is where we believe that horses can help couples to either establish or improve their communication and in doing so improve their relationship.
Horses do make that extra difference. They are seven times more sensitive to body language and subtle energy than humans. Horses respond to subtleties in your body language, and it is the focus on the non-verbals that can be particularly revealing. We provide a safe environment where our horses can freely interact with and empower you to reflect on your own reactions, behaviors and limitations. Our goal is through the course of participating in specific exercises with horses we can help couples:
· Foster closeness and affection
· Resolve long standing conflicts in your relationship
· Improve communication and connection in your relationship
· Build trust, respect and team work
Check out our blog on Happy Couples & Horses here.