Youth

Horsepower for Youth

Changing bodies…Yearning for acceptance and love…Peer pressure…The unknown future AND the deeper questions: Who am I? Where do I belong? Our Youth is under considerable pressure in this modern society.

The promise of connection is that we will be understood, be known, be accepted, be appreciated and ultimately be loved for who we truly are. It means being oneself and yet being a part of something bigger than one single self.

Amy Racina

Horse Spirit Connections offers personal development sessions for youth that promote growth through FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning)®. Engaging with horses allows young people to experience pure, authentic relationship where they feel safe exploring ‘relationship’ with a horse who offers unconditional support and love without judgment. This starts the process of trusting self and others.

Horses are valuable teachers as they connect us to the natural world, to compassion, to love, and honesty.  Because they are prey animals in the wild, their survival depends on being highly attuned to the energy of their surroundings.  This natural instinct makes the horse a powerful, direct, non-verbal and non-judgmental guide – one the youth respect.

Our country setting removes urban distractions and simplifies options for young adults to gain new insights and new ways of interacting with themselves and others.

Interacting with a big intimidating animal provides a means for them to confront fear and gain more courage and confidence.  More importantly, it removes young adults from their ‘comfort zone’ and requires honest communication in their interaction with the horses.

As horses are responsive to human emotions and actions, they will immediately sense and respond to someone’s emotions and behaviors.  Horses are honest and never lie.  For example, a frustrated adolescent can cause the horse they are interacting with to become equally frustrated.  The horse will act out the frustration they are sensing. If the adolescent acknowledges the feeling the horse will change it’s behavior.  Our young people learn the importance of being ‘real’.

 

With FEEL young people will:

  • Increase self confidence
  • Uncover personal issues
  • Practice setting boundaries
  • Trust intuitive knowing
  • Learn emotions are information
  • Improve communication skills
  • Deepen trust and respect for self & others
  • Develop leadership qualities

 

Learning to embody horse sense helps young adults face their personal life with confidence and improved decision-making abilities. With this new knowledge they can begin to see themselves and the world in new ways helping them self- regulate and develop rapport

Feedback from Youth at Risk:

  • Horses are animals that make me feel grounded and safe.
  • I felt ‘real’.
  •  I am powerful – I just need to allow myself to be and not get caught in others’ expectations of me – to just be
  • I learned how important it is to communicate and make connections with people.
  • I need to speak my mind. I’m so unsure of myself so I never speak up. But turns out, when I share, people can relate and want to listen.
  • Thanks to the horse’s help I learned that often I do what I think others would approve of or see as proper instead of what I really want to do.

Empowering our Youth

How can I describe the feeling of joy as I  watched two young boys who have ADD, do a heart transmission with one of the horses, and their complete reverence for the experience? How can I describe the feelings of wonder as I observe two girls who had been fighting the day before, laughing and communicating as they lead the horses around their obstacles course?  Words seem inadequate to capture the magical experience of our day workshop, July 7th   at Horse Spirit Connection and our 20, (10 boys and 10 girls) aged 12 from Trails.

 

What I can say, is that,  our approach of focusing on an adolescent’s long-term development, and the segment of youth who face a questionable and uncertain future because they are ill-prepared, lack support systems and confidence,  will now include Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning as one of our intervention strategies to empower youth to transform. We look forward to building our partnership with Wendy and Andre and collaborative goals to help youth who have all the odds stacked against them realize their potential and become contributing leaders of their communities.

by Julia Morch, B. Ed. M. Ed. Executive Director Trails Youth Initiatives

Please inquire for more information by emailing wendy@horsespiritconnections.com
or calling 905 936 4450.

Private
Youth
Therapy

Over the years we have worked with many organizations to help our vulnerable youth such as the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, Trails Youth Initiative, New Path and the Wellbeing Institute

Remarks from our partners:

My students and I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting Horse Spirit Connections.  I work with at-risk students in an alternative education program and have taken students for a full day session for the last 2 years.  Those who have graduated from my program point out how important this experience was and how peaceful they felt when they connected with the horses.  One of my students stated: “The horses are special powerful beings and I felt ‘real’ after my encounter with the horses – they are true teachers.”  I would encourage any teacher or counselor to visit Horse Spirit Connections with their students so they too can experience the spiritual journey with these wonderful horses.

Dermot McMahon, Secondary Teacher Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

We have had residential clients involved in group and individual sessions at HSC’s scenic Tottenham site.   Horse Spirit Connections is a non profit organization that provides unique programming that engages clients on physical, mental and emotional levels.  This does not involve horseback riding, but instead applies an innovative approach to self development through communication with the horses.

The residential clients were initially skeptical , but quickly learned to respect, trust and learn how to interpret the responses of the horses.  It really has been an amazing experience.   We have had residential staff and Therapists join in sessions and they invariably come back feeling moved by the experience.  In fact, a couple of our clients who have tended to struggle in conventional therapy sessions have used their Horse Spirit Connections to enhance the work done with their Therapists.  Our partnership with HSC has been a great experience for all involved.

Gord Bain, Residential Program Manager, New Path

WORKSHOPS

FEEL Training Program

Now taking registrations for April 2018

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