Mental Health Programs for Children, Youth and Families
Horses are not just for riding. A growing body of evidence supports the healing
aspects of including horses in a healing program for children. Changes that are difficult to achieve in an office setting can unfold naturally outside and with horses.
Children will learn skills for life while they learn horsemanship skills. They can go at their own pace. They will create respect, relationship and understanding of the horse while increasing their own instinct for safety and connection.
Our staff includes an Art Therapist who combines the expressive arts with EFW.
The value of bringing nature back into the life of children is also well documented. Children spend more time indoors and in front of screens than ever before. Nature-based practice and the use of art are an integral part of the CYC program. We find the best modality for the child.
Benefits of EFW with children:
- Horses provide the opportunity for children to work on relationship skills and experience
- Attunement with another being in a safe setting. Children may be willing to accept feedback
from a horse that they may not be able to accept from a human.
- Children learn to be assertive without aggression and to set and respect boundaries with a
- Horses model and encourage body awareness, awareness of all the senses, present moment focus and emotional congruency.
- Working with horses from a mindfulness approach provides opportunities for resources to
- The structure of the barn, the horses, and the modeling of the therapist can create an atmosphere that brings out the best in the child.
- EFW works well for children and youth who are resistant to talk-based and office-based
therapies. Children are often motivated to come to their sessions because of the relationship with the horse and the activity based interventions.