Horses EAL

Keats Point Farm offers Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) activities through its Stable Connections organization.  Stable Connections is in the process of pursuing non-profit status.  It is the mission of Stable Connections to provide EAL opportunities to facilitate an awareness and understanding of communication and social skills among youth and to establish and encourage an environment to foster personal growth and learning among individuals, families, and community groups.  EAL is a non-traditional approach to learning which involves hands-on activities with horses. EAL activities can be utilized with individuals, social groups, families, corporate groups, sports teams and in educational settings to partner with academic and life skills.

EAL allows people to learn through experiential education.  It is learning by doing.  This occurs when a person is interacting with their environment, including the people, animals and situations involved, for an educational purpose.   Participation in structured activities with the horses allows people to reflect and apply the lesson to other areas of life.  The horses are utilized in these activities to build upon life skills and to promote the exploration of behaviors.  Horses don’t over think motives or manipulate the interpretation of your behavior.  Horses are sensitive to nonverbal stimuli and read people, thus, providing observable physical feedback.

Horses aid in developing skills in the areas of socialization and learning by allowing the individuals to make a connection with something real, enabling the individual to pick up on non-verbal communication cues, and by increasing the individual’s confidence, self-esteem and problem solving skills when tasks are accomplished.  The use of horses in learning can benefit people through interaction by decreased stress levels, tension and anxiety, improved social functioning, and increased feelings of trust, patience, and empowerment.  It has also been documented that the equine-human relationship can improve academics across the board.  Areas of documented academic improvement are science, math, reading, and writing.  Horses teach us to let go of our egos and be our authentic selves.  Our EAL programming options have been specifically developed to focus on leadership, problem solving, communication, life skills, character education, academic improvement, and the overall achievement of goals and objectives.  Programming can be modified and applied to the specific goals of an individual, group, or business.

EAL program activities typically involve only groundwork with the horses.  None of the EAL activities require prior horse knowledge or experience.

Horses for Learning?

  • Horses are big and can be intimidating.
  • Horses are curious and playful.
  • Horses respond immediately to the present.
  • Horses challenge us to be authentic.
  • Horses don’t lie and can tell when we do.
  • Horses know if you mean what you say.
  • Horses challenge us to be our best.
  • Horses require engagement and respect.
  • Horses provide opportunities for metaphorical learning.

Youth Programs

Two of the curriculums utilized in our curriculum programs are Marvelous Minis and Cowboy Poetry.  Both were developed by Strides to Success, Inc.  These curricula are most commonly used with individual school groups and the lesson plans are delivered over a 10-12 week span for about 1.5-2 hours per week.  Some lessons may include an additional classroom component.  All lessons focus on character education, academic standards, and developmental assets as identified by The Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets.

Academic standards include, but are not limited to vocabulary development writing, listening, speaking, math, comprehension and analysis.  Each lesson plan incorporates three different learning styles: auditory learners, visual learners, and tactile/kinesthetic learners.  All lessons have four learning stages:  interactive discussion, equine activity, classroom activity, and application.

Each curriculum can be modified to meet the specific needs of the program as identified by the client.  Student engagement is a central theme in both curricula.  If your school or organization is interested in finding out more about the youth curriculum programs, please contact us to arrange a meeting and further discuss the program.