Equine Assisted Learning (E.A.L) is an alternative approach that creates positive and constructive learning experiences for children and adolescents who are at risk of failing in the traditional academic setting.
E.A.L sessions incorporate guided and safe horse interactions, between the student and the animal. Fresh Steps, in Helena offers horse therapy, and recently a group of young girls got the opportunity to correlate positive experiences to reading.
There were three groups each of the three separate groups had to hold on to a rope without disconnecting, signifying perseverance, and team building. As they did exercises therapists observed the interactions.
Fresh Steps Owner and Therapist, Darcie Kelly, explains; “ As kids go around they might get tangled in the rope, their reading partner which is the horse might get tangled, in the rope so they are dealing with things on a daily basis and how they will approach it those things in school as well”
After the exercise was done, the therapists analyze the outcomes and talk with the group. the reason horses are used for therapy is because the animal has a fight or flight response and so it is in tune with the dynamics of a person or group of people.