Empowerment for Girls through Equine-Facilitated Learning
Pony Partners is an equine-facilitated learning group for 8-10 year old girls. It is appropriate for able-bodied girls who have a love of animals and are struggling socially, personally and/or academically.
Pony Partners provides an appealing activity for young girls to explore personal growth in many areas as they increase their knowledge of horses and horsemanship. Each Pony Partners meeting involves group activities including discussion, exercise, art, journaling, and time with the horses. We examine the horses’ nature, their needs and their non-verbal world through observation, haltering, grooming, and leading exercises. Pony Partners is not about learning to ride; it is a chance to explore and develop knowledge of horses and discover the power of body language. Our carefully designed activities provide students with a chance to develop their problem-solving skills, and to learn how to be effective in a team.
Our program teaches:
Relationship building with peers and horses
Non-verbal language of horses and people
Stretches, breath work and yoga
Grooming, horse care and leading
Basic horsemanship skills
Introductory riding (weeks eight through ten)
Our goal is for each student is to learn about herself and her relationships as she works and plays alongside peers and horses. As we further their ability to understand the horse and his needs, the girls recognize and identify their own feelings and those of others. Our hope is that by empowering girls, we instill the belief that the ability to be effective in their world comes from within, engendering a greater sense of confidence, self-esteem and social competence.
Pony Partners is led by a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International Certified Riding Instructor with a Master's degree in Social Work (MSW). She is joined by a co-instructor and three volunteer horse handlers.
Enrollment is on a first-come first-serve basis, with class size limited to six students. This ten-week, two-hour class is offered twice per year, spring and fall, on Friday afternoons from 3:30 - 5:30 PM. Limited scholarship is available.