Changing Rein EAAT in Graham and Eatonville School District have partnered to offer an Equine Assisted Learning Program, Hands on Horses, to middle school students. Research shows EAL programs help teens succeed academically while also teaching life skills such as clear communication, respect and responsibility that are critical for the long term success of our youth. The relationship between the students and the horses, along with guidance from Changing Rein staff and volunteers, help these students to develop emotional intelligence, social competency and healthy relationships.
Equine Assisted Learning has been shown to be successful mostly in part to the relationship between the horse and the youth. Like humans, horses have emotions and because they are prey animals, the are highly intuitive and capable of recognizing human intentions and feeling. Horses are non-judgemental and very present. They give immediate feedback to the students which helps them understand how their actions impact others. The horses’s responses also help students recognize when they are being incongruent -- when their actions do not reflect their feelings. Horses are reluctant to engage with people who are sending them mixed signals as it raises questions of safety and trust. For more information about the program, see www.changingrein.org
or contact Anisa Parks at 360-879-1400