Horsing around builds self-awareness with Crotched Mountain Equine Collaborative
Using grooming as a tool for learning, students like Lacey Suter at Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center hone a number of important skills. (Courtesy)
Grooming the horses presents clients at Crotched Mountain with an avenue for improving coordination, motor skills and other cognitive abilities.
The clients also have opportunities to paint the ponies, allowing them to express their creativity, but then they also have to bathe the ponies afterwards, which teaches lessons in hygiene.
Beyond the physical skills the clients can practice with the ponies, there are lessons to be learned about fear, self-preservation, respect and responsibility, said McGraw.
The horses also offer comfort and friendship to clients who may have trouble expressing how they feel. Often just walking with a horse around the park near the stables at Crotched Mountain can calm and sooth a client. Sitting with the horse and just being together allows the clients to have bonding experiences that may not be easy with other people.
"We know from a safety and therapeutic standpoint that we can trust the horses they use at UpReach," said Rumburg.
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