The programs offered by Reinbows, Inc. range from simple, positive experiences such as spending time with a horse, to more structured opportunities for equine-facilitated learning.
Youth Programs Include:
• Weekly sessions with an adult mentor, which includes time spent with the horses.
• Eight-week programs for groups of school-aged children. These groups are led by a mental health professional teamed with a experienced horse handler. They focus on social and emotional learning and the acquisition of life skills.
• Partnering with other community agencies to provide equine facilitated support for their youth programs
• Seminars for school classes on selected topics (bullying, self-esteem, etc.).
• Summer horse camp offered to any youth in the community with a desire for adventure and an interest in horses.
Senior Programs Include:
• Regularly scheduled visits by Nursing Home/Assisted Living residents for coffee and conversation. This is followed by time spent in the barn grooming, petting, and observing the horses. This opportunity may eventually be offered to independently living seniors in the community also.
• Mixing generations by allowing the senior citizens to be the audience for youth activities with the horses. This includes themed parades (Easter, 4th of July) to the nursing home complex.
Horses are often employed in therapeutic programs because of their ability to provide physical therapy for individuals with disabilities; however they are also becoming increasingly recognized as facilitators of psychotherapy as well. Horses help individuals deal with issues such as stress, anxiety, anger, fear, loneliness, and grief. They allow for a greater self-awareness that encourages personal growth and healing. Horses are accepting and look to their handler for leadership and companionship, which is a powerful tool for youth struggling to establish a positive identity. Horse hierarchy is similar in many ways to human society, and this provides a hands-on learning opportunity in which kids can acquire necessary skills for daily personal interactions. We have personally witnessed very shy, introverted kids become outgoing and talkative as soon as they were in contact with the horses.
Many senior citizens have memories of growing up with and working with horses. Allowing them to re-establish this connection almost always elicits a smile and a story. Their time spent at Reinbows with the horses provides them with happiness and exciting ‘news’ to share with family and friends.