Animal Programs

As part of our holistic approach, we have various animal programs.

Horse care

At our learning center, we have 4 rescue horses of various ages. Pupils are able to learn about how to care for them, including feeding, bathing and grooming.

Horse riding

Two of our horses are able to be ridden by the children and another is currently in training. The 4th horse is still a baby; however, children are able to walk him from the ground.

Dog reading buddy

Our reading buddy is called Zander. He’s a calm and loving five-year-old who was adopted from a dog rescue when he was just a few months old. He loves listening to the children read and the children love reading to him. We also have a rescued puppy in training, Gizmo, who loves spending time with the children.

We also have free-range hens, roosters and chicks at our learning center.

Benefits of animal programs

Many children and teens have experienced emotional challenges as a result of the pandemic and everyday life situations.  Forced isolation and extended time away from their peers and support groups have created unfortunate consequences. As a result, many suffer from:

  • Lack of Focus and Concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Increased aggression
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Feelings of disconnect
  • Research states that Animal Facilitated mindfulness training / simply being around animals and taking care of them positively impacts these challenges.

Benefits to children, when interacting with animals include:

  • Improved focus, learning and concentration
  • Becoming more patient and persistent
  • Increased self-awareness, self-acceptance
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence
  • Increased feelings of empathy and compassion
  • Increased sense of responsibility
  • Decreased anxiety and stress
  • Enhanced physical, social and emotional self-regulation skills
  • Attuned communication and social skills
  • Enriched ability to identify and shift challenging emotions
  • Reduced fear and improved quality of sleep
  • Being out in the fresh air and getting their hands dirty