At Reflections Equine Assisted Learning, is all about YOU, the participant. Our mission is to offer an experiential and unique approach to teaching life skills to individuals who are struggling with mental health. We focus on First Nations Youth Groups, First Responders and those who are battling with mental health challenges. In this program it allows the individual to overcome issues of depression, anxiety, aggression and addictions. One of the ways we do this is with horses.
Horses by nature develop coping strategies with confidence and are capable of reading, or become aware of how a person is feeling before the client even understands it themselves. The horses in our program will help explore positive & personal development through a powerful journey of learning and understanding, analyzing and developing strengths in communication, building leadership and teamwork skills, constructing confidence & self-esteem, building trust & aspiring your self-worth, and exploring conflict resolutions. We empower your greatest asset, and that is YOU!
Reflections Equine Assisted Learning is located at 5041 Notre Dame Avenue, Hanmer, Ontario. on the property of Ross Ranch. It is owned and managed by Chanelle and Kyle Ross.
The outdoor arena allows for a natural setting, in an environment that is safe and conducive for learning to take place. There is ample parking, and the property is surrounded by many horses that would love to greet you, coniferous and hardwood trees and endless riding trails. Keep in mind, this is NOT a riding program but a hands on learning experience from the ground.
Janet Law, RMT, CEMT
Founder & Certified EAL Facilitator of Reflections Equine Assisted Learning - REAL
Janet Law is a Certified EAL Facilitator and a graduate of Cartier & Dreamwinds Equine Assisted Learning Centre. Not only is she a Registered Massage Therapist & Certified Equine Massage Therapist, Janet is passionate about working with people & horses. She spends her free time horseback riding, mountain biking, travelling and practicing yoga.
So, Why Do We Use Horses for Assisted Learning?
Contrary to belief there is a correlation between horses and people. By including horses in specially-designed experiential learning exercises, equine-assisted facilitators are able to observe non-verbal communication of the horses and be a translator, as well as a guide to encourage the participant to attain the outcome of each exercise. This hands-on approach to learning has proven to greatly multiply the participants retention and understanding of skills learned. Keep in mind that this is not a riding program, but strictly handling and ground work with horses.
While Equine Assisted Learning has the ability to take an individual through a powerful journey of learning and understanding, the most asked question is "WHY HORSES?"
Here are some of the reasons why horses are so suited to this unique experience:
Horses are sensitive, aware of their surroundings and quick to react. They watch for the slightest movement and look for threatening body posture as they learn to communicate through body language and vocalization. Horses know how to discern the difference between a calm, non-threatening approach and anxious, nervous energy. However, every horse is different just as each person is unique.
In a horse’s world, the boundaries are clear and easy to understand. Horses look for strong leadership and are willing to follow after they find respect and trust. If we provide contradictory behavior they start to question and challenge our authority to lead by testing boundaries and leadership.
In a horse’s world, team work is expected and respected. Horses respect fair consequences. Horses cannot lie or over think a situation. They approach honestly to every interaction. Learning to listen to what horses have to say is powerful and can sometimes be the stimulant to individual change.
Horses react to stimulus and provide a skilled facilitator with an opportunity to use the horse as a guideline. By their intuitive nature, horses can provide facilitators with a window into the participant’s personality. Through the discovery of how sensitive horses are, how kind and forgiving they can be, we can guide participants to becoming better individuals through identifying specific horse behaviors.