As mom to a child with a learning disability I’ve spent countless hours looking for programs and services that will help him. Having a child who finds that everything doesn’t come as easily to him as it does his brothers or friends can be heartbreaking and isolating. While I think our public school system does a great job I’ve signed him up for everything from tutoring sessions to social skills programs, to help fill in the gaps.
That’s why when I heard about an event happening this weekend on October 16th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. called A Call to The Hunt, put on by The Horses at Heart organization, I was motivated to blog about it. The programs at Horses at Heart have been developed for children with special needs including those on the autism spectrum. The programs also include children and their families who are in counselling and children with behavioural and psychosocial development issues. In the programs, participants groom, walk and ride the horses. The therapies provide the children with an opportunity to develop self-esteem and learn to set boundaries. For those children with autism, the rocking motion of riding a horse also helps to stimulate the part of the brain designated for learning.
Skills learned in this program transfer to the child’s interpersonal relationships with family and friends. The experience of nurturing and caring for a horse or pony builds confidence and helps him or her understand the parameters of healthy nurturing. Working with the horses translates to a better understanding of personal boundary setting; how to respect another person’s boundaries and how to respect the importance of their own boundaries.
A Call to the Hunt, which is meant to help build awareness for the program, is being held at the beautiful WaterStone Estate & Farms in Newmarket, Ontario and it will be a day of family fun with free admission. The event will also include a short presentation, a Hound parade, and horse show. All proceeds raised will benefit the organization, and help get more children up on horseback
If you live in the GTA and are heading north to see the Fall colours or visit the cottage, why not check out the event. What could be a nicer way to spend an October afternoon then a day in the country with gorgeous horses and helping support a great cause?