At SRS, the horse program supports our mission statement by providing an atmosphere for clients to work and recreation with horses, care for cows, goats, sheep and horses.
We also work on the ranch, hauling hay, fixing fence, and moving livestock. Every task is an opportunity to increase skills such as listening, following instruction, follow through and accountability.
We feel that the ranch, with its horses and livestock provide intensive for growth and learning as well as self esteem and responsibility.
We find that the horse program as a privilege motivates clients to more and better work in the classroom. The work on the ranch intensified provide consequence and discipline
- Finishing a project is better than putting in a given amount of time.
- Raising an orphan lamb or tending to an injury to a horse or cow increases perspective.
- Building a stack of hay and then feeding it to livestock builds a sense of accomplishment.
Fresh air, a ride on a mountain trail, cooking on a campfire, or hiking to a water fall, all provide a magical atmosphere for counselors and therapist to hear there needs, concerns, and fears and then respond in an non threatening clean environment.
Overall the horse program is like the couch in a therapist office, and boys and girls respond. When they are catching a horse they let down guard and we begin to learn more about them.
When they choose to help a lamb they soften. When two big kids struggle to hold a small calf and reunite it with its mother they don’t get up bragging about how independent they are. When they set a firm post they pat each other on the back, and so do we.