Equine Assisted Therapy (EAL)/ Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is an experiential learning approach in a natural environment with horses and other animals that promotes personal growth and development of life and communication skills. Working with animals and their sensitivity to our physical and emotional states provides opportunities to increase awareness of emotions and subsequent behaviours and promotes mindful presence with the animal. Practical caring for the horses promotes life skills given the need to attend to their basic requirements, feeding, watering and grooming and the presence of risk with large animals encourages respect for safe boundaries.
The overall experience can foster empathy, responsible decision making and taking responsibility. The approach integrates equine-human interaction that is guided by a planned learning experience to meet identified goals. Sprucewood has a close working relationship with a certified facilitator. This service will be available in Stage Two of our service development and will be available for children who are interested in working with horses and whose Intervention Plan identifies that it would be a beneficial intervention technique for that particular child. The intervention will be broadened to incorporate other animals at a later stage.
Images depicted throughout the site are stock images and not of actual children resident in Sprucewood Cottage.