Horses are prey animals, which means that in nature they are hunted by predators that could harm them. As a matter of survival, horses are always on the look out for predators. Due to this innate instinct, horses have developed a very keen level of awareness. They have the ability to sense intent, read body language, interpret movement and so on. Whether the object of observation is a grizzly bear or a person, the horse’s ability to “read” is the same!
It is the horses highly tuned senses that make them amazing teachers! They truly exist in the moment and while interacting with them they teach us to also exist in the moment and stay present. They ask us to bring our best selves forward and teach us how to balance our emotions. How they react to us through their body language helps us change our approach. The horse may be asking us to breathe and be calm, or be assertive and a leader. This can all be experienced from the ground.
The Benefits of Riding:
While riding a horse, the rhythmic movement of the horse moves the rider’s body in a specific motion which then triggers the brain waves to align. This, in turn, sets the stage for spontaneous learning, concentration, balance, co-ordination, and much more. The physical benefits are amazing as well. The rider’s body becomes naturally strengthened – especially the core – as riding requires the use of muscles we never thought we had.
Riding experience is not necessary. Some of our programs involve riding, while some do not.
Horse Boy Method
The Horse Boy Method is a horseback riding therapy, pioneered by a charity in Texas, which addresses the needs of people with neuro-psychiatric conditions such as Autism, PPD, Aspergers Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Also, it is beneficial for physically challenged individuals.
Science shows that animals can naturally help us calm down and become more centered. Plus, it has been proven that the rhythmic rocking motion of the hips while riding a horse reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) in the brain and increases the flow of oxytocin (the feel-good hormone). When oxytocin is flowing in the brain, receptors open up and new learning is able to take place.
The Horse Boy Method joins the healing benefits of kinetics (movement), social therapy horses, and a natural calm environment. This remarkable combination coupled with typical academic teachings, allows individuals the opportunity to retain the lessons they learn.
This therapeutic method takes into account and is always respectful of the person’s current emotional state and needs.
F.E.E.L means Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning. We host individual and family sessions.
Are you open to what horses can teach us through their innate instinct? At Heal With Horses, our job is to guide you out of your analytical thinking mind and into your heart. You will connect your heart to that of the horse’s and the magic begins.
Our horses will guide you to go deep inside yourself to find your own answers, your personal truth and your authenticity. Typically, the benefits begin by calming anxiety and depression, boosting self-esteem and confidence, and can end with a feeling of personal power!
To Book Your Session
Interested in Our Therapy Programs?
From Our Clients
I first met Suzanne at Heal with Horses in 2015. Our 4 year old son Aarav had been recently diagnosed with PPDNOS and we were looking for something- we didn’t know what since we were so inexperienced with this situation(!) and by our incredible luck we found The Horse Boy Method sessions with Suzanne and Taylor.
At the first session–my son had an absolute meltdown (his reaction to the whole unfamiliar non city environment)–but after about a half an hour of resistance, I sat on the horse with him and we walked through the beautiful property very calmly. The environment itself is so open, so relaxed- it’s a little hard to describe – you need to experience it. We rode through the forest trail, saw the glowing fireflies, and we fed and talked to the various animals on the property in what seemed to me a very special, magical place. Aarav’s speech wasn’t great at that point, but gradually it’s like we saw a miracle happen.
At the end of only 2 sessions it was like something clicked. My son’s speech came out more, and we definitely saw improvement. Most importantly it felt like all of us were experiencing a peace, and fulfilling happiness, even relief that we hadn’t felt with any other therapy or class we tried since my son’s diagnosis.
We live in Long Island, New York. There are countless equestrian centers nearby us that we have inquired about but they just don’t have the same calming energy that Heal with Horses has. We are truly blessed by this experience and our lives were changed. It taught me so much and even guided me to the right path to help my child. We recently made the trek all the way from Long Island at the end of August 2017 for Aarav to experience the magic once again!
It’s important to note that it happened so naturally. Our experience wasn’t about forcing or discipline- it was simply about enjoying and respecting nature while reaping all the benefits of horseback riding.
Our six year old son, Owen, has been attending Heal with Horses for weekly Horse Boy sessions for five months. Owen has been diagnosed with severe autism and we are constantly trying to find activities that help him improve his language and social skills. Suzanne, Taylor and the rest of the team at Heal with Horses work with us to program activities that match our goals for Owen’s development.
On our first tour of the Heal with Horses farm, Owen was hesitant and would not approach any of the animals on the farm. The caring and supportive staff at Heal with Horses helped Owen feel comfortable and got him on a small pony at the beginning of his first full session. Owen had the biggest smile.
Over the weeks, Owen continued to enjoy his trips to the farm. He now rides larger horses and always loves to see the pigs, goats, chickens and dogs. The staff integrates new activities and challenges to continuously promote Owen’s growth.
We look forward to continued adventures for Owen at Heal with Horses.
The first time we arrived at Heal with Horses TLC, we were automatically greeted by wonderful staff and an array of adorable farm animals. There were pigs taking mud baths, goats and sheep walking around, roosters running and many beautiful horses in the field. My son instantly started to bounce out of his seat, excited to get out there and meet everyone (the animals).
My 6 year old son Liam has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Liam has a hard time communicating with peers, family and his community. He is a lovely, bright child and animals have always been his favourite topic to talk about. Liam fell in love at first sight with Heal with Horses TLC. He was in his element after the very first session. He was able to be free and to be himself.
Every single week, Liam gets more and more comfortable being on his favourite horse Remi and being around the other horses and animals. Liam started out very hesitant when approaching the animals, much like he does with people. Liam has a very hard time gaining trust and putting his whole self out there for others to see.
There have been many elements of Heal with Horses TLC that have allowed my child to express him self fully. Taylor and Suzanne have been there to help Liam grow in his comfort level and expressive language level from the very beginning. Also, a few other staff have helped along the way in making Liam’s sessions unforgettable and relaxed.
Liam has grown to feel more self-confident, comfortable in his own skin and expressive since starting his sessions at Heal with Horses TLC. At the beginning the staff started by building a solid rapport with my child and building the trust they knew he needed. Liam has learned to share himself with them through fears and excitement and with each session comes less fear.
Liam confidently gets out of our vehicle, walks down the path past everyone else and into the stable where Remi awaits. They now have such a wonderful connection that as soon as Liam walks in, Remi turns around to give Liam a huge kiss and Liam greets her with a warm hug and a “Hello Remi!”
These sessions at Heal with Horses TLC are what Liam looks forward to every single week. Every Saturday when we are leaving our session, Liam will say “I want to go see Remi” and throughout the week he counts down the days left until he can return. I am so thankful that Heal with Horses has given my child a sense of purpose, a comfort away from home, a feeling of belonging and his first true friendship. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.