Calling all cowboys and cowgirls! Join us on the farm for some horse time. Each group lesson includes learning natural horsemanship techniques based on trust, respect, and understanding. Activities are on the ground and in the saddle, and involve learning about horse care, riding, and bonding with horses. This is NOT a therapy group - the focus is purely on horses - but we believe fresh air, a little dirt, and horses provide the perfect natural setting for learning and growth!
To provide the best learning experience possible for each student, we want to select a cohesive group of kids or teens. Who is the best fit for a group lesson? Any child ages 7-12 with an interest in horses- no experience necessary! If your child has an official diagnosis, we ask you to disclose this with us so that we can best understand how to work with your child, or can refer you to another service with us. Children who struggle with extreme impulsivity, explosive anger, or violence will not be accepted into the group, but may contact Take Heart about individual therapy services. Children with intellectual or physical disabilities or who are on the autism spectrum, or who require special services, are not a fit for this group, but may contact Take Heart about individual or other group therapy services. See our Unplugged group page for more details on a horsemanship-based, equine assisted learning group for kids. Similar to horsemanship, Unplugged is just a bit more intentional with incorporating life lessons into each week's session, where horsemanship is more focused on the technique and will get kids more riding experience. Each week’s lesson is limited to no more than 8 participants under supervision of 2 or 3 Take Heart staff members at all times, to ensure individualized attention. Please note that for riding, our horses’ weight limit is 200lbs.
If you are not sure if your child is the best fit for a group, we offer individual horsemanship lessons for those who may not require therapeutic services, but who may benefit from time with a horse or just want to learn to ride in a relaxing, non-show barn environment. This is also a great opportunity for your child to play with horses, but receive valuable 1-on-1 care and mentorship from their instructor – someone they can talk to about life, that’s not a parent! See our horsemanship page for more details.
Kids & teens must come prepared for group by wearing long pants (no shorts for riding) and sturdy boots or sneakers. Clothes and shoes that can get muddy are best. They should bring a water bottle and small snack for snack time; we do have candy or small snacks occasionally. Please alert staff of any allergies. Sunscreen, bug spray, hats, sunglasses, chapstick – whatever your child needs to be comfortable, please bring along. Parents are invited to wait in cars or our outdoor waiting area, or to drop off their child as long as they are prompt to pick up at the end of group.