Getting kids out in nature and unplugging from screens is crucial for their well-being physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Each 1-hour 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. Life lessons, confidence-building, & social skills are learned organically through horse time each week. This is NOT a therapy group - but we believe fresh air, a little dirt, and horses provide the perfect natural setting for learning and growth! No horse experience is necessary. Registration is first come, first served. Cost is $40 per student, per 1-hour group.
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! While we may discuss educational and therapeutic topics, this is NOT a therapy group. 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. 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. Groups are facilitated by Take Heart staff – all with backgrounds in mental health or related fields, and experience in working with horses and kids. 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 or our horsemanship camp page for more details on horsemanship services.
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. Drop-off and pick-up should be on-time with no more than 5 minutes early/late so that we don’t have kids waiting for us.