When I learned that SAA’s counselor, Theresa Moore, was using an equine assisted approach to teaching social/emotional skills, I admit I was a bit apprehensive. I often tell my students that your love for learning doesn’t stop in the classroom, so I took my own advice and accepted Theresa’s invitation to visit Esperanza Farms.
Wow! What a great experience learning about myself through horse work and coaching with Theresa. It surprised me. I've often heard her say, "So many moving parts" after listening to us share situations and stories. On this day, I was actually able to reflect and understand more of what that meant as she walked us through several exercises that could connect our experience in the stable, to the classroom, and life. For example, my struggle to harness a horse and being allowed only one question frustrated me. However, the horse's patience and gentle nudging encouraged me. My colleague's trust in the process of struggle allowed me to think and reason. When Theresa asked what one thing I needed to be successful, I realized an experienced buddy would be helpful. Colonel Steve Marshall stepped into the pen and showed me.
Our day of bonding continued as we cheered from the sidelines as my fellow colleagues, Cathy Baumgardner and Kimberly Dunn, successfully led a horse around the pen. Our peer sharing over what we learned and observed brought new insight into the shared situations.
Though no one experience was the same, the morning at Esperanza Farms allowed us to learn more about ourselves and was a great morning of connection and bonding. Thanks, San Antonio Academy for the opportunity!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
- equine therapy
- outdoor learning