SPONSORED BY: InStride Therapy Inc.
Summer has begun and we are already thinking about hot beach days, relaxing by the pool … and what in the world to do with our kids to keep them active during the Summer months. If your kids, like so many on Florida’s Gulf Coast, love horses, the answer is simple: enroll them in an equine riding camp!
The problem? With multiple options for riding centers surrounding you, how do you pick?
Our solution: Think outside of the box and try an equine assisted learning horsemanship camp!
The difference? Equine assisted learning lessons purposely use horsemanship activities to promote development of crucial life skills. This experiential approach integrates horse-human interactions that are guided by a planned learning experience to achieve educational, professional, and personal goals.
We sat down with Daila Lybarger, director of InStride Therapy’s Equine Assisted Learning Summer Camp program (located in Nokomis, Fl) to discuss how it will benefit your kids.
1. Learning Life Skills
“Life skills often take place through traditional riding lessons, however, development of those life skills is not the main goal of traditional riding lessons” explains Daila. “At InStride, we offer an Equine Assisted Learning Summer Camp that purposely uses horsemanship to promote the development of life skills. All of the camp activities are specifically designed to help participants improve in the areas of self-awareness, communication, trust, responsibility, critical thinking and problem solving while gaining valuable horsemanship skills and having fun."
2. Certified Instructors and Carefully Selected Horses
A big draw to equine assisted learning camp is that it can be a safer option when compared to traditional horse lessons. Equine Assisted Learning Instructors must have extensive knowledge of equine behavior, as well as experience in teaching horsemanship. Program horses are carefully screened and receive ongoing training to ensure they are safe to use with beginners. “Horses are essentially living, breathing bio-feedback machines.” Daila explains. “Their unique ability to tune into our emotions and correctly interpret our intent gives us insight into how they perceive us. When correctly interpreted, the feedback the horse offers can impact an individual in a very powerful way."
3. Gain Confidence and Self Esteem
“This type of summer camp is designed to provide kids the opportunity to learn and grow in a non competitive environment.” says Daila “We often times see their self esteem skyrocket as they succeed with new activities such as grooming, handling, leading, and riding horses. Many campers have no experience and have never ridden a horse. Watching them gain confidence and more self-awareness is extremely rewarding.”
4. Build teamwork
“The environment we strive to create at our camp is safe, friendly and supportive.” she says. “We encourage team work and want the kids to help each other boost their fellow campers confidence and build self esteem together!”
5. It’s FUN!
Last, but certainly not least, equine camps are fun! They provide children with the chance to create friendships with not only peers, but the horses as well. "Throughout history, there has been a undeniably unique connection between horses and humans. It has been widely recognized for centuries that horses can have a positive impact on the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of humans.” Daila shares. "You’ll see the joy on their faces when they tell you stories about what they did and what they learned. InStride’s Equine Assisted Learning Horsemanship Camp is a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else!”
InStride Therapy is recognized as the leading hippotherapy center in the southeastern United States and has been a member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International since 1994. Their state-of-the-art facility offers year-round equine assisted programs and is a place where people come to heal, to learn and to make friends that last a lifetime.
Summer Camp Dates: June 11-15, June 25-29, July 9-13, July 23-27