Click here for more information about Stock the Barn! November 8, 2019

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Straight from the Horses’ Mouth

Equine Facilitated Counseling and Equine Assisted Learning are designed to be personal experiences. I often get odd looks when I first start to explain what it is we do out here at the barn, so I would like to take time through this blog to share some of our experiences. To set the stage, each session is facilitated by an Equine Specialist – the person that knows the horses & their personalities & typical behavior, in charge of organizing the space, getting the horses ready, keeping any eye on physical safety- a horse or 3 or the whole herd – the horses don’t need special training or skills, just being horses, & often a licensed therapist or teacher to help guide the processing...
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Barnyard Introductions

We have found that everyone is drawn to different animals & sometimes horses aren’t the top attraction here at Summit Equestrian. I think it’s appropriate to take a minute to tell you who you might run into and a little about their role here at the barn. Bernadette is our self-appointed welcoming committee, granted she is awake & hears your drive up. She’s a Saint Bernard, 105 pounds of attention seeking hound, ready to lean on your clean pants & insure that you feel loved. She can be a great illustration of someone that recognizes no boundaries, nor does she have any herself. She loves all creatures equally & cherishes her naps...
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What to expect when coming to Summit Equestrian

Here at Summit Equestrian we understand there are a lot of unknowns when you are coming here for the first time. What to wear, what you’ll do, when do you get to ride??? We’d like to wrangle the most commonly asked questions here. What do I wear is dependent on the program & weather. We have an indoor arena that we work in quite a bit, but it is still chilly in the winter & warm in the summer. Closed toe shoes & dressed to be comfortable is how we typically recommend people to dress. We provide helmets & do have some boots & jackets if needed...
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Why Horses?

Why horses? Why not dogs or goat assisted therapy? Good question! Horses are unique partners in therapy, their physical size sets the stage for a big impact, then their natural instincts & character touches us right to our core. You don’t have to like them or be a “horse person” to appreciate what they contribute to the conversation. Horses bring so much depth to work on physical goals. As we ride them, their gait activates many of the muscle groups we use when we walk while helping to both stretch & tone multiple muscles at the same time. Psoas strengthening is never this much fun. We also do a lot of large and fine motor work as we get the horses ready & ride...
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What is this "equine therapy" thing anyhow?

What is this "equine assisted therapy" thing anyhow? I get this question a lot. "Oh, what a nice thing you do." "Therapy for horses?" "I have a horse that loves to stand & be groomed." As I go through attempts to explain, I’ve realized if I start with "therapy for people using horses" it gets a closer visual going more quickly. The ancient Greeks get credit for figuring it out first. They would have their soldiers that were injured in battle ride horses as part of their rehab. More recently people in Europe started incorporating riding into physical therapy work in the 50’s and 60’s, it started becoming a therapy model in the US in the 70’s. Incorporating horses into the mental health field is more recent, starting in the last 20 years or so...
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Introductions

I’m Allison, the Director here at Summit Equestrian & main voice here on our blog. I would like to take a minute to introduce myself & the journey that has led me to where I am now. My sister & I were horse crazy from pretty early on. We only had 2 Barbies & their legs had been broken off when we tried to get them to ride our model horses. We played for hours constructing elaborate estates & caring for our horses. When I was in elementary school, we moved to a small town in North Carolina with neighbors that owned horses. I was very blessed to have generous neighbors that allowed me to learn to care for & ride actual horses. To this day River Road memories are some of my favorites. I cleaned barns & took care of animals when people were out of town, putting “equine biproduct removal specialist” on my resumes...
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