What is Equine Assisted Learning?
Personal Development While Using ‘Horse Sense’
Equine Assisted Learning is an experiential approach to teaching life skills using horses. Here at Abbey Gardens we have two critically endangered Lac La Croix Indian ponies as well as a miniature appaloosa horse. Our EAL program offers a unique experience to get up close and personal with this special breed while learning life skills in a fun and interactive way.
Working with horses teaches lessons that we can apply to our lives and retain far longer than sitting in ‘just another classroom’. Participants are empowered as they work through group exercises with a focus on developing individual qualities while having fun.
Horses communicate clearly, honestly and instantly, they cannot lie or over think a situation.
They are a prey animal so their senses are very keen. They can hear our heart beat and they will react to the slightest changes within a team – allowing facilitators to find those “teachable moments”.
In a horse’s world, teamwork is respected and expected. Any conflicts are handled swiftly so that life in the herd maintains balance. Horses respect fair consequences.
Herds are to horses as teams are to people. Horses look for strong leadership. Our participants learn to step up because if a horse doesn’t have a leader, they will become the leader.
Horses communicate in the same way with people – that is why listening to what horses have to say (non-verbally) is powerful. Powerful enough to inspire change
Horses may be constantly assessing us, but they will never judge us. By their intuitive nature, horses can provide facilitators with a window into the participant’s personality.
By including horses in specially designed learning programs, participants are given the opportunity for self-discovery.
The horse does the teaching; facilitators are there to offer explanation and provide guidance as they work through the solution.
unleash your potential
Abbey Gardens Pony Powered Learning Experience (APPLE) is founded on the Certified Building Block™ program, which is the first nationally recognized Equine Assisted Learning program. This Equine Assisted Learning program series was originally designed to facilitate the building of personal development skills, while ‘using horse sense’.
Working together with our Lac La Croix ponies, participants will learn appropriate assertiveness, how to set boundaries, build strong communication skills and develop foundations for leadership. Unleash your potential with customized equine programming at Abbey Gardens.
Pick the APPLE program for you
Visit the Abbey Gardens program calendar for upcoming APPLE programs. Programs can be customized to suit your needs and learning objectives. Contact us to start customizing your experience.
Did you ever think that the missing piece to improving communication styles, conflict resolution, self-expression and your relationship just might be…A PONY?
Our Pony Powered date nights are designed to build relationship skills in a relaxed, interesting way as you, your partner and equine team member problem solve through exercises that will challenge you to see alternative perspectives. Programs can be customized to suit your needs and learning objectives. Contact us to start customizing your experience.
While many things are sold as “team building,” few have actual impact. They may be fun, such as playing paintball, but do they change anything; do they create a viable return on investment for the organization?
These workshops are fun, memorable and unique events but also deliver practical action plans for how to translate what was learnt back at work.
As women, we tend to leave ourselves last on the list of priorities, which can cause us to lose touch with our authentic selves, the creative, confident, purpose filled ones we were meant to be.
Our ponies are terrific teachers and help us find those ‘ah-ha’ moments. They will help push you out of your comfort zone allowing you to grow in confidence in fun new ways. You will come away a more courageous, self-aware and excited you!
Whether it be a child or adult, we offer private group birthday parties with planned activities and great photo opportunities.
Our ponies are happy to put on their party hats and entertain everyone. Let us enhance your celebration! Add ponies to your party! $150 for 1.5 hours.
Abbey Gardens is pleased to be able to offer beautiful natural settings for your professional photography.
We provide the place, the ponies and the handler, you provide the photographer. Because our ponies are well trained and handled, they are the perfect choice for wedding and family film projects. $250 per 2 ½ hour session with up to 3 horses.
A parent and child (ages 3-6) program with an emphasis on positive and appropriate interaction.
This program will develop and reinforce fine and gross motor skills, vocabulary (verbal and non-verbal communication) and integration of the tactile system. 1 hour sessions, $50/parent & child, max of 3 child parent teams.
Be Your Best Self
Sometimes we have areas of ourselves we know we need to work on … but it’s tough!
Abbey Gardens offers 1 ½ hour, equine guided, one on one customized programming focussed on building confidence, social and communication skills, goal setting and overcoming barriers: $80/session
Enjoy all that Abbey Gardens has to offer on these one of a kind, guided hikes.
Walking alongside you, our ponies encourage you to view the beautiful natural surroundings from a completely different perspective. Equines teach us to live in the moment and relish the simple pleasures of a ramble in nature. Fridays at noon from April to November. $10 per person. Visit our programming page to register.
Take the Lead! (ages 14-16)
Take the Lead! is part of the Abbey Gardens “Leader in Training” program which is designed to help youth develop leadership skills while assisting programming staff in the delivery of summer camps.
“Leaders in Training” (LIT’s) will participate in this one day orientation program which will include an introduction to our ponies and their role at Abbey Gardens. Our ponies will help demonstrate the effectiveness of trust and respect, teach participants appropriate assertiveness while helping hone verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Reflection and goal setting exercises combined with familiarization of Abbey Gardens and summer camps offered on-site will complete the day. Participants of this program will further develop their leadership skills by assisting with at least one of Abbey Gardens’ summer camps as part of the Leader in Training program.
About our APPLE facilitator…
Lesley has loved horses for as long as she can remember! She started riding at the age of 9 when her military father was stationed in West Africa, taking lessons with the local cavalry squadron. Lesley took a year off after high school to study for, and receive her British Horse Society Instructors certification. In the many, many years since she has competed in 3 Day Eventing as well as coached teams and individuals to competition level in equine sports as diverse as the Prince Philip Cup mounted games and Canadian Pony Club Tetrathlon. Over the years Lesley’s coaching and training style has evolved to include elements of Natural Horsemanship and traditional methods along with her own common sense approach. She was thrilled when she was able to add Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator certification, from the best-in-class Dreamwinds Centre, to her credentials. Lesley is excited about her partnership with Abbey Gardens, facilitating EAL programming and raising awareness of Abbey Garden’s critically endangered Lac La Croix Indigenous Ponies.
“Some of the lessons I learned during Apple can be applied with staff and customers at work. Thank you for a great session!”
“Apple taught me to live in the moment and communicate clearly with my peers and coworkers. “
Contact Us To Learn More
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Find us at 1012 Garden Gate Drive, Haliburton,ON. 705.754.GROW (4769)
Find us at 1012 Garden Gate Drive, Haliburton,ON.