All Kinds of News for January 11, 2017
At Moonridge Academy, a small residential treatment center for younger girls ages 11-15, Equine Therapy is a big part of our program. Therapists at Moonridge Academy are trained and certified in Equine Therapy. Each girl participates in weekly Equine Therapy groups. The magic of working on emotional and behavioral issues with a horse can hardly be explained. Girls at Moonridge Academy learn to build trust and confidence with these incredibly intuitive animals. Horses give a completely honest reflection of what's happening internally with a girl. Therapists use the relationship between the girl and the horse to gather immediate feedback on emotional stability, levels of confidence, trust and team-building.
Recently the Equine Director decided to take equine therapy to a new level by teaching our girls a type of riding called Vaulting. Vaulting involves two girls working closely with one horse. This requires the girls to communicate effectively with each other and with the horse. One girl leads the horse around the riding arena instructing the horse to walk or trot. How quickly a horse trots or walks is based on the clues given by the girl leading. While this is happening, the other girl performs different tricks on the bare back of the horse. Tricks include riding with arms straight out to the side, kneeling on the horse while holding arms straight out to the side, laying down on the horse, kneeling on the horse while extending one leg back and one arm forward and making a complete rotation on the horse first facing to the side, then the back, the other side and finally facing front once again.
Some of the girls at Moonridge Academy were excited to start vaulting and others were very scared or nervous. For most girls, it was a new challenge that helped them to also understand their own therapeutic issues. Throughout this entire process each girl’s individual therapist worked alongside them, coaching them to communicate more effectively and helping them to process their emotions. Vaulting has helped many of our girls improve their overall emotional regulation as they instruct their horse and each other. It has also helped the girls begin to talk about therapeutic issues they have not been able to address before.
The girls at Moonridge Academy are now very excited to showcase their vaulting skills to their parents at the upcoming Parent Seminar Weekend.
About Moonridge AcademyMoonridge Academy is a CERTS Program in beautiful Southern Utah with 16 beds, and is specifically designed for younger girls, ages 11-14. Younger girls need a younger environment, without the influence of older girls' more sophisticated or advanced issues. Moonridge takes a young approach to therapy and intervention, even our DBT program is taught and delivered at this specific age range level. Moonridge is intensive residential treatment for girls with issues of trauma, emotional regulation, depression, family conflict, and beginning stages of self-harm or substance experimentation. Traditional schooling is provided and Moonridge uses play and laughter to connect, a warm family environment to protect, and deep therapy to inspire and create change.