All Kinds of News for June 05, 2019
Valley View School is pleased to announce the development of a new Therapeutic Horsemanship Program. In partnership with a local farm, Valley View has designed a 9-week Therapeutic Horsemanship Program. Students have begun receiving education and exposure to horses, learning the requirements of care and look forward to on-going riding lessons.
Brendan O'Neil, Assistant Director, has been involved with organizing and facilitating experiential learning at Valley View for nearly ten years, culminating in the implementation of this new program. Brendan states, "Students are learning about basic care and relationships associated with the horses. This experience will benefit the farm, the horses, and our boys!"
While working together in teams, students will engage in educative efforts aimed at grooming, feeding, cleaning, and general knowledge of horse breeds and riding styles. Learning how to take care of basic injuries, types of tack, and corralling a horse are the next steps for students to experience. The final phase of the educational program is basic horse nutrition, anatomy, care of hooves and riding lessons.
The first team of students successfully launched the program this spring, and many students are "on deck" to benefit from this experience. In addition to simply enjoying the horses, there is a strong therapeutic value to the relationship and care efforts. With the guidance of farm staff and Valley View staff, students are able to identify and practice gentle and concerted movements and maintain a heightened level of consciousness, as they seek to work well with the horses and each other. Brendan adds, "This program is aimed at assisting our boys in the efffort to build trust with horses before riding. Horses are like mirrors, reacting in kind to human behaviors, and students must be cognizant of their behaviors and interactions with each other."
Encouraging self-reflection and awareness helps students set forth positive behaviors with each other that will ultimately impact their relationship with the horses, their peers, and others they may encounter in future relationships.
About Valley View School
Valley View School, founded in 1970, is a private therapeutic boarding school serving boys in grades 6-12. Our non-profit 501(c)(3) school is located in the central Massachusetts town of North Brookfield. The Valley View Program consists of a comprehensive blend of Therapy, Academics, Athletics, Arts and Activities challenging our students emotionally, intellectually and physically. The boys learn self-control and anger management, social skills in order to create and cultivate relationships with peers and adults, while developing compassion, empathy and respect for others and to realize their true potential.