Horses are also called a mirror of the soul. The interaction with a horse is very pure, they react to your attitude and behaviour. That is why horses are used for therapy and coaching. They have years of experience in this field at Rijvereniging de Hazelaar. Children with multiple disabilities get therapeutic riding lessons here. The effect on children is clearly visible. When they are on the back of a pony a rest descends over them. They move along on the rhythm of the steps and learn how a pony responds to their body language.
During a pilot of Work like a Horse Special Education in 2016, we could see the effect of therapeutic riding lessons on children. This was so overwhelming that we decided to offer the program for multiple years. At this moment, we offer this program to four schools and institutions. Because of the success of the Work like a Horse therapeutic lessons, it is now part of their teaching program.
Through the Work like a Horse Special Education program, we want to contribute to the development of children with multiple disabilities. These disabilities consist mainly of autism, behavioural problems and/or functioning at a lower level. The children also often have difficulties with social skills and independence.
Personal development plan
The children visit Rijvereniging de Hazelaar weekly throughout the school year. The lessons take one hour and have a standard start and end ritual. Most of the children benefit from consistency and regularity. Each child gets a personal development plan. Throughout the year, we work on this plan in a fun and relaxed way. They work on accepting instructions or asking for help if something doesn’t work out. Of course, horse riding is a big part of this program, but we have to work towards this. For some kids, seeing a horse or walking next to a horse is already a bit stressful. We offer this program free of charge.
Become a volunteer
Within our projects, we work with a group of indispensable volunteers. Because of the intensive guidance during the weekly horse-riding lessons for our Special Education project, we need extra volunteers. Would you like to help us, and do you get along well with children and horses? Then sign up! We look forward to meeting you!