Therapeutic Horse Riding
& Animal Interaction
This approach benefits learners of any age who need a therapeutic environment and experiences in order to overcome their own difficulties. It can be used to slowly reintegrate individuals into education or to support them to venture out of the house.
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New Leaf Triangle staff have trained in Horse Boy method with Rupert Isaacson and receive his ongoing support.
Listen to his story as reported by the BBC in August 2014 by clicking the picture (above) or find out more about Horse Boy Foundation by visiting the website (below).
These sessions help learners to gain an understanding of themselves, their own body language, the energy that they are portraying and how that affects their family and others around them. When ready, they can progress to therapeutic work with the horses, initially on ropes and then ridden. The sessions develop self-esteem, confidence, empathy, problem solving ability, ability to work with others and to cope in what they may perceive as fearful situations.
Learners may progress to training the animal through positive reinforcement methods. This could include any species and can progress to teaching tricks or completing agility courses.
Communication, interaction, fun and relaxation is a large part of what this course delivers. Following the sessions, the New Leaf Triangle Team can assist in reintegrating learners back into an educational establishment, if required. Sessions are individualised and tailored to the needs of the learner. Students can attend with staff from another provider, family members or be supported by New Leaf Triangle staff.
New Leaf Triangle offers this innovative, cutting edge autism approach in both our therapeutic provision and our general services to families.
Horse Boy Method sets up an environment to reduce sensory triggers, and takes an empathetic approach that allows the child to lead, so as not to activate the fear centres of the brain, which shut down communication and learning in the brain.
When the child rides, we can create balanced rhythms that in turn rock the rider's pelvis in a way that relaxes the psoas muscle, which is thought to create the hormone oxytocin. This hormone is not just the hormone of well being and happiness, but also of communication.
When riding with the child, we are a voice in the child's ear rather than a challenging frontal gaze, which can again trigger the child's fear centres.
We are not limited to horses but have all kinds of social animals trained to interact, and we know how to get the same effects on play equipment as on the horses (Movement Method) so that we can follow whatever interest the child has at any time and keep the neuro-plasticity going.
Here at New Leaf Triangle (level 5 centre), we offer training for both parents and therapists in Horse Boy Method and Movement Method. New Leaf Triangle director, Troy Shaw, is certified to train parents and professionals up to Horse Boy Method 2 and Movement Method 2.