It is important to understand the role that our activities play in the therapeutic and educational services that we offer. This page is designed to help potential participants understand what is involved in our services and how they may be of assistance.
Each program and workshop is made up of an appropriate combination of the following equine-related activities and guided by an experienced equine specialist with the occasional assistance of a licensed therapist or other relevant professional. Most of the activities involve direct contact with the therapy horses that reside on the ranch. These interactive experiences often have a profound impact on the lives of open-minded participants.
"Pony Painting" – Participants will use Native American symbolism to paint the horse’s body. Discuss why certain symbols were chosen and reflect on emotions or thoughts that are generated. Bathe the horse’s body to symbolize the cleansing of the mind and to create a blank canvas for a fresh and healthy perspective.
"Zen Touch" – Use purposeful stroking and tactile techniques to establish a rapport with the horse and generate calmness and receptivity. You will learn about the variations in tactile sensations and their uses in communication and meditations.
"Receptivity" – Use liberty techniques with the horses to awaken the senses to your environment by learning how to soften your body one breath at a time. Learn how to create presence and lessen anxiety by becoming aware of your energy by acknowledging the subtle effects that you can have on the horse.
"Body Awareness" – Use round pen techniques with the horses to become more in tune with the subtle movements of your body, learning how to coordinate your movements with fluidity and rhythm.
"Labyrinth" – Learn how to effectively work as a team to guide a horse through a course of obstacles. The horse will be the gage as to how clearly and calmly the team can execute the task. Discuss the outcome.
"Four Corners" – Uncover hidden or unspoken family or team dynamics but executing a task requiring the participation of all individuals in a group. Designate a leader. Learn how each person contributes to the completion of the given task and how proper communication and support influence the outcome with either positive or negative results. Discuss the outcome.
"Teach Me" – Simple 'trick training' (request - response) concepts are introduced to show the participant how to convey a clear understanding of what is requested. Learn how to break a subject down into small, sequential steps to teach or communicate the idea more effectively.
"Zen Grooming" – Discover how the grooming ritual can enrich the moment and how even the simplest actions of our daily lives can place us in a Zen state of being. Remove mind chatter and absorb yourself in the selfless purpose of the hygienic care of the horse that you are responsible for. Understand ideas of how nurturing, selfless love, and small purposeful actions can lead to a more fulfilling way of being.
"Reflection" – Discuss how we project ourselves out into the world and how our unconscious actions affect the way we are perceived and treated by other people. Become more aware of subconscious behavior.
"Respect & Trust" – Use liberty techniques to learn how horses can show us the difference between trust and respect and why both are important in the way we are perceived in the workplace and in our personal lives.
"Leadership" – Learn how the subtle projection of different types of energy can affect how people react to us in either positive or negative ways. Learn how our nonverbal communication skills can influence and comfort people in much the same way as it does with the horses.
"Herd Walk" – Walk through the pastures with our horses to observe herd dynamics and discuss how the horse’s social hierarchy structure relates closely with our own human social system. The natural social order of a group will become obvious to participants.
"Observance" – Participant sits among the herd and scans their viewing area for 10 minutes. Participant will paint all visual observations noticed within that time span. Engage in a group discussion on what is observed versed what is overlooked.
Rancho Del Sueño
Equine Division of Heritage Discovery Center, Inc.
Rancho Del Sueño
40222 Millstream Lane
Madera, Ca 93636