The act of forging a connection between the patient, the caregiver and the horse is the cornerstone of the village’s equine therapy program. Creating and maintaining a relationship with the horse includes working within the horse’s natural habitat, interacting with the horse on the ground, watching, feeding, caring for, and playing with the horse, taking the horse for a walk, training and more. The multiple possibilities for joint activity with the horse enable a wide range of appropriate solutions for people with varied abilities, including village residents with complex issues as well as patients with communication disabilities and young children.
In this unique program, interaction between the horse and its caregiver creates foundations of empathy in the child, teaching the child to see the other’s needs, guarding personal space, understanding social cues, expressing emotions and fostering cooperation. Additionally, interacting with the horse helps improve general cognitive abilities, organization, space orientation, motor ability and physical strength.