What is Horses Helping Humans?
REAL Inc. are very proud to be the only licenced facility on the Sunshine Coast able to deliver Sue Spence’s award winning Horses Helping Humans™ program.
The Horses Helping Humans™ Program became licensed in 2016 due to the high number of enquiries from all around Australia asking if the program was available in other states. This program is now synonymous with professional training as it is known as a results based program. It is a unique program that is providing a genuine alternative to the more traditional methods of assisting young disadvantaged people into a functional and fruitful life.
This specialised horsemanship program for youth has grown out of the well-known and highly regarded work that Sue has been doing for many years in using horses to help humans learn effective communication and body language skills. Specifically, the program teaches clients the basics of natural horsemanship ground skills (no riding involved) which are based on mutual respect and trust between horse and handler.
People learn how to gently back their horses away from them to create healthy safe boundaries, how to circle their horses around them on a 12ft lead, pop them over small jumps and lead them around an agility course. By working together with the horses, people learn vital skills such as self-confidence, communication, emotional control, respect and trust for others. These skills are vital elements that must be well developed in an individual in order for them to become a part of and contribute meaningfully to their local community.
Many disadvantaged and disengaged youth have been denied the role models (such as effective parenting) necessary to teach them these skills; many come from homes where trust levels are exceptionally low. The program tangibly demonstrates to clients how much more effective the use of calm assertiveness (instead of aggressive behaviour) is in getting their horse to willingly respond; showing them, what empathy and respect for another living being looks like. As the horses respond in kind and show respect and trust for their young handlers, many former schoolyard bullies are reduced to tears by this show of affection, perhaps for the first time, from another living being. The program is also designed to assist case workers responsible for at-risk and disenfranchised youth and uses adult learning principles and audio/visual aids as well as practical demonstrations with our horses.
Which Horse or Pony are You?
A Horses Helping Humans Sunshine Coast facilitator is also available to present Sue Spence’s “Which Horse Or Pony Are You” workshop at your school or centre using a powerpoint presentation with an accompanying workbook for School Counsellors, Chaplains and Youth Workers. This presentation runs for one hour.
These workshops have been very successful in encouraging students to become aware and talk about anxiety and depression and also to better understand themselves and others. Communication workshops are also available for teachers and parents to help improve communication with students and families.
The most at risk students are also given the opportunity to attend the hands on course at the RREAL Inc. Horses Helping Humans Licenced centre.
In particular, this program is producing good results with young people ranging from improved behaviour in school, reduced suspensions and better engagement in the community. Youth are referred to the program by psychologists and youth & family welfare services. This referral process ensures that all youth participating in the program are in need of benevolent aid due to factors such as family history of domestic violence, low socio-economic conditions and mental health issues.