Saturday, February 11, 2012

Intro to Equine Assisted Learning & EAGALA Feb 18-19 at our horse shelter near Sioux Falls. Public invited. No admission. RSVP needed though. thanks.

I'll try to pretty this post up a little later, but wanted to get this announced! Next weekend we are having a very fun & free event here. We hope you can join us. Any questions, please just call. And if you plan to attend, please RSVP so we can know how many to plan for. Thanks.

The weather guys say it’s going to be 40 to 43 degrees next Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18-19.

And you are invited to New Hope Horse Shelter on one or both of those days for a very special experience, an introduction to Equine Assisted Learning by Wendy Olson. Wendy is EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) Certified as both a Mental Health Professional and an Equine Specialist. She provides Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) through her program, The Way of the Horse, near Spearfish, South Dakota.

Some of you may be familiar with Wendy’s name. That’s because she is a DoubleHP adopter and foster home. She currently cares for Rocky and Roman, two horses rescued by DoubleHP. You may have seen the video/slideshow of the little girl, Alyssa, building a snowfort this winter, with the help of Roman. Alyssa is Wendy’s granddaughter and, if we are lucky, Alyssa will be coming here with Wendy Feb. 18-19 to help with Wendy’s EAL presentation!

There is no cost to attend our Intro to EAL event. It will be very informal. You may simply observe and ask questions, or you may be able to participate in role-playing and mock EAL demonstrations with Wendy and some of the horses who live here at New Hope Horse Shelter.

You may attend one or both sessions. You do not need to attend the first to understand the second. While the actual role-playing, session demos will be different each day, Wendy’s basic program information will be available both days.

Session times:

Saturday, Feb. 18, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 19, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

If these exact times do not work for you, please let us know; we might be able to add more time to the days.

The location is at New Hope Horse Shelter, 25337 470 Ave, Crooks, SD  57020 (3 miles north of Crooks), west side of the road (blacktop), white barns, gray house with white yard fence.

The event will be in the big riding barn. It is NOT a heated facility, so wear lots of layers so you can stay comfortable depending on what the temperatures are (forecast is for 40-43 degrees, so this should be pretty doable!)

Also, please bring a chair. When we say this is informal, we really mean informal. Wendy is going to be in our area next weekend, and we are organizing this rather quickly, to take advantage of those dates. We want to bring a certified EAGALA program to our horse shelter on a regular basis, hopefully within the next year;  and Wendy has very generously offered to provide this introduction for us.

We highly recommend you visit the EAGALA website to learn more about it:

EAGALA is NOT a riding program, so we will not be interfering with the wonderful therapeutic riding programs that are already operating in the Sioux Falls area. EAGALA is different.

All EAGALA sessions are on the ground; there are no mounted sessions. There is a team: the horse, the mental health professional, and the equine specialist. And there is a client or clients. The sessions can of course be for actual counseling, therapy type situations. Or they may be geared more for corporate/business training such as teamwork exercises.

I don’t want to say too much because I don’t know too much yet. That’s why Wendy is coming here next weekend! To answer our questions and present demonstrations with the assistance of some of our horses here.

While our event here Feb. 18-19 is informal and without a fee, we still DO need to know how many will be attending. So please email me or call (605) 359-0961. Let me know which session or sessions you will be attending and how many will be in your group. And feel free to share any other questions or suggestions you may have.

This will be fun! Hope you can join us.

Darci Hortness, DoubleHP President, Manager of New Hope Horse Shelter