Animal Assisted Learning
There are opportunities to not only learn from Winning Ways equines but from the other farm animals as well. Being around animals and caring for them can be hugely beneficial on both a physical and mental level. It is well-documented that holding, stroking or just being with an animal can reduce blood pressure and alleviate tension or anxiety. Animals can help provide a safe, non-judgemental environment where we can just ‘be’ present with our emotions. Interacting with animals provides a natural space to bond. Animals allow us to reconnect with parts of us that have shut down due to loss. Interacting with animals brings about feelings of wellness, peace, empowerment and self-confidence. Animals give us a safe place to allow healing and adjustment to the changes in our lives. Animal Assisted Learning involves connecting people and animals for a variety of purposes. Activities can range from a dog visiting a long-term care facility; to a child petting a cat, dog or lamb; to learning about and becoming involved in caring for farm animals. The possibilities are endless! Participants not only have the opportunity to connect with animals, they gain valuable skills that can be transferred to other areas of their lives.
Animal Assisted Learning can help with grief recovery for children, youth and adults. Grief is individual and unique and so are the feelings and thoughts each person has about the relationship that has been altered by death, divorce, or for other reasons. Animals are not aware of the ‘cookie cutter’ approach to coping with loss: all they know is what is true in the present moment. The animals will give a fresh approach to processing loss and will allow individuals a safe and peaceful place to just ‘BE’. Activities can be completed individually or in a group setting, and are designed to allow each person an individual experience.
Winning Ways can provide the possibility for clients to benefit from Animal Assisted Learning by:
-- having fun interacting with the animals while following instructions
-- receiving affection and pleasure from their interactions with animals
-- easily flowing from one activity to another as the animals do
-- expressing their feelings both verbally and non-verbally
-- developing empathy for a living being, regulating emotions
-- teaching trust, patience, responsibility, and independence
-- helping process grief and loss
Engaging with animals helps foster relationships with other people and a deeper understanding of those relationships. Animals calm us and foster confidence, thereby increasing our self-esteem. In other words, animals help us cope better with daily life and help us become better humans. Animal Assisted Learning (AAL) is good for people of all ages and developmental stages.
Contact Kelly for your Animal Assisted Learning sessions. Animal Assisted Learning sessions can be tailored to the needs of the individual and meet their specific requirements.
Please look at Equine Assisted Learning under the Equine Ventures tab for more programs in experiential learning available at Winning Ways.
Just Startin’ with Animals: Children can see, feel, hear and interact with different animals and find a “special friend.” Go on a tour around the yard visiting the different animals. Minimum two children at a time; maximum four young children. Parent must accompany each child 6 years old and under at all times and ensure child remains calm in the presence of the different animals. No running, loud noise or throwing objects near animals; under parental supervision children may run and play out in an unoccupied riding area. Cost: $20/child
Walk about—Visit the cats & dogs. You may get to see Buffy, the lady bison, through the fence. Meet the ponies and donkey; you might take one for a walk. Watch the lambs and ewes in the spring and summer; they love to be fed green grass. Wilbur also likes to be fed treats of grass. Check out the chickens and maybe find an egg! Visit the rabbit and feed her some dandelion greens.
Wind up - sanitize hands.