For the Love of Horses
As the rhythms of nature change their beat, we are anticipating the return of our time out with the horses. This year we are offering more opportunities for you and your kids to strengthen your connection to the land and your cultural heritage with the Appaloosa horses. LEAP (Lapwai Equine Assisted Program) focuses on developing a healing relationship with the horses by seeing them as our teachers. Through observing the nonverbal communication of the horses and their natural leadership style, we can learn to build a mutually respectful relationships that helps us to gain confidence in ourselves and feel safe around horses. We learn to understand our own connection to the natural world within us and understand what our feelings, thoughts, and body sensations are communicating to us. We learn to listen to the natural world around us, what the wind and the birds and the sun and the water are teaching us today. Horses can help us renew our curiosity for life. They support us in being process oriented focusing on each step we take along our path. Developing a keen awareness and connection to the present moment helps us to make healthy choices in our own lives. When we look at horses in the open field, we see them grazing most of the time. This is one of the ways they teach us about the simple joy of living in the present moment.
Beginning May 7 we will be working with the Chief Joseph Foundation Appaloosa Horses, offering afterschool groups for kids K-5 on Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30 and for teens on Fridays from 1:30-3:30 beginning May 8. For adults we are offering a Healing with Horses Circle on Wednesdays from 1:00-3:00 beginning May 7. To accommodate working families, we are offering family sessions on some Saturday afternoons by appointment. We invite you to call 208-843-7244 for Donna Henry at Behavioral Health to register for LEAP group sessions or individual and family sessions.
This year we are also expanding our work by being out with the Nez Perce Tribal Horses for Saturday morning sessions in the Sweetwater Pasture beginning April 26 throughout the spring and summer. We have a progressive series of 8 sessions planned. This Tribal Youth Program is for kids ages 12-17. You can register for this Tribal Youth Program by calling Agnes Weaskus at Students for Success at 208-621-4611.
All of our programs are free of charge to participants and open to the community. Since many of you may not have the time or land to take care of your own horses, our programs give you the opportunity to be with horses and connect to your ancestral roots.
Written by Linda Kingsbury, LEAP Coordinator and Equine Facilitated Learning Instructor.