Animal Assisted Learning
Our animals and staff create an inviting and safe space. This allows for vulnerability and for a person
to connect to one's true authentic nature. Animals offer us an opportunity to pause and become aware of our
emotions and how they relate to our behaviors. We practice identifying our needs and look at how
we get them met in unhealthy and healthy ways.
This awareness can guide us to understanding and managing our responses to life's daily challenges.
Learning to trust oneself alongside an animal companion can lead to decreased anxiety and increased connection with humans. Anxiety has become epidemic and many of our community members are struggling because
of a lack of connection to family, friends and even themselves.
Unbridled Spirit uses experiential learning practices. We create contracts that we all agree to abide by and
our program processes are based on experiential learning best practices.
At the farm, we start off by spending time going over our contract, that we all must agree too and we introduce the Horse Promise. By having the participant agree to these promises with their horses and to the people in their program with them, we can all participate fully in the experience with an honest, trusting environment where we can all be our authentic selves, to be able to learn more about ourselves and each other
Physical and Emotional Check In
At the beginning of each session, we do a physical and emotional check in. Animals base much of their behavior in reaction to our current state. Therefore we take time to pause and look inside to become aware of our current physical and emotional state. We share this with the group to mutually support each other throughout the session.
The Horse Promise
The Full Value Contract
"I promise to take good care of you"
"I need you to promise to take good care of me"
"I promise to forgive you if you mess up"
"I need you to promise to forgive me if I mess up."
To keep myself and other physically and emotionally safe
To give and receive respectful feedback
To work as a team
Exploration of Trust, managing anxiety, breathing exercises, relationship support, clear communication skills, learning how to speak up for yourself, deepening awareness of your needs and how to meet them in healthy ways, understanding the importance of connection with others, practicing patience, self care and self love, setting boundaries, self confidence and problem solving.
Unbridled Spirit's practice of Hope Science is research-based. In the arena with horses, individuals develop meaningful
goals and explore the pathways to reach them. Identifying one's support system is essential for the willpower
to maneuver the pathways.
The 7 Attributes
How Children Succeed—Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
Paul Tough's book outlines seven character traits that he says are key to success:
Grit, Curiosity, Self-control, Social intelligence, Zest ,Optimism & Gratitude
"These traits were compiled by a couple of schools — one public, one private – in the New York City borough of the Bronx. These schools saw huge improvements in their students when they moved the emphasis from IQ and test scores to building character."
At Unbridled Spirit we see the value in this list of characteristics. We review the 7 attributes throughout our programing, participants give us examples of what each one means to then they can apply it to the
goal that they have created with their horse and mentor team.