The best way to help children not become victims of bullies is by teaching them bully-proofing skills. Victims of bullies usually exhibit poor communication skills and tend to be left out of activities, leaving them isolated. Our equine-assisted learning programs have proven to be ideal for a child who exhibits anti-social communication skills as they provide training in social skills which improves communication skills, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellness, self-esteem, and encourages sensory stimulation and ultimately, integration.
Equine Assisted Learning programs are wonderful for helping troubled children and teens re-establish themselves as confident and assertive young people without the need for aggression. Many of the bullying issues in children and teenagers are brought about from living for an extended period of time in difficult circumstances. There may even be cases of abuse and neglect that have forced a child to react to the world with aggression and mistrust. Often the only refuge for a person who has been abused is to become the abuser themselves.
An equine program is one of the most remarkable forms of assisted learning that you can give to a child who is in danger of becoming a statistic. Research has shown that people who are in contact with animals, even for a short period of time, experience a better quality of health, as well as a more stable and measured outlook on life. Being around a friendly and responsive animal significantly decreases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Many children and young people with bullying issues have raised levels of cortisol and live in a continual cycle of stress. The same is true for a victim of bullying; just being around horses can raise the levels of confidence and assertion within a timid child.