It was very enjoyable to be around the horses, whispering to them, interacting with them, petting them. R.E.D. Gate Rescue horses are very gentle and came right up to me.
Just the smell of horses and seeing them, brings memories flooding back in of pure joy. Horses are powerful animals, but their desire is to please and interact peacefully.
R.E.D (Recapturing Equine Dignity) Gate Rescue is a non-profit equine rescue organization near Hackett that uses a technique called “Equine assisted learning” (EAL) for kids to come and learn more about interacting with others, how their body language speaks to others, how their voice tone matters and how that translates to interacting with each other.
Utilizing the horses, this teaching is very effective in promoting the development of life skills for educational and personal purposes. Children that have difficulty with behavior and/or being in social settings greatly benefit from the assisted learning techniques.
There are always volunteers on-site with each student. The students are not riding the horses very much, most of their interaction is direct face-to-face, brushing them, talking to them, petting them.
Through these interactions, kids learn trust, respect, honesty and communication. According to Path International, these equines, which include horses, are very in-tune with human behavior. Because of their non-verbal influence, they silently ask people to always be aware of their surroundings and learn to have a heightened self-awareness that helps reveal patterns of behavior and the opportunity to think a new way.
Suzanne and BJ talk about a young girl and said “Despite circumstances going on in life, horses see people for who they are. They make great teachers, listeners and friends. Despite little frustrations on her part on not being able to accomplish each activity, sometimes we must step back and be reminded that it’s not about the destination, but the journey. We must look at the situation in a different way to accomplish something. We have a few more sessions to go and we hope to continue to make more progress in learning.”
Suzanne and BJ head up this organization and are hands-on with the children in learning how to interact with the horses, which helps them to interact more respectfully to people. Suzanne and BJ have seen some come that are very timid and do not speak all and every child left with a big smile on their face. Most all of these kids have never been around a horse.
Suzanne says, “One young boy came, and he was so afraid, but after interacting with the horse and learning about how he reacts and says things and the horse responding, he found he had done a difficult thing and was very happy he did.”
Of course, caring for horses with proper feed, farriers and veterinarians is not a small undertaking financially.
R.E.D. Gate Rescue is looking for good, caring horse trainers to break a couple of the horses to saddle as well as donations to help care for them properly.
BJ says, “We really need an experienced and caring horse trainer to train the horses to ride as we don’t have the necessary knowledge to provide that.”
While talking with them and seeing them interact with the horses, it is very clear there is a deep connection and respect between the organizers and the horses.
R.E.D. Gate Rescue would like to rescue more horses but are needing the help of the community to help with offsetting costs.
If you need more information, would like to help or donate, contact them on their Facebook page R.E.D. Gate Rescue.