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Equine Youth Development Programme | Montrose Foundation

The Equine Youth Development Programme uses equine-assisted intervention to teach children at risk how to address current dysfunctional behavior, how to handle challenging life situations and  to become empowered enough to make positive life choices.

Why Horses?

Horses, with their incredible sensitivity and ability to highlight human body language, emotions and social responses, are in effect immensely powerful teachers to people in their own right. They act as a superb catalyst to cause unfiltered feedback from people which the facilitators can observe, assess and assist the clients in formatting into attainable solutions.

Equine Youth Development Programme

The Equine Youth Development Programme is an 8-week course in which the participants are invited to first engage in the arena for an hour, where the equine specialist focuses on equine-assisted intervention activities with the horses. This process facilitates the identification of potential development areas. The 8-week course also includes 8 hourly sessions in the Sharing Hub to further process what has been highlighted in the arena for the group.

The programme covers a range of personal and social objectives for each participant, including:

  • Week 1  Building trust and orientation.
  • Week 2  Self-awareness (Who am I? Where do I fit in?).
  • Week 3  Self-worth and discrimination.
  • Week 4  Attitude and respect.
  • Week 5  Substance abuse education.
  • Week 6  Choices.
  • Week 7  Motivation to change.
  • Week 8  Affirmation and moving forward.

The programme does not involve horse riding or require any experience in horsemanship.

Programme Duration

  • 2 hours per week
  • Group size: 8

Programme Cost:

  • R 10,000 funds 1 youth
  • R 80,000 funds a youth group (8 youth)

Each session is facilitated by a professional equine specialist as well as experienced group facilitators to ensure physical, mental wellbeing and safety. Our facilitators are passionate about children and creating an optimal learning environment for them.

Head Facilitator:

An experienced life coach and group facilitator processes the equine-assisted intervention sessions with the group and integrates this into the personal development programme.

Equine Specialist:

A qualified equine specialist focuses on interpreting the horses’ feedback to human interaction and ensures that great attention is paid to equine-related safety during sessions.

Substance Abuse Facilitator:

A substance abuse facilitator focuses on educating youth regarding the myths and pitfalls of drug abuse by using various elements of their personal journeys as a vehicle for change.

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2018 EYDP Target

To date a total of 711 youth have been enrolled in the Equine Youth Development Programme.
Our aim is to provide the EYDP to an additional 112 youth in the form of 14 groups in 2018.