POWER PONIES™ &
Power Ponies™ and Mighty Mustangs™ are innovative, equine facilitated parenting programs for boys and girls age 6-11. Power Ponies™ is the first year course and then students can enroll in the Mighty Mustangs™ course until they are old enough for Horse Warriors™. Participation requires one parent to accompany the child throughout the 8 week course. The programs encourage deep listening on the parts of both parents and children, and provide fun, family oriented activities in which to learn healthy communication skills. The horses are all master teachers!
The programs' effectiveness is due to a number of factors. The inherent fun in participating in horse activities helps families learn to interact through pleasure and not stress. The horses, always authentic in their presence, offer a tangible and non-judgmental way for participants to see progress and succeed with challenges.
Mentors are the backbone of confidence building for Power Ponies™. Older, experienced Horse Warriors™ students pair up with a child/parent team for the 8 week session. That mentor is the primary teacher for his or her team, and is usually a former Power Ponies™ student. All of the mentors are taught how to be effective teachers before they are assigned a family. The mentor is a wonderful role model for the child, modeling safety, patience, encouragement, and clear communication. After the young children have learned from their mentors, they meet with their parents and teach them how to safely work with and ride their horses.
Another part of the program is journaling. The journal provides a record of feelings, thoughts, and artwork from the curriculum. Both parents and students work in the journal; each day has time set aside for reflection and creativity.
Mighty Mustangs™ is a continuation of the Power Ponies™ Parenting Program. Students age 7-11 who have completed a summer of Power Ponies™ are eligible to enroll, along with their accompanying parent/caregiver.
Horse Warriors™ is a year-round program for middle and high school students ages 12-18. The majority of the sessions take place in the backcountry, with the first 3 sessions held in the arena to teach basic human/horse interaction and riding safety. Riders meet for the whole day, once a week in the summer. During the school year they meet monthly for day-long retreats that focus on art skills, equine management and riding bareback in the snow! Students are required to do annual community service. The majority of riders become mentors for the Power™ Ponies and Mighty Mustangs™ programs as part of their leadership training, and receive community service hours credit for helping extensively with the program. Riders typically remain in the program approximately 7 years.