“Heart of Bleau is a Thoroughbred-Quarter Horse who stands six feet tall. Tommy stands less than three feet tall and is fully packed with a wide range of emotions. Despite the height difference, he and Bleau became quick buddies in our equine-assisted programs at LyonHeart Equine Assisted Learning.
Tommy has difficulty regulating his emotions when hearing the word “no” or when asked to do a task he doesn’t want to do. His mother hoped that Tommy’s new equine buddy would help her improve her parenting skills as well as creating an easier transition to kindergarten for Tommy.
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During his third session, Tommy announced (in his loud angry voice) that he was done and wanted to leave right now! Heart of Bleau responded to his behavior by walking away. Mom asked Tommy to restate his request using his calm, quiet voice. Tommy complied, using the exact same words only in a softer tone of voice. In response, Heart of Bleau immediately turned around and walked back to Tommy and his mom.
I asked Tommy if he observed what his horse buddy just did (walking away when he used a loud, mean voice and then returning when he used a soft, kind voice). His eyes widened while he processed this important life lesson as he looked at Heart of Bleau and then back at his mom. In a very kind voice, Tommy asked, “Momma, can you help me finish brushing my buddy?”
Bleau is an invaluable partner in helping teach important life lessons.” —Nancy L.
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