Xenophon’s mission is to provide a high quality program of equine-assisted therapies to children with disabilities. For over twenty years, we have been doing just that, with mounted activities being offered to children up to 18 years of age. We have continued to search for ways to better serve the special needs population. In talking to parents whose children aged out of our program, it became evident that there was a tremendous need for opportunities for young adults, ages 22-29, as once these individuals with disabilities are beyond school age, there are very few programs available for them.
Beginning in July, Xenophon teamed up with RES Success, a nonprofit residential program for adults with developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders. (RES stands for Redefining Educational Services.) “Bridle Paths to Success” is a non-mounted horse interaction program designed to provide young adults with a horse-focused educational opportunity. Participants come one day a week to interact with the Xenophon horses while learning horse husbandry and life skills.
Our second group of young adults began their six-week course the beginning of October, Their morning at the center begins with horse education. This included learning what the horses eat so that each day they can prepare their supplements and hay. The day of learning body parts by labeling the horses with chalk was a huge highlight, and this past week incorporated some Halloween fun. You can’t experience life with horses without learning to muck, which is a part of their daily chores.
The program has provided wonderful learning opportunities for all.