If an individual seems threatening, angry or anxious, our farm animals move away or exhibit other fear based behaviors. Conversely, if they sense that a person is relaxed, focused and friendly, they will approach and remain close. This non-judgmental feedback lets each person know that their feelings are real and important. It also lets them know whether or not the relaxation skills they are learning here are working.
Animal mediated Therapy plans are formulated in concert with input from parents, guardians, assessment data and input from other professionals working with referred clients. Treatment plans include measurable criteria so progress can be monitored and interventions can be modified to enhance progress towards identified goals.
• What one considers the really good stuff may not be good at all to someone else ;
• If you know you can’t fight to protect yourself, make sure you can call for help in a very, very loud voice;
• Fluffing out is not just for cotton;
• Those who support vegetarian lifestyles don’t always have two legs ;
• No matter what, make sure you stick with your friends;
• If you look friendly and are relaxed, a sheep will want to come closer
• Not to look down on anyone; it’s scary and doesn’t feel good at all.
Goats have many important things to share with us. By watching and interacting with goats, you can learn:
• the importance of taking your time;
• how important it is to play;
• how important it is to look closely at those around you;
• how being with a friend helps when you are afraid;
• why quiet, relaxed people can be easier to get to know;
• why rushing can make things take longer.
Barn cats have more than one job to do here. One of their most important jobs is to teach us how to be better at ours by teaching us that:
• communicating clearly can help make relationships last;
• waiting for a friend to approach can be better than chasing after them;
• you just can’t control everything;
• play is a great fall back position;
• asking why can be a waste of time;
• without trust, nothing much is going to happen.
Chickens are our most underrated farm teachers. Some of their special talents show us:
• the value of a sideways glance;
• the importance of loud celebrations;
• how happiness can be contagious;
• the need to look closely if you want to find the good stuff;
• how good friends can make the difference;
• that digging deeper can help;
• how working hard to help a friend is what you do.
Horses are thought by many to be magical. At Farming Connections, the magic of our horses teaches us that:
• you can’t hide your feelings from everyone;
• what you feel is always important;
• you can choose to change how you are feeling;
• the strong are often the most gentle;
• you need to have a plan;
• you have to make decisions;
•if you are fair, respectful and communicate honestly, you win.
It’s fun to spend time with ducks. A duck that can’t make a person smile is one very sad duck. Ducks teach us that:
• walking can look hard but it does work;
• talking loudly to your friends can help;
• sticking together with friends helps;
• not much in life is worth more than what’s happening right now;
• sometimes, protecting your flock comes first;
• eating, swimming, sunning, sleeping and a good stroll are all good.
Rabbits are very vulnerable animals. They have many natural enemies and yet they maintain their dignity and their zest for life. Rabbits show us how to:
• enjoy life on the fly;
• put our personal safety on the top of our list;
• have fun without taking unnecessary risks;
• relax even when life gets hard;
• stay in the tall grass when you need to protect yourself;
• zig zag if it means you can get there;
• make good grooming a part of every day;
• share with your friends;
• have fun watching others watch you wiggling your nose.