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Enroll in a Horsemanship Program at Ahavah Farms!
Ahavah Farms, students learn physical, social and emotional skills through interacting with and forming an understanding of their many horses.

by Chelsea Valcourt

Horsemanship programs and equine therapy provide a comforting, safe way to deal with the stresses of the world. Forging a connection between student and horse, seeing things from each other’s point of view, helps to slow down time and allows both student and horse to focus and relax.

It’s a skill-building experience that benefits those young and old with a recommended starting age of just 6 years old. It can be especially helpful for those with special needs as it involves seeing the world in a new and unique way while strengthening physical, emotional and social skills. For all it encourages a newfound sense of awareness not just of oneself but of the creatures and space around them.

Owner Sarah Mognoni shared with Suburban Family the Top 5 reasons why Ahavah Farm is the premier choice for horsemanship lessons.

1. A Deeper Connection with Nature
Horsemanship focuses on partnership between the student and horse—not just what the student wants from the horse. This encourages students to create a relationship with the horse and both human and animal must make leaps into the other’s world to forge effective communication. This measured approach encourages people to enter the equine world as though it belongs to the horse.

2. A Safe Learning Environment
Safety is a huge focus within any natural horsemanship program. Safety applies both to the horse and the personm, and is as much about emotional safety as it is about physical safety. At Ahavah Farm, safety is preserved by literally asking a horse’s permission and accepting their response as an indication of how the horse is feeling before effectively working to convince the horse to work with the student. In a physical power struggle, a healthy horse will always dominate so it is imperative for a student to read the horse’s body language and adjust requests to acknowledge where that horse is emotionally. This keeps safety paramount and allows for sessions to be completed safely and successfully.

3. A Sense of Tranquility
The horsemanship program at Ahavah encourages peaceful, non-competitive communication with horses and a high level of physical involvement with the animals, which builds the student’s ability to be in the moment and aware of another species’ psychology, thought processes and intentions. Equine therapy is especially useful because the horse’s agenda is not the same as the human’s, so being mindful, both for the student and for the attending caregivers offers moments of real sanctuary and respite from the over scheduled human world. All visitors are encouraged to leave their agendas “at the gate” and to observe the horses’ body language and behavior in order to evaluate how the horse is sensing and responding to the person’s presence.

4. Education beyond the farm
Ahavah’s horsemanship program allows students to continue learning in the comfort of their own homes with their YouTube channel, AhavahProductions. This channel has full lessons on topics including saddling, trail training, farrier and much more. These supplemental lessons are perfect for students who can’t attend the farm due to weather, illness or distance, as well as those hoping to brush up on their skills before their next lesson. No one is an immediate expert; repetition is essential to learning new skills. AhavahProductions fills the gap between lessons and provides the chance for students to have repetitive exposure to the principles and processes paramount growing their horsemanship abilities.

5. Developing skills beyond just “riding a horse”
Of course a large part of any horsemanship program is the physical act of saddling and riding a horse, but what sets Ahavah’s program apart is the intention of connecting with the horse you’re riding. Because of that empathetic drive, the program promotes emotional and social growth. Achieving a true partnership with a horse is remarkably useful in encouraging a re-evaluation of how to handle all relationships as it requires negotiation, compromise and an understanding of another’s point of view. Equally, having a sense of humor about both yourself and the horse is invaluable in maintaining individual balance in a volatile world.

Ahavah Farm
Waterford Works
(856) 340-3784

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 7.
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