All things are connected in the great circle of life - Chief Seattle
The magic of horses available for all
We created the Equine Pathfinders Foundation to improve the wellbeing and success of individual children, youth, adults, and families, and the larger communities where they live, play, and work. Equine Pathfinders Foundation partners with organisations and their clients to achieve this purpose.
We also work with funders to underwrite programmes that allow many of those who otherwise could not engage with our horses and create positive change. It is the moving experiential nature of our work and its documented results that continue to bring people and funding to what we do.
We adhere to the standards of their professions and are personally and professionally committed to transmitting a high degree of cultural competence in their lives and in their work.
Herd Life - what a horse needs to thrive
In her book, A Lifetime of Soundness, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Hiltrud Strasser says that “most of the common health problems and lameness afflicting domestic horses are a direct result of man-made violations of their natural lifestyle, and can be prevented or cured through a removal of the cause and a return to natural lifestyle.”
In nature, horses are in virtual constant motion, foraging for food, moving to water, staying ahead of predators.
We put them alone in box stalls when they much prefer to be out with the herd in wide open spaces where they can see predators coming. We stand on soft bedding when their natural lifestyle is a preference for hard ground and near constant movement.
Feeding hay at ground level, is the natural way for horses to eat (instead of a feeder at table height), keeps the respiratory system working properly. Particles, germs and viruses can easily travel all the way to the horse’s filtration system which puts them in their proper place.
When the head is up while eating, those same particles, germs and viruses cannot not travel a clear and open path, so they ram against the throat and embed themselves into the mucous membranes where they can stick, breed, enter the tissues, and make their way into the bloodstream.
We restrict their movement when Mother Nature has designed them to move ten to fifteen miles a day in the wild. We make them stand in one place and eat, when in the wild they are constantly on the move.
We do all sorts of things that confound their natural ability to control their own internal body temperature. We put metal shoes on them which eliminates the natural flexing of the hoof that not only cushions impact but actually pumps blood through the hoof and back up the legs, taking load off the heart, providing a better circulatory system and better overall health.
Sixty million years of genetics have embedded within the horse psyche that being with the herd means safety. Being away from the herd creates fear and emotional stress. Being locked in a box stall does not replace the herd or give your horse a feeling of safety. Nor does it allow the opportunity for movement that makes for a much healthier horse. In the wild horses will often cover ten to fifteen miles a day.
Praise Based Learning
Here at Dune Lakes Lodge Horse Inspired Learning Centre we explore praised based learning with horses to the fullest.
Here is Rhythm, our resident horse artist, first painting.
See our praised based liberty riding in action with Misty and Estelle.