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Equine and Animal Assisted Learning

Equine and Animal Assisted Learning—Equine and Animal Assisted Learning focus on the social, emotional and behavioral needs of clients. Session goals can be created to align with the Illinois Department of Education Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) Standards. Participants observe and interact with animals through hands on sessions with goals including:

  • Cooperation
  • Community building
  • Patience
  • Anger management
  • Leadership
  • Self-advocacy
  • Communication  

Main Stay’s Equine and Animal Assisted Learning programs bring nature and outdoor experiences to developmentally or behaviorally challenged individuals and at-risk youth. Participants interact with animals both large and small in an adaptive farm setting; they get their hands dirty, and they touch and feel the world around them.

Goals are established through a team approach and uniquely address the specific needs of the individual or group participants.

Participants of this program attend through direct referrals, public and private schools, residential placements, mental health agencies, court services and a variety of advocacy groups.

Clients who are overcoming extreme adversity, abuse or emotional trauma find healing at Main Stay. The non-judgmental animal, combined with Main Stay’s supportive team and inspiring setting can be a safe haven – a place to feel secure, trusted, positive and in control.

Often clients find new friends – first in the animal and then in the strong, supporting team of instructional staff and volunteers. Equine and animal assisted activities benefit a wide variety of clients. It can complement existing therapies or stand alone as a valuable therapeutic modality.

Our Equine and Animal Assisted Learning programming allows us to meet a broad range of needs and increases our accessibility to clients.

The adaptive gardening at Main Stay provides clients with an opportunity for healing, stress reduction, physical exercise, and endless learning opportunities. The hands-on approach facilitates social, emotional, and physical development.

Contact information

Main Stay Therapeutic Farm

6919 Keystone Rd., Richmond, IL 60071

Tel: 815.653.9374  Fax: 815.728.1224

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