Boot Camp

2015-10-13 09.54.322015-10-14 11.31.03

Recently we have conducted a sort of “Boot Camp” for 2 at risk teens. The boys came to the property with two soldiers as their mentors. We started out by doing the normal feeding horses and other chores. My horses run in a herd and have a very precise hierarchy. I asked the boys and their mentors  to watch the body language of all the horses as I put the feeds out into the paddock. At the end of the distribution they then had to watch what each of the horses did as they started to finish their feed, then to watch the whole herd when they had completely finished their feed and started to disperse into the paddock back to their normal grazing. The boys came up with some interesting observations. It was also very interesting which horses they each picked to go and catch after they had watched the feeding routine.  Apart from working with the horses and doing some trail riding, the mentors wanted to keep the boys active and doing some hard work. They had made a reward for work system with the boys to encourage motivation, and to keep then on task. Both boys had ADHD. We picked up rocks along the trails so the horses did not trip on them. We pulled our Lantana bushes with a big chain attached to the Landcruiser. We raked up the manure and put it into feed bags so it could be used in the vegie garden. We also gave the boys and opportunity to pat and brush the yearlings, and to do some ground work with the 2 year olds. The first week was very successful so they decided to extend the camp for another week. I learned a lot from this experience and have now thought up some more activities for the future.

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