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19516 Kistler Farm Road
Davidson, NC, 28036
United States

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Learning

Equine-Facilitated Learning [EFL]

Triple Play Farm offers Equine Facilitated Learning [EFL] for a variety of groups and individuals to develop academic, communication, personal growth or team building goals. Learn more about EFL below.

What is the difference between therapy and learning at the farm?

The difference is in the goals.  As defined by PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International), “equine facilitated learning experiences are carefully created activities that promote human development in an experiential format. Equine facilitated learning may be conducted by an educator, therapist, equine specialist or therapeutic riding instructor. Experiential learning refers to a style of learning that occurs when a person is interacting with the environment, including the people, animals and situations involved." 

"Learning by doing” may take place over a short period of time, such as a workshop, or during regularly scheduled sessions. At Triple Play Farm, the sessions may be individual or group based, but the stated goals are not clinically driven. An excellent example of Equine Facilitated Learning would be a corporate workshop where the goals involve group dynamics rather than the mental health needs of the individual participants. 

At Triple Play, if there is the possibility that learning sessions may give rise to clinical needs, we will always have a licensed therapist available for support. Other groups that may benefit from learning sessions are school classes, church groups, Boy Scouts, corporate staff, or anyone looking for growth through an answer that is “out of the box.”

What will learning sessions at the farm be like?

Every learning session at the farm will be facilitated by at least one certified Equine Specialist. Depending upon the size of the group and needs of the client, we may also choose to have another ES, educator, or therapist present. Duration of sessions varies depending upon the goals and can be anywhere from one eight hour day to one hour a week for six weeks, for example. The content of EFL sessions will vary depending upon goals. The facilitator(s) will design activities with the animals that will allow you to explore issues related to self-awareness, group dynamic, etc. Those activities may include animal observation, leading, grooming, trick training and any number of other creative ways that we will guide your interactions with the animals and environment so that you can learn about yourself.

Do I need to have horse experience?

No prior horse experience is necessary. Most of our clients have never been around horses and may never be around them again after completing therapy.

Will I learn how to ride horses?

Equine facilitated learning is very different than riding lessons. Our objective is not to teach you a skill to improve your horsemanship, but rather to allow you to gain self-awareness that will assist you in meeting learning objectives.

Is it safe?

Our staff at Triple Play Farm has spent hundreds of hours developing our own horsemanship, selecting and caring for the animals here. We know all of the animals very well and carefully choose certain animals for certain clients and activities. The job of the Equine Specialist during all sessions is to maintain physical safety for all participants. That being said, horses are 1,000 pound creatures with the instincts of a prey animal. We will certainly minimize risk, but part of your experience here at the farm is also taking responsibility for your own safety, a subject that we will discuss in greater detail when you are here.

Should I wear special clothing?

When working with the horses, we ask that you wear closed toe shoes and if possible, no dangling jewelry. If we are planning to do mounted work, we will also ask that you wear long pants and a heeled shoe.

What is the cost and what type of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, check and credit card and would be happy to tailor a proposal to your group’s particular needs and budget.  Cost typically runs approximately $30/person/hour.

What are your qualifications?  Can't I go to any farm and do these activities?

The quality of your experience is often dependent upon the skill of your facilitators.  You should be very diligent in examining the credentials of any barn that claims to be doing animal assisted or equine facilitated activities. Triple Play Farm is a premier accredited center of PATH International and all of our Equine Specialists have received training and certification through PATH and/or EAGALA. We would be happy to provide the criteria for these certifications, which require ongoing continuing education to stay current in this emerging field. We also require our therapists to undergo certification specific to equine therapy and encourage them to develop their own horsemanship if possible. Finally, the farm also extensive liability insurance specific to the field of animal and equine assisted activities.

How do I get the ball rolling?

Please feel free to contact us by phone or e-mail as described on our Join Us page.

Thank you for your interest in Triple Play Farm!