Wild horses helping wayward teens

Wild horses helping wayward teens

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Wild horses helping wayward teens

The Brumby Program – Sir David Martin Foundation
Kids with a history of crime, violence, abuse and drug addiction are learning patience and life skills by working with wild horses, in the ground breaking Brumby Program.

The program is run by renowned equestrian Greg Powell, part horse whisperer and part man from Snowy River. Having worked with horses since he was four, Greg has always believed that the basis of a positive relationship can only be achieved through trust and respect – whether that relationship is with a horse, or another human.

With this philosophy, we are working with Greg to offer the students of Triple Care Farm the chance to participate in what has affectionately become known as the “Brumby Program”.

The program is the result of years of researching and refining equine therapy, to develop the current highly successful curriculum, which Greg runs through his charitable Foundation, Kalandan.

In the program, Greg matches students from the Farm with wild brumbies that he has rescued from being culled, on the borders of Kosciusko National Park. The program combines hands-on horsemanship with reflective feedback.  

The students’ learning with the horses can then be applied to everyday life.

“When they arrive, many young people don’t want to do anything. Often this is because they don’t believe they can make a difference. Society has told them they are worthless and they have come to believe it.

Most of the students have never seen a horse up close – let alone a wild one! Most of the brumbies have never seen a human up close – let alone an angry and troubled one! So it’s all pretty challenging.

But that’s when the magic happens. It’s not easy. It’s not quick. But it is lasting” explained Greg.

The wild brumbies are very sensitive to human actions and emotions. They are large, scared animals so their reactions can be quite confronting for the young people. But by showing the students how to control their emotions and remain calm, they can see the immediate impact this has on the horses.

Each student is assigned a brumby and it is their responsibility to build trust and rapport with their horse. As the horse begins to trust the student, its behaviour starts to change. The students discover that they can have a positive effect on a wild and powerful animal simply through their own actions.

The effect on the young person is amazing. Within a few hours, the students have achieved something remarkable that they are proud of. This is often the first step in building their self-confidence and a practical demonstration that they can achieve anything they set out to do.

If you took a photo of the students when they arrive and another when they were about to leave, you would not believe the transformation. They stand taller. They look at you rather than the ground. You see hope in their faces and you can feel the healing begin” said Greg. 

These innovative programs would not be possible without your generous support. Donate today

 

Did you know?

75% of mental health disorders begin before the age of 25 years and 70% of young people who experience mental health and substance abuse problems don't seek help.