PBS Hawaii – HIKI NŌ Episode 715 | Kainalu Elementary School | Therapeutic Horseback

PBS Hawaii – HIKI NŌ Episode 715 | Kainalu Elementary School | Therapeutic Horseback


The Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii is
a program that allows children with special needs to
interact with mini horses. [GIGGLING] The mini horses, Geronimo and Makakoa, provide
comfort and affection. They bring happiness and relaxation to children. Also, the children
are not afraid to express their feelings towards the
mini horses. [INDISTINCT] Those miniature horses, which are the most
kind and generous little creatures I’ve ever met, they’re
not very much like other horses. They’re very, very mellow. We put them in a minivan, and
we take them to public schools, special ed programs,
we take them to hospitals, long-term care centers.
We take them anywhere where there’s people who can’t afford to be around horses, or people
who physically can’t come to be around horses.
And they have been in elevators, they’ve gone up and
down stairs, they have gone amongst wheelchairs all piled together to visit people, and they
are so kind and they are so neat. And we just started
this program, so it’s a new job for them, and they’re
really taking to it really well. So, they’ve been the new superstars, and it’s been really
exciting for all of us to launch this new program. The mini horses are transported in a minivan
to their home in Waimanalo. The Therapeutic Horsemanship Branch is located next to the
polo field with the beautiful Koolau Mountain Range in
the background. We saw Geronimo and other horses at the ranch. Riding lessons are available
to the general public. Children with special
needs can take lessons as well. We teach horse care. Most of our riders will
spend at least a little bit of time grooming the horses,
brushing them, getting them ready to go. They’ll learn how to saddle. If they also volunteer
here, they learn the ins and outs of the daily care
of horses. I think the biggest thing that they learn here
is that horses are wonderful giving creatures, and that being around them can really give
you confidence in yourself and confidence in others,
and confidence in the horses as well. I would say, I would just highly recommend
Therapeutic Horsemanship, especially for families that
may have children with disabilities and sensory issues. Riders learn to ride by utilizing various
muscle groups which stimulates learning. And most of all,
the riders learn to have fun. I feel good, ’cause my heart fills up with
joy. This is Keona Peters from Kainalu Elementary
School, for HIKI NŌ.

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