Special Event Programs
Magical Horses encompasses events that take us out into the community or invite groups to visit us at Carousel Farms, offering opportunities for Equine Reflections to make a positive difference by sharing the uplifting, inspiring and educational powers of the horse.
Some of our Magical Horses highlights include:
Horses, Harp & Art
Our Horses, Harp and Art program leverages the benefits of equine assisted activities, art therapy, music therapy - plus a healthly and delicious snack time - to create a unique mini-retreat experience for adults. We welcome groups of 10-25 participants (larger or smaller groups possible by special contract) to Equine Reflections' home on the beautiful grounds of Carousel Farms to enjoy a half-day of special activities designed to promote relaxation, reflection, discovery, health and healing.
Horse activities are conducted from the ground and do not involve riding; no previous horse experience is necessary. Each Horse, Harp & Art event begins with a welcome by our team and an overview of the day's activities and safety education. Our EAGALA certified Equine Specialist Bonny Barry will lead your interactive sessions involving horses, and Louisiana artists will lead your creative art activity. Every retreat wraps up with a reflective session allowing time to enjoy delicious light snacks and journaling amid the beautiful harp music of Judy Seghers, BM, MM. (Customized itineraries may be developed for your group by special contract.) Click below to access a Horses, Harp & Art Program Flyer (PDF document). To learn more, attend a scheduled retreat or schedule a custom retreat for your group, please visit our event calendar and contact us!
A Very Special Field Trip:
"Whoa" to Bullying and "Giddyup" to Kindness
A 2018 study found that Louisiana has the nation's biggest problem with bullying, including having the highest percentage of high schoolers bullied online and one of the highest of students missing school due to fear of bullying.
Nationwide studies have also found that the best way to address bullying is to stop it before it starts.
Our bullying prevention approach uses activities with horses in a neutral, non-threatening and fun environment to reinforce students' positive social skills and foster respect, empathy, kindness and inclusion.
Horses' natures make them uniquely effective teachers.
As prey animals, horses can sense aggression or fear even if it is not exhibited outwardly. They are some of the most responsive animals to human interaction, and their feedback is honest an immediate. Their herd dynamic also relies on hierarchy and dominance, offering a window into the human dynamics that can lead to bullying. We leverage horses' unique natures to teach bullying-proofing lessons in a safe but impactful way.
WHAT: A one-of-a-kind Equine Assisted Learning field trip to combat bullying, featuring interactive demonstrations, games, art projects and other engaging activity sessions with horses as partners and teachers of confidence, communication, kindness and respect.
WHEN: Field trips are held by appointment, usually weekdays 10 a.m. - noon.
WHERE: Carousel Farms, home of Equine Reflections, at 81120 Chenel Road in Folsom, La.
WHO: Field trips can be customized for groups of 40 (minimum) - 150 (maximum) in grades K-3rd, 4th-6th, 7th-8th, and 9th-12th.
Our program aims to help students:
Take the reins of compassionate leadership, with genuine confidence and self-esteem;
Unbridle self-trust with improved social and communication skills;
Gallop to success with healthy boundaries of respect for self and others;
Ride a trail of empathy, inclusion and kindness throughout life, in and beyond school.
Bullying can result in many negative consequences: for the victims, the bullies themselves, the parents, the schools and society as a whole. According to the CDC's 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, every 7 minutes a child is bullied in America, and only 11 percent of that child's peers might intervene.
Equine Reflections' "Whoa" to Bullying Field Trips aim to change those statistics for Louisiana students by engaging, educating and empowering them all -- including the bullies, the bullied and the bystanders -- with the communication, social and life skills needed to recognize the causes of bullying and stop it before it starts.
How and why does our program work?
Field trip activities are custom designed for each student group to leverage the approach and benefits of Equine Assisted Learning, delivered by compassionate, experienced and credentialed experts. Being outside the classroom and in close contact with horses is a positive and impactful experience for young people.
It has been proven that the more senses that are engaged, the greater the likelihood that learning will be retained. Our field trips are designed to not just entertain but to involve students, engage the senses, and thereby increase the probability that they will learn, retain and apply what they have learned.
The field trips' breakout sessions with horses do not focus on riding or even horsemanship. Instead, they engage students in activities that involve both observing and interacting with horses. These activities encourage students to recognize and apply skills that are essential to preventing bullying: verbal/non-verbal communication, assertiveness without aggression, creative thinking, compassionate leadership, healthy setting of boundaries, and better choice making, among others.
Lessons from the barn apply to the arena of life. At the end of the field trip, students pledge to use the skills their equine partners have helped teach them to focus on kindness and work to stop bullying.
Click below to access our program flyer (PDF document), and contact us to learn more and schedule a field trip for your class!
Other School Field Trips to Carousel Farms
Within her extensive career history, Equine Reflections Founder and Director Bonny Barry previously served as Deep South Regional Director of the Black Stallion Literacy Project (now known as Horse Tales Literacy Project). Drawing from her experiences in that role, Bonny has expanded on the base concept of the literacy project to create an immersive educational opportunity for 1st- and 2nd-graders, offered as a Magical Horses program to schools and community groups.
The program provides teachers with lesson plan suggestions that may be easily incorporated, in part or in whole, into their regular curriculum; provides students with their own book (Clyde: The Never-Give-Up Horse by Deborah Young); and culminates with a fun-filled half-day field trip to Carousel Farms. The field trip includes memorable equine-assisted activities that reinforce reading and other educational skills, social skills, as well as healthy attitudes and behaviors such as collaboration, peer respect, politeness, creative expression, self confidence and compassion.
Field trips usually involve 2-4 hours of organized activities, depending on numbers of participants, and may include additional time for snack or lunch breaks on the beautiful grounds of Carousel Farms (click here to learn more about our facilities). Students are divided into several small groups, which rotate throughout a series of experiential activity stations, including:
Arts & Crafts
Reading & Writing with Horses
Audience participation show featuring Equine Reflections' horse mascots, Clyde and Val
Contact us today to learn more about our Magical Horses literacy program and arrange a field trip for your class!
Magical Horses on the Road
Our staff, horses and wonderful volunteers enjoy making appearances at assisted living centers, schools, hospitals, Scout camps, community festivals, and a variety of charity events throughout the year.
For example, our Magical Horses are proud to help make memories of a lifetime for more than 100 St. Jude patients and their families as an annual volunteer participant in Dream Day Foundation's Fishin' Galore event.
See our calendar for upcoming events.
To inquire about having Equine Reflections' Magical Horses visit your venue or participate in your event, please contact us!