Long-term care residents in Carrot River and Nipawin recently enjoyed therapeutic interaction with horses from EmPower U Equine, a northeast-based Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) program.
EAL is an alternative intervention that utilizes horses in their natural state. Participants are not required to ride or have previous horse experience to participate.
“Research has shown that horses and humans have developed a unique way to communicate with one another,” explained Shannon Dickey, Certified EAL Facilitator, EmPower U Equine. “This language relies on touch, emotional connection and becoming attuned to physical movements.”
CRHC residents Ken Holmes (left) and Betty Alton are introduced to Poko by Shannon Dickey, a certified Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) Facilitator of EmPower U Equine. The horses visited residents of the facility on Grandparent’s Day.
Learning about horse behaviour and the horse-human connection seemed to intrigue the residents, who enjoyed petting, brushing and grooming the horses.
“Animals in long term care are a wonderful source of interaction, enjoyment and entertainment,” said Chrystan Mutimer, Pineview Lodge Recreation Coordinator.
“We feel truly blessed to be able to use our herd to impact the lives of others,” Dickey concluded.
Interested in learning more about EAL programs? Visit
Pineview Lodge resident Margaret Freedman didn’t hesitate when she had the opportunity to take Kasey by the reins during a visit to the Nipawin facility in September.
The joy on the face of former Pineview Lodge resident Shirley Switzer was very evident during her visit with Barbie Harder, EmPower U Equine certified EAL Facilitator, and Kasey. Though Switzer passed away in late September, her family wanted to share her photo.
Pineview Lodge resident Doris Vhal enjoyed gently stroking Kasey and spending some quiet time taking in the majesty of the horse.