Shrub Oak is proud to partner with Pegasus Therapeutic Riding to provide our students with the powerful, life-changing benefits of equine therapy.
Recognizing that the healing power of horses goes far beyond riding, Pegasus developed a therapeutic horsemanship program using individualized, experiential learning combined with a holistic approach that is particularly beneficial for children, adolescents, and young adults on the autism spectrum. The program was designed using the Pegasus Emotional Growth and Social Understanding System (PEGASUS). Developed by a team of talented educators, mental health professionals, and instructors certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), PEGASUS is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which includes physical and emotional safety; connection, love, care, and belonging; esteem and self-confidence; and self-actualization and purpose.
Shrub Oak students benefit in many ways from participating in the Pegasus program including improved physical health in addition to cognitive benefits such as improved adaptability, impulse control, and self-regulation, and social-emotional benefits including connection, empathy, increased confidence, and decreased anxiety. “Horses are soothing creatures,” notes Suzie Angier, PATH International Advanced Instructor at Pegasus. Horses also help students develop an understanding of boundaries. Students learn how to communicate with the horses they interact with and to create a dialogue, whether it be spoken or unspoken, to evoke an appropriate response, an essential skill in life. At Pegasus, and at Shrub Oak, each student moves at their own pace and works toward individualized goals guided by an expert team of caring, skilled professionals.
Pegasus views their holistic approach as being equivalent to the mind, body, and spirit which parallels their commitment to meeting the cognitive, physical, and social-emotional needs of participants. As we, at Shrub Oak, work to do the same, we feel fortunate to collaborate with a program that shares so many of our own values.
Pegasus is a special place. From the moment you turn into their driveway, you experience a feeling of peace and comfort. We credit Pegasus with creating that space, but if you ask Pegasus, they will credit the horses: The horses are the teachers. The horses provide the healing.
For more information regarding the Pegasus program and the benefits of therapeutic horsemanship, please visit www.pegasustr.org.