EQUAL (Equine-Assisted Learning)
Helping Disadvantaged Youths Learn Life Skills through Equine Therapy
Partner: Equestrian Federation of Singapore
EQUAL is a pilot programme that provides equine therapy for disadvantaged youths. The youths gain confidence and learn life skills through horse riding and caring for the horses. The programme also provides a new vocational pathway for youths who are interested in handling horses as a career.
The inspiration for the programme came from a local school that sent a few students with behavioral problems for horse-riding lessons. The students related well with the horses, felt responsible for them and shared their problems with their equine friends. In school, these students showed improvements in discipline, confidence and attendance rate. The Principal of the school said: “There was a boy who after riding a temperamental horse, commented that he now understands how his teachers feel when he does not obey his instructions.”
Subsequently, EQUAL was established to focus on the rehabilitative and therapeutic potential of horses on disadvantaged youths. Although the youths learn about riding horses and stable management, the aim is to equip them with social, communications and other life skills through interacting with horses. Learning specialists observe and guide the youths as well as track their progress. Research will also be carried out to objectively measure the effectiveness of the programme.
EQUAL enables more disadvantaged youths to benefit from equine therapy. The programme will cater to at least 240 youths between the ages of 13-18 over 3 years. EQUAL is co-funded by Temasek Cares, Trailblazer Foundation and T Touch. The Trailblazer Fund is a registered charity that seeks to honour trailblazers by supporting those who may make a difference in the lives of their families and fellowmen. T-Touch is a staff initiative by the staff of Temasek Holdings that contributes to the community through volunteerism and donations.
The Straits Times, Apr 1, 2011
Lianhe Zaobao, Apr 1, 2011
TODAY, Apr 1, 2011
Channel NewsAsia, Apr 1, 2011
Berita Harian, Apr 1, 2011
The Business Times, Apr 1, 2011