Develop Your Child’s Math & Reading Skills Over the Summer with Horse Powered Learning

Continue your child’s math and reading skills this summer with Horse Powered Learning. 100%  EAGALA certified practitioners develop a fun and powerful experiential method using horses. No riding experience. All learning occurs from the ground. 

Horse-powered learning helps motivate students to read, improves their overall attitude toward learning, and increases self-confidence in the ability to learn. Call us to learn more and read on for information behind horse-powered learning.


“Horse powered learning combines research-based education strategies with EAGALA model activities”

What is Horse Powered Learning?

Horse-powered learning is a new teaching tool that takes what we know about effective teaching instruction and combines it with EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Learning or EAL, making learning skills visible and physical for students. With EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), students see and experience learning with their entire mind and body by creating metaphors for the skills involved in learning. The creator of horse-powered reading, Dr. Michele Pickel, has taken experiential learning, brain-based education, and research-based reading strategies and combined them with EAGALA model EAL activities to create a unique method of reading instruction appropriate for K-12 students. Since the development of horse-powered reading, other educators have expanded the program to include math and other subjects as well.

During a horse-powered learning session, horses may become the reading material or book students need to connect with. Without finding and making some connection with the text, it is easy to drift away from or lose interest in a book. By experiencing how it feels when a book or text is too hard or too easy, students learn to choose a “just right” book.  Seeing what tools are used to connect with the book (horse) and how that connection is made, allows facilitators and teachers to use clean questioning to help students discover learning.

Why Horses?

Horses can influence people in very powerful ways. Accomplishing a task with the horse, in spite of fears, creates confidence and provides wonderful metaphors for dealing with other challenging situations like those faced by struggling readers at school.

Example of how horses help teach?

In a Horse Powered reading session, reading problems may be made visible by labeling obstacles that get in the way of understanding. Clients create a “Reading River” (obstacle course) that must be navigated with their chosen reading material (horse).  Often while reading, readers don’t even know when they have drifted away and no longer understand what the text is talking about. However, in the Reading River it becomes obvious! When an obstacle is met, the reader is forced to stop or move out of the river with their text. “Fix-up strategies” must be explored and used in order to get back in the flow of reading. Facilitators can then ask, “What just happened?” and “How might that look when you are reading?” Perhaps the reader was forced to move out of the river and circle back for a ‘running start’ to get over an obstacle, much like you might need a running start to re-read a paragraph to get the meaning.  Maybe the obstacle forced them to take a different route, such as looking at another chapter to figure out what is going on in this paragraph; or to get help by asking another person; or to use another tool such as a dictionary.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *