Can horses give traumatized children new self-confidence?? Can horses help hyperactive children to calm down?? And you can teach perfectionist people to be calm? Tatjana prantl and christine thiergartner are convinced of it. For a good reason: they experience the positive effect of the animals on their predominantly young patients day after day.
The therapiehof am seesteig in mainbernheim has been in existence for 15 years. For three years, the two young women together with nicola prantl offer the so-called horse-supported padagogy and therapy (PPT). Just outside of town and right next to the erich kastner children's village, tatjana prantl has converted a former stable into a cozy house. In the open stable right next to it are ten horses stabled. And they get visits almost every day from children, teenagers and adults.
Christine thiergartner looked after three therapy children, eight to nine a week tatjana prantl. "The youngest was two years old, she tells. Your problem: muscular atrophy. Contact with the horses has helped stabilize the muscles. "But adults also come to us", reports thiergartner.
The lessons given by the trained riding therapists are only marginally about riding. "We use all the possibilities for our work that a horse and its immediate environment offer", explains prantl. Will heiben: grooming, cleaning, saddling up or tying up are part of the therapy. Just like the massaging of the animals.
"The horses are an ideal mirror", explains prantl and tells of a girl with a pronounced perceptual disorder. "It could not assess where there is a danger and where not." And so it has chosen of all things the roughest animal from the herd to tie it up. "She was hopelessly overtaxed and stressed", prantl recalls. So the two of them watched the horse from a distance and noticed that it was very calm and relaxed. "This has then been passed on to the girl," says, tells the trained educator. The result: the girl has become self-confident and has finally been able to tie the horse without stress. An important sense of achievement.
Out of human to human contact and into human to horse contact. Especially for children with trauma or attachment disorders a helpful way. "These children often no longer trust people", thiergartner tells. Uber the horse they learn to communicate again. They take care of "their" horse, trace its needs and build a relationship that will later ideally have a positive impact on their relationship with people.
Therapy should last at least 30 hours; the average is between 30 and 50. Not everyone can afford 45 euros an hour. Especially since the health insurance companies usually do not pay anything extra. "Very rarely do juvenile offices, counties or life assistance push anything", reports thiergartner. Almost always the parents have to pay for the costs alone. Prantl and thiergartner also offer group therapy for this reason, with the pleasant side effect that people with handicaps and "completely normal people" can be treated in the same way getting in touch with each other.
Info PPT definition
Equine assisted pedagogy and therapy is a way of working in which people are supported and challenged holistically by horses. Possible goals: increasing self-confidence, learning to deal with fears, building trust, stabilizing social behavior, and many others.