Adventures In Learning

Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning Program


SMARTís Adventures in Learning EFEL program provides for a positive educational learning opportunity, through respectful partnerships with horses, that carries over into the studentsí traditional classroom experiences. The EFEL activities use horses not as tools, but as active partners that help to facilitate the learning experience for the human participants. This program also focuses on promoting leadership skills, social skills and the initiation of relationships based on empathy and respect.

EFEL sessions include guided and safe ground- based interactions with horses, classroom instruction, and positive interactions between students, animals and adults. Grade-level appropriate reading, writing, art, and math skills are introduced in our student centered approach. These activities help to reengage the typically disengaged or defiant student as well as inspire the engaged and achieving student.

Our main goal is to provide our students with a quality educational program that utilizes a different approach to learning. We constantly search for and develop the most effective EFEL curriculum, activities and approaches. Typically, the sessions are 2-3 hours each week for up to 6 weeks and take place in our barns, open air classrooms and arenas with the guidance of our instructors, staff , horse specialists and horses. Local schools in Bradenton and Sarasota, grades K-12, have participated in SMARTís Adventures in Learning EFEL program and we work closely on desired outcomes with the school teachers and staff.

There are numerous reasons to use exercises with horses in human educational programs. EFEL provides the one thing all other experiential programs cannot--the opportunity of partnering with a large, living, breathing and reacting creature that allows for an environment of constantly changing and evolving experiences. Horses are responsive, sentient beings that give immediate and honest feedback. This feedback guides the students to an understanding of what they need to learn in order to create a partnership with the horse to achieve their goals. Through a collaborative experiential learning process, the students use experience, reflection, generalization, and application to facilitate learning.

For more information, please contact SMART at 941-322-2000.