Real Horse Power
After a successful pilot last year, the Royal Parks Foundation has teamed up once again with Operation Centaur. By providing ‘equine assisted learning’, a class of students can tackle difficult behaviour by focusing on cooperation, teamwork and inclusion. This is a really special opportunity to address bullying behaviour in the classroom and beyond.
Real Horse Power can make a huge difference to the lives of the young students taking part. It is just one of the many creative ways we inspire children to learn more about themselves by engaging directly with the natural world. Last year alone our Education Centre received more than 5,000 primary and secondary school children to discover wildlife in the heart of Hyde Park.
How can horses help prevent bullying behaviour?
Bullying tactics do not work with these impressive and powerful animals. Instead, horses respond to cooperation, negotiation and acceptance. Students have to explore the different roles each of us play in a group and how cooperation helps complete tasks. They will see how social relationships can affect the horses through practical problem solving whilst being protected by recognised ethical guidelines.
Who is it for?
Classes of up to 30 pupils from Years 7 to 9, where perhaps some challenging behaviours are evident, so they can benefit from external guidance.
Last year’s pilot programme was a success, and our analysis demonstrated that the therapeutic use of horses resulted in positive changes of participants’ attitudes and behaviour towards bullying. This year, we expect students to gain a greater awareness of how their own behaviour affects others, while having an opportunity to work together to achieve practical tasks.
Watch the video and find out all about it
Who is behind the programme?
Dr Liefooghe & Operation Centaur
Dr Liefooghe is a Chartered Psychologist, licensed by both the British Psychological Society and the Health Care Professions Council, and a Psychotherapist registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. He has published widely on trauma, bullying and relational approaches to human functioning. He is also a Reader at Birkbeck, University of London, and a life-long horseman.
The Trust is an independent grant making organisation that facilitates and increases access to quality education and other life opportunities for children and young people, with a focus on the most disadvantaged.