DEC Students to Participate in Equine Therapy

A beautiful day at the Red Barn in Old Brookville, N.Y.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, who purchased this program during the silent auction at the 2017 Sail the Sound for Deafness Regatta, Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf students now have the unique opportunity to participate in a Therapeutic Equestrian Program at the Red Barn in Old Brookville, N.Y.

“There are so many life lessons that can be learned, as well as insight into the workings of a farm…”

The Red Barn—whose mission is to deliver and maintain professional Equine Assisted Activities to enhance the lives of those with developmental, cognitive, social and emotional challenges—offers the opportunity to experience the benefits of being around horses in a safe and friendly environment.

Beginning this fall, Mill Neck students will use their time at Red Barn to gain required hours toward their Career Development and Occupational Studies credentials, which includes 216 hours of job or volunteer experiences that earn students a certificate upon completion.

The Red Barn Kids and Counselors gather together

Led by Katharine Parsons, Red Barn’s Education & Special Events Coordinator, and Kelliann Kleva, Mill Neck’s Vocational Teacher, students will enjoy activities like stable care, grooming, proper safety around horses and more.

“Our students benefit so much from the unconditional love that comes from being with animals. Taking risks and trying new things is less stressful because the animals won’t judge or criticize what they do,” says Kleva. “There are so many life lessons that can be learned, as well as insight into the workings of a farm that most of the students wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise.”

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