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Our Barn Buddies Program gives our participants the opportunity to interact with the chickens, miniature donkeys and horses that live at the Farm. Learning to care for and play with animals helps children and adults with cognitive disorders develop emotional bonds and communication skills. Instead of verbal communication, individuals develop physical communication skills. By patting, brushing, feeding, and hugging their  Buddies,  our participants associate providing care with emotional responses and feelings. 


Parents and caregivers know how hard it is for their charges to make eye contact, communicate feelings, and express themselves to other people. Creating bonds with animals helps  them break these barriers. We have seen participants who start talking with their Buddies later begin to talk with other people in the program for the first time. 

In hippo- or equine therapy, individuals benefit from the motor, emotional, relational and sensory sensations that come with riding a horse. Balance and spatial orientation come from sense organs inside the inner ear. The stimulus of riding and  physically interacting with the other barnyard animals helps to develop these senses in activities and a setting that motivates participants to stay engaged.

For more information about our programs, please contact us at

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