Miniature horses visit West Country Outreach School

Students at West Country Outreach School welcome two miniature horses who come to visit

  • Mar. 21, 2017 4:00 p.m.


Students at the Outreach School welcomed a couple of unusual guests last Monday.

Two miniature horses actually visited the students in the classroom allowing themselves to be petted and stroked and given lots of one-on-one attention.

Sandy Bell from Windhorse Retreat visited the students with her horses, Tango and Sky.

It was a good visit.

Bell, who offers horse powered personal development at her Windhorse Retreat, said horses can be teachers in the classroom.

“This meeting was casual, informal. It was simply a meet and greet.”

She noted that interaction between people and horses can be more structured and the animals can be instrumental in helping people deal with emotional issues such as posttraumatic stress and other issues such as bullying or family violence.

“Horses see ourselves,” she said. “They look past our clothing—right into the core of the person. You can’t hide if you are anxious or sad or worried or angry. Horses like honesty.”

Bell said meeting the two miniature horses gave students an opportunity to gain a basic knowledge of horse powered personal development.

Bell has owned the horses for a couple of years, but Monday’s visit to the Outreach School was their first visit to the classroom.

At Windhorse Retreat, her equine assisted training facility located about 20 kilometers northwest of Rimbey, clients develop partnerships with horses and in the process gain a deeper understanding about themselves.

“It’s amazing, really,” she said. “Horses can be facilitators and guides. They can help people in their personal and professional growth. Horses act as active participants or facilitators in activities designed to help us understand more about ourselves, our relations, our communication styles and the issues in our lives.”

She explained that horses, like people, have their own gifts and characteristics.

“Horses are experts at non-verbal communication and are always honest in their reactions to us. They teach us about trust and patience, respect and boundaries and impact and control.”

Interacting with horses in a supportive and safe environment is calming and lowers stress, boosts self-esteem, self-confidence and self-control. It also encourages understanding of one’s self and others and enhances physical activity and improves sleep, she said.

Windhorse Retreat offers a variety of full or half-day retreats for team and personal development. For more information check out