Welcome from Michelle Cannon, Founder
The Standing Tall Life Skills Program was founded to address the needs of youth (and adults) who are experiencing social, emotional, or physical challenges in their daily life. The inspiration came from me trying to find a program with would help my grandson, A.J., overcome the challenges he faced as a premature baby. His first year was spent with occupational therapists. That's when we first learned of therapeutic riding. After many years of trying to find the right program for A.J., the Standing Tall Life Skills program was born. As A.J. grew, the extent of his challenges became more complex. In order to address his issues and those of other kids, the life skills lesson plans have evolved.
At Standing Tall, we provide a positive and safe equestrian environment to empower students with social life skills and coping skills that help them build self-awareness, self-esteem, and resilience. Our students care for the horses and a natural bond of trust and acceptance occurs. This is a free hybrid holistic program to address the needs of the Body, Mind, and Spirit. Our goal is for our students to incorporate their skills to improve relationships and build a stronger community. We hope you join us to make a positive change in our community.
Our volunteers mentor and provide unconditional acceptance and love.
Life Skills to Empower
YOGA AND MEDITATION
Good for the Body, Mind and Spirit
Students are introduced to the ancient art of Yoga and Meditation. The physical benefits include strengthening muscles and improving balance needed for riding a horse. Students learn deep breathing to calm their body and mind so they may reduce stress and anxiety anywhere, anytime.
BUILDING SOCIAL SKILLS
The Program promotes personal empowerment by introducing
practical and fun exercises in:
Gardening and Green House-Healthy Eating for the Body
Listening and following directions
Conflict resolution and problem-solving
Teamwork, consensus, and money management
Self-confidence and independent thinking
Personal integrity, values, and mindfulness
The difference between a friend and enemy
Setting boundaries for self-care
Setting goals and planning for the future
Reinforcing the Life Lessons
Team Building, Conflict Resolution, and Consensus
In this exercise, students work together as Business Partners, naming their trail riding business, and make a financial plan on which horses to purchase and to make the best choice.
Working together as a team
Financial Plan to buy horses
Pooling their resources
Consensus on which horses to buy
Students who complete the Standing Tall class are eligible to attend the Leadership Class. They learn what it takes to be an effective leader instead of a manager.
Congratulations to Alex for having the best presentation before his peers!
This class was held at Christy's Pub Grub.
Our Horse Therapists
An important part of our program is the special time participants spend with our horses.
Students learn how to:
Bond and connect with horses to build relationships with people
Learn to give and receive trust from horses and people
Groom horses to promote self-care, empathy, and caring for others
Partner with horses and people to accomplish team goals
Proudly participate with confidence in the independent Trail Ride
Students and volunteers become empowered by their own abilities and gain the confidence to fulfill their potential.
Horse Related Activities
Students groom the horses and a bond of trust develops
The pair work together as a team, giving and receiving instruction
Focus on positive experience and relation.
Receive mentoring from volunteers
In a time when video games and cell phones socially isolate our youth, they miss out on developing social skills which will help them be more successful in life. At Standing Tall, we provide a safe outdoor setting where kids enjoy nature, fresh air, and sunshine. Our caring volunteers mentor each child and provide positive feedback. We want to turn adverse childhood experiences into positive ones.
Our program promotes trust, friendships and fosters healthy relationships within their families and the community. We are teaching our students how to live a life of excellence. Students are encouraged to think about their futures so they may achieve their full potential. Our programs and activities are free. However, parents are encouraged to participate by contributing snacks and drinks.
What our Students are Saying
Jake - Student
Eli - Student
We can fight off bullying and have confidence. I always struggled with that, but Daisey helped me take that off my mind and concentrate on nature and the horse.
Living In Excellence
I enjoyed this class because it started me to feel again. It's easier with animals than with humans because of trauma...Thank you for your program and open arms.
This place is not just a place to ride horses, it's a family. -Isaac
I learned to control my feelings. - Gabe.
AJ - Student
I gained happiness from helping everyone. The program will help them make it in life.
Thank you all for teaching me how to ride horses and teaching me how to improve myself in a better way. I really appreciate it.