The Therapeutic Farm
An essential part of the Sadnat Shiluv is the connection to nature, the land , the flora, and fauna.
Being surrounded by animals contributes to and enriches the wellbeing of the students and working on the farm provides tools and opportunities for the students to grow and develop.
Dogs play an integral role in emotional therapy for students. Many individuals who come to us with a background of behavioral problems or intellectual disabilities are marginalized by society. These students need a sense of connection and responsibility which they can achieve by working with the dogs in the kennel. After realizing that the students are benefitting from taking care of the dogs, the Sadna expanded the work options within the kennel.
About a year and a half ago, we started training classes that are given by a professional dog trainer. Students are divided into groups, and according to their level learn different dog training skills. There are students who practice commands at a basic level, and there are students who are already training dogs to serve in vital positionsin the army. We recently built a new kennel, where students come to training and emotional therapy classes for dogs. We hope to add an employment group in the future that will be responsible for the ongoing care of the dogs and the maintenance of the kennel.
From the very beginning of the Sadna, the horses have galloped alongside us. The horse has a distinct communication with the rider thereby providing many therapeutic options and serving as an excellent tool for regulating emotions. Students with a problem of self-confidence or fear manage to find their place on the horse and can develop and advance. There are currently seven horses in the stable, with 120 students riding a week. The students come from different levels of functioning, and the riding session is adapted to their individual needs. There is a group of high-level students who practice more professional riding which prepares them for a riding instructor course. The students from all the riding tracks participate in an annual competition.
Besides the riders and the training group, the stable employs five special employees daily. e. These special employees are responsible for the cleanliness of the stalls, the preparation of the horses for riding and the arrangement of the equipment. During the riding lessons, the employees assist the instructors, all the students of the integration workshop and the student.
The petting zoo/animal corner employs five special employees who are responsible for feeding the various animals, cleaning the cells and cages, physically caring for the animals, and arranging and cleaning the entire animal corner space. In addition, this special staff helps the nature instructor give classes in the petting zoo. Some of the special needs students also conduct classes in the animal corner.