• A photo of a group of people gathered around a horse.
  • working farmscape photos
  • photo of elderly people grooming horses

Mental Health & Wellness Programs

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Carlisle Academy is a Premier Accredited Center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH, Intl.) offering mental health and wellness opportunities in addition to hippotherapy. These are ground-based (unmounted) equine-facilitated learning programs, supported by occupational therapists and co-facilitated by PATH, International instructors and professional horse handlers. We use the whole farm environment to create a sensory-rich learning experience. Veterans, vulnerable youth, men and women recovering from addiction/PTSD, and seniors sharing horse grooming time in the tranquility of the farm all benefit from this respite and enrichment. Additionally, traditional and adaptive yoga programs have been added in our new farm studio/classroom to complement these wellness programs.  

Equine-Facilitated WELLNESS GROUPS 

Horses are masters of communication as they provide immediate, non-judgmental, and honest feedback. Individuals and groups participate in ground-based, trust-building exercises with horses that enhance overall wellness and personal growth. Participants may sign up individually (1 hour) or be scheduled to attend with an agency or school group (2 hours, Max 10 people) and both involve working with a horse on the ground with an instructor doing liberty work in the roundpen, leading exercises, herd observation, and grooming. 


Equine GROOMING PROGRAM

Some participants, such as seniors or participants who are unable to ride or do ground-based programs, choose to engage in a grooming-only program. Participants bond with horses through supervised grooming sessions focusing on basic grooming techniques while being present and mindful of the contact and sensory communication with the horse.  Participants may sign up individually (45 Min) or be scheduled to attend with an agency or school group (1 hour, Max 6 people).


YOGA Classes

We will be offering traditional and adaptive yoga classes in our newly renovated classroom/studio, focused on stretching, core strength and stress reduction for children and adults. Traditional yoga classes will be offered by certified instructors for members of the greater community. Adaptive yoga will be offered to individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, led by one of Carlisle’s physical therapist trained in yoga exercises. Caregivers should attend for individuals needing more support (at no additional charge). Additionally, periodic TRE classes will be offered by a certified TRE instructor. TRE, which stands for Trauma Releasing Exercises, is an evidenced-based series of exercises that helps to alleviate stress, tension, and trauma, developed Dr. David Berceli, and has been particularly helpful for Veterans and those challenged with PTSD. Please check back for a schedule of classes and information on how to sign up. 


WORKING FARMSCAPE – Wellness WORKSHOPS for Veterans 

Carlisle Academy operates out of Spring Creek Farm, a 150 acre working crop and livestock farm, comprised of hayfields, pastures and an active wood lot. The Working Farmscape Program is designed for a small group of Veterans to attend three Saturday workshops each in the Spring, Summer, and Fall to gain exposure to the everyday management of a working farm. Holistic and regenerative farming using tractor and draft horse-power provides viable agricultural models and helps us connect to the land and one another in a purposeful, authentic way. Over the course of a 5-hour workshop, participants will have the opportunity to help harvest hay, spread compost, rotationally graze sheep, perform numerous maintenance tasks, and extract fire and pulpwood from our woodlot. Participants also receive ground-based education in livestock handling to better understand animal temperament, non-verbal communication, and trust. This is a sponsored program and is tuition-free for both active duty military and Veterans. Space is limited.

Please see here for 2020 dates and more detail.

Please see here to read a review of the 2019 Pilot Program.

For more information, contact the office at 207-985-0374, or email your inquiry to info@carlisleacademymaine.com.


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