Power Tools for Youth



A six-session program for children and adolescents.

Power Tools for Living assigns tasks for participants to accomplish with the horses.  We then ask them to identify the response of the horse to his/her actions and non-verbal communication.  By looking at the response of the horse, the participant can observe what actions or communications worked or did not work in that situation.  The students are then asked to identify other situations where that same approach (action or communication) is or is not working for them.  Students then begin to understand the connection between their actions and the effects of those actions over a wide range of situations (ex: “If this is what happens with the horse, maybe this is what is happening in my relationships at home or school”,  etc.)


As students gain this emotional intelligence, they then are free to drop the negative behaviors they have previously used to try to control their world and can now use instead, emotionally healthy behaviors.


Information and sample sessions for parents, guardians and school personnel are available upon request.


* Base on a program developed by Robert G. Magnelli, Ph.D. And Nancy Magnelli, B.S., R.N


In Power Tools for Living, children and adolescents are given the opportunity, through working with horses, to experientially discover six core mental health skills vital to emotional health.  As the participants in the program work with horses (sensitive creatures who mirror emotion and give immediate feedback to the participants attitudes and actions), they learn a tremendous amount about the impact of their communication, actions and problem-solving skills.  In this positive, non-threatening atmosphere, while carrying out assigned tasks with horses, participants are given a rare opportunity to practice the vital life skills of respect, responsibility, relationship skills, empathy, boundaries and choices and consequences.  The acquisition of these core emotional health skills empowers the participants and gives them the ability to recognize their best self (perhaps for the first time).  Participants are simultaneously challenged to use these new “tools” to stretch and grow emotionally.  This program facilitates the rapid acquisition of social and emotional intelligence, which empower participants and gives them a fresh sense of self and a hope and belief in their ability to affect a positive impact on their current lives and future.


Horses are exclusively utilized because they are highly sensitive, emotionally resonant creatures highly attuned to our feelings and nonverbal communication.  Horses provide immediate feedback and are able to change that feedback as soon as we change our behavior, emotion, intent and congruence.   Through experiential learning in a casual non-threatening atmosphere, participants will gain insight into their own personalities and patterns of interaction and problem solving within relationships.


The program is fun, challenging and fulfilling!  We believe that the empowerment, confidence, and sensitivity that participants will discover could be life-changing and life-enhancing.

The program is not about riding or horsemanship and no riding is involved.   All activities are done with feet firmly planted on the ground.