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Wow, My Teacher is a Horse! cover

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Executive Functions, Experiential Learning, Animal Assisted Therapy, With the Help of Horses, Behaviour Therapy, Cognition, Social Functioning

Wow, My Teacher is a Horse!
The Strengthening of Executive Functions Trough Experiential Learning with Horses
by Paulien Rutgers

In ‘Wow, my teacher is a horse!’, scientifically based theory and practical examples clearly explain how the horse can play a role in strengthening executive functions through experiential learning. Since 2004 Paulien Rutgers has been working in horse-assisted interventions which aim to encourage children with specific needs to develop their strenghts and abilities. More than half of these children suffer from school dropout and/or risky behavior. They need support for one or more executive functions, with feedback to their family and school. Horses have a positive effect on the learning ability, the self-reflection and the awareness of these children. In this book, Paulien Rutgers brings together all her experience and the results of her search for the explanation of the effect that horses have on the behaviour and cognition of the target group. She attended national and international symposia, lectures and courses, studied articles and books, conducted passionate interviews with researchers and colleagues, resulting in a conclusive theory which translates into practice. This is an indispensable book for students of Animal Assisted Therapy courses, of applied social studies, pedagogy and psychology as well as for teachers in those studies, as for professionals in the field of animals in care.

When Paulien was finally given riding lessons for her fourteenth birthday, she almost immediately came into contact with riding for the disabled. She began to help and has not let go since then. Thirteen years later, she herself was a horse riding instructor for the disabled. Another nineteen years later she became the owner of a private practice, in which she combined eighteen years of diverse teaching experience with the thirty-two years of experience and passion for horse riding for the disabled. The same passion, knowledge and experience form the basis of this book.

Cover Photo by Petra Geleijns


Paulien Rutgers
Harro van Duijn
Alexandra King

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