About Lead Horse Programs

Miniature Horses at Outside Initiatives have been serving rural youth in Linn  County Oregon since 2001.  We are unique as we not only provide a variety of services to a wide range of citizens, but we also provide the  opportunity to experience the horses in their natural herd setting of 17 horses, or one on one.  Youngsters aged 8 to 18 help design and deliver our programs to other community members and youth.

We offer year-round programs for rural youth and families  providing  vigorous outdoor exercise, a healthy social environment and lasting life lessons. Groundwork and horse education develops confidence,  leadership, compassion and communication skills which are transferred to other life aspects. Our work promotes compassionate understanding of  the true value horses have in the lives of humanity 

Kids learn how to build genuine partnerships through understanding their  horses and they keep journals, track changes and progress. They learn  horse care, in-hand jumping, and liberty work.  We include projects for  arts, math, science and reading in our adventures.

Claira and Payton Groom Bellejosie touch  courage journalroad parade cool grass

At Outside Initiatives, our highest priority is satisfied kids and horses. Our community is important to us and you can expect us to go the extra  mile training our horses to do their important work for your children  and community.  Superior quality in all things is the hallmark of  Outside Initiatives. We are proud to serve and work hard to earn your  support

emmy kiss joie August 7 2003 first dayLuke and Mosetshirt kyndal

SAFETY All programs start with Safety training.  We also have an array of  volunteers from local teachers, equestrian specialists and community members.  We practice a 2-deep policy which means we never have fewer  than two adults on site for all programs at all times.

Here is what horse professionals are saying about our programs

“The way these girls supported one another was wonderful.  There were many solicited praises from the group for each rider who accepted the compliments gracefully. The value of this program  really is apparent when you experience the interaction.   Also, they were only too happy to share experiences with each other; no one was pushy  about taking turns doing things.   Also, the girls who were a little  nervous faced their fears and felt really good about it.

Susan and Mark, I do believe you have played a huge  part in the girls' development as leaders.   And those skills will stay  with them”. .  Joan Thompson Certified Practitionr-Connected Riding, Owner Two Creeks Horse Farms and retired High School Teacher,

I was able to see the pictures, and smiled in memory of the day.  One thing I liked was my individual time with one of the girls and her mini. Together they found the tiny (mini) connected walking oscillation enough for the horse to flow and the girl to smile in recognition. This was wonderful for both of us to see.

You are an amazing leader for those kids Susan. I appreciate the energy and love you have to offer. I also appreciate your ability to translate and check the girl's understanding of our language.        Humbled,”

Judy Good, Connected Rider Praticitioner in Training,  Barefoot Farrier LLC

I enjoyed the day.  I liked the energy.  The girls were enthusiastic and the minis were a joy to work with.  Susan S seems to have an open mind and is willing to make the effort to learn Connected Groundwork.  I think what we did was helpful and I would like to work with them again.   The girls really tried.  I think that is a group that is worth supporting and giving them a bit more to make it work for them.   Thank you, Joan for sharing this group with us.  I think it is a good match. 

Karen Cheeke, Connected Rider Praticitioner in Training

Wild Plum Sports Horse Ranch, Corvallis OR


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Outside Initiatives

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