Just Enough Pressure for Troubled Teens to Find Success

Just Enough Pressure for Troubled Teens to Find Success.

I was having a conversation with a colleague of mine the other day, when he shared with me a story about something he had witnessed at one of our sister programs. It was a story that I instantly related to my own life as well as to the boys we work with everyday.

While on a tour with a consultant they were fortunate to catch an equine session in progress.  The instructor was prompting the student to “apply just enough pressure” to the horse to get it to do what she was asking it to do; run in a circle. As the horse began to do what the student asked, she released the pressure, then the horse would turn before asked, or try to stop before told and she would have to increase the pressure.  As the rhythm between horse and student came together, the student removed all pressure and asked the horse to stop. The horse then turned and walked directly up to the student in the center of the round pen, ears forward, nose down; looking for the next direction.

I recognize in myself a need sometimes to turn before asked or stop before I’m told. It looks a little different but essentially it is the same. We refuse to do what is asked of us and so we run in circles until we realize that if we would simply take the path of least resistance, attentive with our eyes and ears, all pressure would stop and we would be allowed to step into center.

Sometimes we need pressure to keep us going. Sometimes the things that we know are good for us are the hardest to do.  That is how I feel a program like Oxbow helps these kids every day. Just enough pressure to help them understand that for all their running in circles, it will be better for them in the long run to stop and step into the center, ears forward and noses down. by Erin Nester, Admissions Coordinator, Oxbow Academy

To watch a video from our sister program demonstrating this concept, visit www.discoveryranch.net/videos “Colts & Kids 2”