In addition to the leadership skills set, MAP also focuses on young women and their leadership goals and needs. The equine portion of our curriculum focuses on the horse’s ability to open up the hearts of young women by giving clear, truthful feedback to actions and attitudes of the individual. Horses, because of their survival instincts as prey animals, are able to detect the subtlest of intents within their environment; a lack of emotional congruence in a human is evident to the horse, and they will respond negatively. Mustangs know this prey mentality more so than most domestic breeds, and as a result are even more sensitive to the actions and attitudes of the individual. Once a person becomes more authentic within herself, the horse is much more cooperative. This acceptance of true self becomes essential to the individual, and through confidence and courage the individual is able to carry this authenticity to other areas of her life.
Our program started with the desire to encourage young women in who they are as leaders in their community. One way we have done this is through the adoption and training of wild horses. We have had young women involved in the gentling and training of wild horses, and have seen dramatic improvements in their confidence and self-esteem.