Programs

The Discovery Trail at Rocky Creek offers a menu of programs designed for guests of all ages and abilities to: experience the outdoors in a safe and delightful way; reach for and achieve educational, therapeutic and personal goals; and have an opportunity to learn from, and develop a relationship with horses {and other animals, including wildlife}. If you do not see exactly what you are looking for, please contact us to inquire.


The Discovery Trail A-Z // Sensory Stations

Explore twenty-six sensory stations*, inspired by each letter of the alphabet, incorporating experiential therapy and learning; sensory integration, natural play and family fitness. Guests can explore the trail and stations on their own, or they can request guidance and curriculum. *The trail stations are currently under construction, please request a list of completed stations and elements upon your scheduled visit.
Options: Self-Guided -or- Curriculum-Based • Scavenger Hunts • Fit-Trail {20 fitness stations of 0.5 mile trail}


Nature-Based Therapy

Trade in traditional talk therapy for nature’s office; work with your own Mental Health Professional in a confidential, safe and inspirational environment, incorporating nature-based or equine-facilitated activities to positively impact your personal growth and development. *If you are a Mental Health Professional, please contact us to inquire about utilizing our facility for your own clients.
Options: EFP or Nature-Based Psychotherapy • EFL or Nature-Based Learning • Therapeutic Riding/Horsemanship
Horticulture Therapy • Music Therapy • Art Therapy • Play Therapy

 

Rocky Creek Ranch is a Member Center of PATH Intl. – Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

We are home to two PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors and Equine Specialists in Mental Health and Learning [ESMHL]; and one PATH Instructor-in-Training.


Personal-Growth Retreats

Retreats hosted by educators, life coaches, therapists and facilitators for the purpose of positive outcomes and change; retreats may be organized for any of the following populations/objectives listed below:
Options: Veterans • Corporate Leadership and Team-building • Women-Focused • Families + Parenting • Art + Photography Workshops • Students {Study Habits, Tutoring, Self-Care} • Yoga + Meditation • Stargazing • Career Exploration • Continuing Education • Staff Skills Training {i.e. Wilderness First Aid} • Board Meetings / Gatherings


Animal Interaction
 

Animal Approach
Learn how to properly introduce yourself, communicate with and understand the non-verbal language of our animal herd. For those who are hesitant about interacting with the live animals, learn “the art of the approach” with our models.
*Please note: this session is about communication, not animal care. If you are interested in caring for the animals daily needs, please review the “Hands-On Equine” session below.

Charming Caprines
Learn the basics of how to care for goats – from nutrition to grooming, socialization, and training, and how they differ from horses; goat breeds will also be explored. This program is in partnership with Blue Eyes of Maiden / Shy Horse Supply.

Hands-On Equine
Learn the basics of how to care for horses – from nutrition to grooming, health care and socialization, and training, exercising and conditioning. Different horse breeds, types, colors and disciplines will be explored; and content will be tailored to both the experience level and the interest of the group.

Mini Moments
On-site interaction sessions with our smallest herd members. This may include herd observation, handling, grooming, basic care or even walks on The Discovery Trail. Working with the minis is a good option for younger children, or anyone who has some hesitation in working with the larger herd members.

The Sweet Petites
Our certified* therapy donkeys {miniature} – Dottie and Bridget – are available for travel and visitation at schools, hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers, treatment centers, foster homes and more. {Dottie and Bridget are in the final stages of becoming fully certified, which will be completed by Spring 2016.}

Lifecycle of the Horse
An ongoing educational experience that fully explores the Lifecycle of the Horse – from breeding to birth, weaning to handling, early training, “first job,” competitive careers, change in ownership, injuries, retirement and death. Discover how our human interaction with horses has changed the timeline and cycle of these animals, for better and for worse; and how we can do a better job of caring for their natural needs – physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. {Curriculum in progress – aim to be completed by Late 2016-Early 2017.}


Skill-based Studies
 

Archery
Learn the basics of archery; and how focus, patience, breathing and posture affect a successful outcome.

Drumming
Learn the basics of drumming and rhythm; and how freedom of movement, mindfulness towards music and collaborating with other musicians can positively affect one's health. This program is in partnership with DrumsForCures/drumSTRONG.

Creek
Learn about the life within the creek; hunt for animals, insects, mosses, grasses and myriad of other organisms around and beneath the water. Also, learn about the historical value of the creek – running water – and how it impacted the lives of our ancestors. This program is in partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Park & Rec and other Naturalists.

Trails + Fields
Learn the basics of botany and how to identify certain trees, plants, mosses, fungi, leaves and flowers/grasses. Regional species will be discussed.


Life Skills / Occupational Development / Workmanship Training
 

How-To :: Hay Production
Learn about hay production hands-on – from different types of grass to cultivating the fields; operating the equipment to bringing together a group of people to get it all done! A great life skill that teaches teamwork, sustainable living/farming and self-care/caring for others as it relates to the animals consuming the hay.

How-To :: Landscaping
Learn about landscaping hands-on – from mowing to bush-hogging; weed-eating to mulching; and caring for the natural areas we integrate into our daily lives. A great life skill that teaches hard-work, pride of ownership and attention to detail.

How-To :: Farrier/Vet
Learn from our very own large-animal veterinarian and our skilled farrier on what a career in their fields looks like. Receive a hands-on experience and try the basics – a great experience for students who are interested in pursuing the field, as well as animal owners! *Must be scheduled 30-days in advance; subject to availability of industry professionals.

How-To :: Ranch Management
Learn what it takes to run a large ranch/farming property on a daily basis. Shadow our management team and observe everything from planning tasks to working with vendors; working hands-on with the property and how having animals affect the daily routines. Also, learn how to operate tractors, attachments, mowers and ATVs. A great life skill that teaches business, professionalism, hard-work, pride of ownership and attention to detail.

How-To :: Equine Management
Learn what it takes to run an equestrian property on a daily basis. Shadow our management team and observe everything from planning tasks to working with vendors; working hands-on with the animals and how to create a positive and safe environment for both horse and human. A great life skill that teaches business, professionalism, hard-work, pride of ownership and attention to detail. Also includes Equine Business templates and articles to help those explore the field in greater detail and discover if a career in Equine Management if right for them.

*Internship opportunities are available to individuals seeking school credit.


Community Connections
 

Volunteer Opportunities
The generosity of volunteers allows us to elevate the care of our facility and animals; and implement, create and grow our educational and therapeutic programs. We welcome individuals and groups who are interested in volunteering weekly/ongoing or one-time. Please CLICK HERE to submit a volunteer application and learn more!

Events/day trips for humanity organizations
Join us for a day at the ranch – focused on respite, community and enjoying nature at its best. A personalized schedule will be created to reach any objectives a group might have, including but not limited to a variation of any programing mentioned above, hay wagon tours, personal quiet time, meals, meditation, yoga, and more.
Options: Treatment/Research • Children's Services • Animal Welfare • Domestic Violence • Literacy/Education • More!

Scout Groups
We welcome scout groups and individual scouts who are seeking badge-earning opportunities, camping locations, team-building retreats and service projects to both participate in the development of our trail, and experience the facility as guests of any of our programs.

Sensory Trail Development
We are passionate about sharing our journey in developing The Discovery Trail, and helping others do the same for their own therapeutic, educational, occupational or recreational programs. We will share designs, resources, costs and the best of “what worked, and what didn't” so that others can successfully and efficiently create similar opportunities for clients and guests of their own. CLICK HERE to learn more about starting a trail of your own.

Grantmaking
Through Equuvation, Inc. we support other like-minded organizations in developing their own sensory trails and programming via the awarding of small grants. CLICK HERE to learn more about grants.