a day of generosity

On Tuesday, November 28th, our community of family, friends, and supporters came together to bring our first four-legged staff member on board. His name is Otis, a rescued Mustang who has retired from competitive riding. We were able to raise $23,210 thanks to a generous $11,500 offered in matching funds and nearly 100 individual donations! We feel so grateful for this outpouring of generosity and enthusiasm and for the opportunities this will afford our students.  Work is already beginning, readying a space for Otis and an eventual friend. We will be building stalls and a corral, clearing the riding ring, and bringing Otis to his new home so that our students can begin their work with him this spring. 

welcome otis.jpg

Bringing horses to otto specht

Our students come to us from all walks of life, each with his or her own challenges, life experiences, and school experiences. What they all have in common is that one educational setting after another has failed them. Students come with the false sense that somehow they are the ones who have failed, and a fear that they will fail yet again. Anxieties are often high and self esteem low. We work with all of these students to understand their fears and anxieties, decipher their individual educational needs, and guide them to find their strengths and gain confidence in their abilities. In this vein, we work to constantly develop our program and enhance the educational and therapeutic experiences of our students.

Horses have played a huge role in human history, not only because of their physical capabilities but because of the way they mirror our internal struggles, requiring us to work through our challenges for the horses' sakes and for ourselves. Connecting young people - at risk youth, children struggling with ADHD or autism, children overcome with anxiety and fear - with horses, can be a powerful and life changing. Horses are large and powerful creatures, but they are creatures of prey, prone to anxieties and attention deficit disorders. Learning to care for these creatures, to read their language and respond appropriately, building trust and developing a mutually beneficial relationship, allows us humans to develop our own capacities to regulate and respond to our fears, anxieties, and internal struggles.

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What is #givingtuesday?

Otto Specht School has joined #GivingTuesday, a pioneering effort to harness the collective power of partners charities, families, businesses, and individuals. The movement is transforming how people think, talk about, and participate in the giving season. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday have become recognized days of holiday shopping. #GivingTuesday brings attention to philanthropy, donations, and kind actions - a movement we can really get behind!

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Of horses and waldorf education

As horses, they also don't pretend at anything else - they behave however they are feeling - anxious, bold, relaxed, confused, and so forth. In working with horses, we need to be for them exactly who we need to be for ourselves when we struggle with feelings such as anxiety, fear, or confusion. This process - the process of finding a way to be for the horse what we need to be for ourselves, is the most powerful benefit of working with horses.

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