Limited Spots Left! Berkshire HorseWorks Fall Programs

Celebrating 10 Years of Community Offerings

By Berkshires Macaroni Kid August 29, 2023

Exciting news is galloping into town as Berkshire HorseWorks marks its decade-long journey with fresh offerings tailored for children, families, and educators! Founded by the spirited Hayley Sumner, the nonprofit organization is not only continuing its renowned equine-assisted psychotherapy but also venturing into the educational arena with the introduction of Horse Powered Reading (HPR) and the captivating In the Company of Horses: Art Journaling Experience. These new additions promise to nurture both academic achievement and creativity, bringing a whole new dimension to after-school activities for local kids this fall.

Horse Powered Reading (HPR): Where Horses and Reading Unite

As the sun sets on summer, Berkshire HorseWorks is gearing up to host an innovative after-school program called Horse Powered Reading (HPR). This program takes a unique approach to address reading challenges faced by young learners in the Berkshire school systems, as well as by the wider community. Co-facilitated by early education specialist Chris Ciepiela and equine specialist Hayley Sumner, HPR leverages the intuitive nature of horses to support students in their reading journey.

HPR focuses on five critical reading skills: phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. The magic happens in the ranch's arena, where students of all ages team up with these gentle giants to overcome reading obstacles. The experience doesn't stop at reading; it's a holistic adventure that nurtures emotional well-being and social skills. Horses, acting as patient companions, encourage kids to explore and grow through metaphors that mirror the intricacies of reading.

Whether a child faces learning challenges or is soaring in their studies, HPR's interactive approach offers something for everyone. This program has already proven its effectiveness in all 50 states of the U.S. and across 18 countries worldwide. In a county where reading proficiency statistics could use a boost, Horse Powered Reading strides in as a welcome ally, enriching the educational landscape.

In the Company of Horses: Art Journaling Experience

The ranch at Berkshire HorseWorks is more than just a place for riding and therapy – it's now a hub of creativity with the introduction of the In the Company of Horses: Art Journaling Experience. Facilitated by artist and educator Keziah Kelsey, this program offers kids a serene space to express themselves through art while surrounded by the calming presence of equine companions.

The Art Journaling Experience is a voyage into the world of emotions, interactions, and challenges. With the guidance of skilled mentors, children are encouraged to dive into their creative process and discover new ways of navigating their feelings. The unique ranch environment, supported by the gentle influence of the rescue herd, allows kids to explore art as a tool for self-expression and introspection.

By blending a T.A.B. (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) model and a Reggio-inspired environment, this program caters to kids with various backgrounds and abilities. Art becomes a language of its own, one that's accessible to all, regardless of academic prerequisites.

As Berkshire HorseWorks embarks on this new chapter, their commitment to the community remains steadfast. From equine-assisted activities to trail ride lessons, this nonprofit is evolving with the times, ensuring that its offerings continue to meet the diverse needs of families, children, and individuals facing mental health and behavioral challenges, as well as those visiting the area looking for a bit of horse-love!

Fall 2023 After-School Adventures

The coming fall season promises an array of enchanting after-school programs for kids:

Art Journaling: A 6-week journey for ages 10-13, taking place on Mondays from September 11th to October 16th. This creative expedition costs $400. Limited to 20 participants.

Horse Powered Reading: An immersive 4-week arena program for ages 6 and up, running from September 12th to October 3rd on Tuesdays. The adventure comes at a cost of $340. Limited to 10 students.

Ranch Life 101: Young adventurers aged 5-7 can enjoy this 4-week program on Wednesdays from September 13th to October 4th, priced at $285. A separate session for ages 8-12 will run from September 14th to October 19th on Thursdays, costing $430. Each session welcomes 10 participants.

Scholarships & Sliding Scale are available for all programs.

To learn more about these exciting programs and experiences, reach out to Berkshire HorseWorks at 413-698-3700 or email