LINO LAKES, Minn. (WCCO) — Students having problems with reading now have a new, very unique classroom as an option: Horse powered reading.

At first glance, Michele Pickel looks like any teacher getting a lesson ready, but her classroom is a horse stable in Lino Lakes.

The idea is to have students think of these horses as books themselves so they can learn to connect and interact.

First-grader, Cole Jordan, showed us how it works. He picks the horse, which he calls a book. It immediately gets him engaged.

“He didn’t like school because he would have to learn and that was challenging for him, but he hasn’t said that a lot since we started,” said Jordan’s mom, Amy.

Most students, like Jordan, who have problems reading can’t find a way to connect to the words.

Here, much like stumbling through a word or sentence, an obstacle course is used to challenge and engage the reader.

It also helps the teacher wrangle in the students biggest issues.

“He needed to break apart bigger words in order to figure out why they are,” said Pickel.

Pickel uses the same technique used in other horse therapies.

Where a counselor works with a horse professional, but this is the first time it’s been used to help with reading.

“It’s helped with his to put words together become more fluent and it’s fun. You can have fun reading,” said Amy Jordan.

If you’re interested in learning more about horse powered reading or other ways horses can be used for therapy.

Pickel will be at a horse expo this weekend, at the State Fairgrounds. You can also find information on Michele’s website.


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