Bugle the Horse Visits Lake!

Monday, October 16, 2017 - 10:53

Friday, October 13, 2017  ---

At Lake Middle School, we take personalized learning to a whole new level!

A small group of students at Lake Middle School in Woodbury, MN were introduced to Equine Therapy in the classroom on Friday afternoon, October 13. A two-year old miniature horse named “Bugle Boy Kid” (Bugle) made a truly memorable appearance for students and staff during a program hour at Lake Middle School. Students gathered around Bugle expressing interest in his story, petting his soft coat for the first time, and running their fingers through his mane.

Darla Ramberg, Language Arts teacher at Lake Middle School (in her 21st year of teaching), purchased Bugle last June. Since then, Bugle and Ramberg have visited many care centers with plans to expand their therapy to children’s hospitals and now, schools! Ramberg said, “watching the students’ today at Lake hug, want to get kisses, and perhaps even touch a real horse for the first time is what makes me look forward to the next place Bugle visits.”

Bugle, who was bred, raised, and trained in Pine Island, MN by Bonnie Prestegard at A & B Ranch – has brought joy to both young people and adults through therapy visits at local senior care centers, memory care and hospice facilities, and now school programs! Standing tall at just 27 ½ inches, Bugle’s small size and calm demeanor make him the perfect therapy horse. Ramberg states that, “animals truly do have a way of connecting with people.” She goes on to say, “ I have seen this first hand with people living with dementia that have limited short term memory, yet they smile, hug, and are able to tell me all about their childhood experiences with horses. I have seen a person with limited facial muscle movement due to a stroke, smile and say a couple of words, when this person has not been able to do this for months, the minute Bugle walked into her home at a Senior facility.”

In addition to triggering memories and emotions, studies indicate that equine therapy has been successful in helping people improve in personal/social aspects such as assertiveness, emotional awareness, empathy, stress tolerance, flexibility, impulse control, problem-solving skills, self-actualization, independence, self-regard, social responsibility, and interpersonal relationships (http://www.crchealth.com/types-of-therapy/what-is-equine-therapy/).

Equine therapy has been a calling for Ramberg and her way of “paying it forward” to people in need of support. Ramberg said “what better way to share my love of horses, and bring mini blessing to others through Bugle.” Ramberg has always had a love for horses, purchasing her first horse at age 10 to show in local 4-H and saddle clubs. Since then, she has purchased a Quarter Horse named Axel. In addition to riding, Ramberg enjoys taking her horses to parades and even to the streets to spread joy through street therapy during festivals, car shows, and even every day stops such as the library and grocery store parking lots. “[Bugle] is a special little boy and I can’t wait to see where our future journeys take us,” said Ramberg.