Equine Program



The Tulsa Boys’ Home Equine Program provides the residents with a dynamic and innovative approach to enhancing their ability to connect with people. The boys at TBH are among those considered at-risk due to neglect, abuse, abandonment, and substance and alcohol abuse. The traumatic backgrounds and histories of the boys leave them vulnerable to emotional and behavioral issues.


TBH’s equine program serves the young men by providing both individual and group sessions throughout each week to help promote the overall mission to provide healing and hope for our boys. Every resident participates in equine therapy sessions, where Equine Counselor Johnny Clark, LMSW and Equine Counseling Assistant Shannon Ross, MS facilitate the development of social intelligence by using horses in an experiential game format. The connection made between the boys and the horse creates an opportunity for the young men to see themselves through the eyes of the horse. In this exchange, the boys can translate some of those experiences to enhance their ability to connect in relationships and increase their sense of self-worth, confidence, and hope for the future.


Over the past several years, Clark and Ross have worked together to develop Tulsa Boys’ Home’s own equine model called The SPUR Model: An Equine-Facilitated Social Intelligence Approach to Relationship Building. This model was created to engage people in a non-traditional, experiential process of playing games with horses as a way to build social intelligence. The key concepts of perception, behavior, and engagement related to social intelligence along with the uncanny intuitive abilities of the horse are combined to enhance and “spur” others towards a greater capacity to get along better with people.


In addition to the equine sessions, Clark and Ross are providing workshops for professionals, parents, businesses, or anyone interested in either facilitating or simply enhancing their own social intelligence by playing games with horses.


The next training workshop will be coming this fall!

What: The SPUR Model: Facilitator Training Workshop

When: September 21st and 22nd, 2017

Where: Tulsa Boys’ Home, Sherman E. Smith Indoor Arena

Who: Professionals, educators, parents, and child care providers who are interested in learning how to facilitate the development of social intelligence by utilizing the dynamic relationship between a human and a horse. We welcome you to join us in our next workshop.

How: For more information, please contact Shannon Ross at 918-706-3412 or by email at sross@tbhinc.org for further details on rates and registration.

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