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MONTREAL, OCTOBER 22, 2014 — The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) Before and After School Enriched (B.A.S.E) Daycare Program is offering a therapeutic horseback riding program to Parkdale Elementary School   in St. Laurent B.A.S.E. students with special needs.

Six students, ages four to seven, will spend seven Thursday mornings at the Goldie Equestrian Project in St-Benoît de Mirabel, which offers children with physical and/or intellectual disabilities an opportunity to improve their quality of life.

The B.A.S.E. funded program is offered to students at no charge to their parents. Students will be visiting the horse ranch on October 23 and 30, November 6, 20 and 27 and December 4 and 11. Accompanied by daycare educators and childcare workers, the students spend the better part of the school day at the horse ranch from 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m.

All the participating students have Autism, ranging from low to high functioning, and some have other special needs as well, such as language impairments or behavioral difficulties. Horse-Assisted Therapy is designed to not only provide the physical benefits of improved posture, balance and a strengthened spine and pelvic muscles, but also emotional, social and cognitive benefits.

The children develop communication skills, focus and concentration through riding the horses as well as through other activities around the barn, including grooming, cleaning tack and mucking stalls. Learning responsibility in the caring of their pony or horse, the children work as a team and build their self-confidence, achieving a sense of accomplishment.

Founder Carole Nantel, a specialized equine therapist certified by the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association, began The Goldie Equestrian Project in May 1999. The B.A.S.E. Daycare Program first offered therapeutic horseback riding in 2011. So far, 23 students from four schools, Parkdale, Sinclair Laird, Elizabeth Ballantyne and Hampstead, have benefited from the program.

To read more about the horseback riding programs previously offered, find related articles published in the Touching B.A.S.E. newspaper in the press clippings section of the B.A.S.E. Daycare blog at


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213