Hoofbeats & Books

Our Vision

Hoofbeats & Books nurtures holistic child development through an inclusive after-school program, seamlessly blending literacy and Equine Assisted Activities to enhance well-being, reading skills, and social-emotional learning.

Fostering Well-being and Literacy through Equine-Assisted After School Adventures

At Hoofbeats & Books, our mission is to empower children’s well-being and enhance reading skills and social emotional learning (SEL) through an inclusive after school program combining literacy and Equine Assisted Activities. We integrate the evidence-based CASEL SEL framework into our curriculum, empowering our youngest clients with essential tools for optimal living, including:



Social Awareness

Relationship Skills

Responsible Decision-making

Our mission is to equip children with valuable social and emotional learning applicable throughout their life’s journey.

Our Approach

Hoofbeats & Books is an innovative after school program combining academics and Equine Assisted Activities. The program follows the Horse Powered Reading® curriculum, created by Michele Pickel, connecting participants with horses. Group activities like grooming and horse care foster teamwork and bonding.

Social emotional learning is emphasized through:

Participants gain equine knowledge, literacy skills, and social emotional learning. Hoofbeats & Books is inclusive, safe, and supportive, offering a unique learning experience for all.

What is Horse Powered Reading®?

Horse Powered Reading®, created by Michele Pickel,  is a form of experiential learning that uniquely combines social-emotional learning with academics. Horsepoweredreading.com Students fully engage in reading in partnering with horses and using props to grasp the five fundamental reading skills:

Phonemic Awareness





Reading to horses in a non-judgmental environment builds confidence and motivation. The presence of horses reduces anxiety, fostering a bond that enhances reading and connection. 

This effective program benefits struggling readers and cultivates a lifelong appreciation for reading and horses.

Horsemanship Skills

In a Hoofbeats & Books session, children begin by getting comfortable around the horses. They learn horsemanship skills such as:




Basic Riding

Reading with the Horses

Then, they might gather in a reading area near the horses to read to their horse or listen to a story. They can interact with the horses by petting or talking to them, creating a calming effect.




Positive relationships



Equine Assisted Learning

After reading, they engage in hands-on Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) activities to practice.




Horse Powered Reading®

An experienced facilitator guides them throughout the session, connecting the horses to learning objectives such as:



The ‘Magic E’ rule

Identifying personal reading obstacles

Ready to embark on a new adventure?

Enroll in one of our programs today and let the journey begin!