Wilhelmin Polku

Western Horse Riding
&
Dog Assisted Social Pedagogy

Pia Wilhelmi, M.P.S.
Social Pedagogic Dog Handler & Western Trainer
pia@wilhelminpolku.fi
+358 45 1061 112
Kastehelmenpolku 5
FIN-20900 Turku
FI26870987

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Western riding -
What might it be?

Western riding is a form of horsemanship, which originates from North America. It is based in the cattle work of cowboys with their horses. A good western horse has flat, comfortable gaits. It reacts to the smallest aids and works independently. It remains calm even in the most dire situations and yet provides explosive speed at call. It is ridden one-handed on a loose rein.

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Jeans on and off you go!

The only equipment you need are well-fitting, comfortable pants and some boots. Cowboys & -girls ride in jeans and with shoes (usually boots) that extend at least over the ankle.

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A great hobby for young and old!

Western riding is suitable for all ages and abilities. There are both slow and fast disciplines such as Trail, Pleasure and Reining.

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Alone or in a group!

Come and meet the team and learn more - alone or together with friends. In a group you will get discount.

Learn more about prices.

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My western path

As a young girl I started to ride in a typical English riding school. In 1997 my sister secretly signed me up for a western horse riding course in Oulu, North Finland. Until that point, I was suspicious about this new art; however, I immediately became enthusiastic from day one. When I moved to Luxembourg in 1998, I met Robert Schommer, Sr a trainer and coach whose ideology and training methods for Western riding appealed to me. His school horses are ridden without a bit and perform all of the required moves cleanly and without hesitation. I learned a lot from him and was encouraged to ride many different horses each of whom helped me to grow as a rider and future trainer.

Jac´s Little Lady

In 1999 I was finally able to buy my first foal: Jac's Little Lady "Vilma". We started with ground work. Together we grew to a show team and jogged through most western disciplines such as Showmanship, Trail, Horsemanship, Western Pleasure, Cattle & Team Penning. We even tried Cutting work with cattle. Several years ago, Vilma moved on to a new life with a dear friend in Mäntsälä as a trail horse.

Dusty Sprat

Western riding continued to appeal to me. In particular, the art of Reining began to interest me and I began looking at many foals from Reining bloodlines. I was so certain that I did not want another mare. However, in 2006, I again fell head over heels in love: I just had to have that little quarter-horse girl, Dusty Sprat.

And so began a new round of training with even more experiences together. We participated in Western Shows in Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium and France.

Come, you can too!

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Prices (incl. VAT)

I offer western riding lessons and courses by appointment:

  • At the Keiramo stable in Kaarina on my own horse
  • Or in and around Turku on your horse *

* For journeys over 15km I charge 0.55€ / km.

Individual lesson Group lessons
50€ on my horse 45€ participants 2-3
45€ on your horse 40€ participants 4-5
40€ 35€ Natural Horsemanship (horse handling)

You are welcome to accompany your relative or friend to watch a lesson. For viewers who wish to attend the whole lesson, a 5€ will be charged.

Please note that even though my activities are insured, this does not cover my students.

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Sospedkoiratoimintaa

Dog-assisted
social pedagogy

Dog-assisted social pedagogy provides positive welfare for people. It supports the social development of children and adolescents. The social pedagogical activities provide a feeling of success, strengthen one’s ability to manage one’s own life and to cope with everyday life. Interaction skills, emotional management, self-knowledge and empathy skills will also be increased.

Koulukoira opettaa myös ihmisten kanssa olemista - Turkulainen 10.3.2015

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Truly a man's best friend

Dog company (in particular grooming activities)

  • activates positive hormonal changes in humans (eg endorphins, oxytocin) which have a positive influence on behavior and emotional life.
  • Oxytocin increases the feeling of solidarity and mutual affection. It serves and acts during the socialization process.
  • Social structure and mutual trust help against long-term stress (cortisol).

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Sosped-koiratoimintaa

Social pedagogy supports individual development

The dog assisted social pedagogy supports the social development of children and adolescents. The objectives will be achieved through approaches such as

  • Own experience (joy, fun and motivation)
  • Community (trust, security and dialogue)
  • Functionality (learning through activity and self-awareness)
  • Participation (taking responsibility and being committed to)

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Sosiaalipedagoginen koiratoiminta

Interaction

The interaction with other people plays a central role in our daily lives. Animals use gestures and body language much more clearly than people. For example, in my social pedagogic meetings the dog's behavior is observed. We consider what a person might feel in a similar situation or how he would behave. Practical exercises that are played both among people as well as with the dog, support the observation.

Sosiaalipedagoginen koiratoiminta

Verbal skills

A broad vocabulary builds a basis to express ourselves adequately and in a varied manner. In addition, it helps to better understand others. Through reading, you can easily expand your vocabulary. However, it is challenging for many people to produce language.

Sosiaalipedagoginen koiratoiminta

Positive experiences

The children gather positive reading experiences by reading to my dog. The children are encouraged to narrate the text to the dog who itself cannot read. The reader is not criticized or corrected. Thus, the child gets a sense of achievement. And so he/she is motivated to read in the future as well.

Our prices!

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Prices (incl. 24% VAT)

Dog-assisted social pedagogical activities should take place for a minimum of at least five meetings so that the participants have the option to internalize the new ways of teamwork. The activity works best for small groups up to 6 people. We are happy to conduct for example an afternoon group in schools. The courses are tailored to each customer and each group. We work mainly in and around Turku. However, we are mobile. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact us, even if the way should be longer. *

For distances over 15 km, calculated from my home town, 0.55 € / km will be charged, plus possible daily charges depending on the type of course.

Frequency of meetings 1 time 5 times 10 times
Duration 45 min 3h 45min 7h 30min
Price 60€ 275€ 530€

"My certified social pedagogical dog, Minttu has created many special moments for and with children, which I was privileged to witness: an fearful child who pressed his forehead against Minttu’s; a child with poor concentration suddenly effortlessly remembers to perform his duties; children who have difficulty in reading, sit down next to my dog and read eagerly to her. All of these wonderful anecdotes support my belief that we are on the right way. And we want to help as many children as possible along a piece of their own path."

- Pia Wilhelmi, Social Pedagogic Dog Handler

Contact me!

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I'm not a robot

Contact details

Pia Wilhelmi, M.P.S.
Social Pedagogic Dog Handler & Western Trainer
pia@wilhelminpolku.fi
+358 45 1061 112
Kastehelmenpolku 5
FIN-20900 Turku
FI26870987