Equine Therapy

Paired with

Arbinger Principles.  

Arivaca Boys Ranch’s Unique Approach to

helping Teenage Boys Heal & Make Positive, Lasting Change.

One of the amazing components of Arivaca Boys Ranch that you may be less familiar with is the Arbinger Principles. Before we dive into what Arbinger has to offer, it is important that we explain a little bit about our program and some of our beliefs. It’s our belief that no one who yells ever wins an argument.  Therefore, our staff are not drill sergeants. We do not do physical discomfort. We do not do negative reinforcement or punishment.


These techniques are not appropriate to our positive setting as a working horse ranch. 

Equine therapy is proven effective with troubled teens and demonstrates how certain learned, negative behaviors are ineffective in these boys’ everyday lives. Young, hot-tempered boys get nowhere with a horse by yelling, pushing, shoving, or hitting. Once a young man can demonstrate to himself that persuasion is achievable through gentleness and kind deeds, he begins to realize that there are better ways than the ones he has been applying in his daily life. 

What you will see is the results are so much more satisfying. The lessons learned and how a horse can demonstrate them are: 

  • My aggression will provoke your aggression, which in turn escalates my aggression.  

  • You can change my behavior and reactions by changing your own.  

  • You create your own behavioral problems 

Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the care and training of horses—equine therapy–where young boys can witness the positive effects of their behavior modification first hand, and to their immediate benefit. When we partner Equine Therapy with education in positive behavior models, such as the Arbinger Principles, we can integrate and internalize that knowledge to bring about desired results in behavior patterns. The 7 Arbinger principles provide a foundation for moving behavior from anger and violence to positive motivational action. The principles were developed by the Arbinger Institute, which is a worldwide leader in training on self-deception and its solution. The seven principles, greatly abbreviated here, are: 

  • Every person has hopes, needs, cares, and fears. 

  • When another person’s hopes, needs, cares, and fears are less important than our own; we see others as objects rather than as people. 

  • To see a fellow person as an inferior object is to harbor a violent heart toward them. 

  • We communicate how we feel about others even when we try to hide it. 

  • When others detect violence in our hearts, they tend to become defensive and to see us as objects. Violence in one’s heart provokes violence in others. 

  • Most occasions of outward violence are manifestations of a prior, and often escalating, conflict between violent hearts; that provokes further violence. 

  • Any effort to reduce outward violence will succeed only to the extent that it addresses the core problem—the problem of violent hearts. 

Our teachers, wranglers, and counselors are all schooled and practiced in the application of The Arbinger Principles. You as parents will also have the opportunity to learn participate in Arbinger training.  We ask that you also participate in a 6 week course held on Monday nights.  These trainings will change your life just as they are changing your son’s.  

Equine Therapy + Arbinger Principles = Better Lives. 


Every aspect of the ranch is geared to building young man of integrity. Men that are emotionally whole and morally complete. Like a giant jig saw puzzle, each activity from ranch work to recreational play is structured to help the young man uncover his potential, understand the consequences his choices (past and future), and discover his desire to become, and give him the tools to achieve the man of integrity.




38000 S Arivaca Ranch Rd, Arivaca, Arizona 85601


P.O. Box 547, Arivaca, AZ, 85601



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