Tag Archives: equine assisted therapy

Three Horseshoes Ranch to Offer Equine-Assisted Therapy Program in South Florida

When my sister was only seven years old, doctors gave her a life-changing diagnosis: her pancreas stopped working. Years later, additional problems with her health emerged — some worse than others. When my sister was in her early twenties, doctors diagnosed her with epilepsy. Seemingly overnight, an invisible hand turned her world upside down. My sister watched in dismay as her independence evaporated. She could no longer drive. Completing her coursework became impossible, so she had to withdraw from school for a while. Epilepsy weakened her body so badly that — at first — she couldn’t even manage the short walk to the bathroom unassisted; she’d collapse before making it halfway. The limitations that my sister’s body placed on her drove her into a depression. She mourned the loss of her former life. Nothing anyone said seemed to lessen her pain.

Then one day, my parents and I gifted her a Siberian Husky puppy — Leia. (Fun fact: we actually found Leia on Craigslist the morning of my sister’s birthday; the listing had been posted merely hours earlier.) When we brought Leia home, she was as small as a chihuahua, yet she came into my sister’s life with the force of a category five hurricane. The whole family noticed an instant change in my sister. She spent less time isolating herself and more time with the family. She talked more. She smiled more. After a while, she confided in us that Leia took up so much of her time that she didn’t have as many opportunities to entertain the somber thoughts that used to fill her mind. Leia slowly pieced my sister’s heart back together. In that special way that only animals are capable of, Leia offered my sister an escape from her troubles — the perfect distraction.

Observing the effect that Leia’s mere presence had on my sister’s wellbeing inspired the idea for Three Horseshoes Ranch. I began to think that it would be wonderful if children dealing with chronic illnesses had someone like Leia in their life — someone that could make them forget about their troubles, even if only for a little while. Three Horseshoes Ranch will offer such an escape. It will give ill children the opportunity to interact with ponies and ride horses. Children of all ages and riding ability will be welcome to visit the ranch as often as they’d like, and the ranch will have on-site instructors to provide lessons.

Because the expenses of having a child with health issues are often exorbitant and money is thus often tight, all of this will be offered completely free of charge. The ranch will fund the program through other services offered to the public — such as boarding. To make Three Horseshoes Ranch a reality, we need your help. We need funds to acquire land (we are currently looking in south Florida), find the perfect horses and ponies for the program, and build the necessary facilities (such as riding arenas, restrooms, shelters for the horses and ponies, etc.). The costs of getting a project like this off the ground are so high that — without donations — it could take years before Three Horseshoes Ranch opens. You can change that. Every donation gets us closer to our goal. And your donation will make a difference in the life of not just one child but in the lives of scores of children. Please consider making a donation today and sharing this fundraiser with others; the more people that you share this fundraiser with, the more likely we are to reach our goal. Thank you so much for your time and support!

Horses and Mesothelioma: Understanding Naturopathy’s Benefits

From immunotherapy to yoga classes, there are a host of different treatment options for patients dealing with mesothelioma. As science continues to make strides toward better prognoses, patients have choices to make when it comes to their well-being. A unique pathway involves the use of horses. These gentle giants are showing promise for cancer patients where other treatments are failing. Get to know how the equine can help patients through recovery and beyond.

Being Part of the World

Emerging treatments are almost always being tested and approved, but they normally come in the form of a drug. Patients don’t want to be part of an experiment. They simply want to feel like they’re still part of this world and community. By working with a horse several times a week, patients feel a sense of purpose. They might be in charge of walking the animals around so that they can stretch out before a workout. The horse responds to the person with simple gestures, which is all that’s necessary to lift a patient’s spirits and take the mind away from any worries.

Gaining Flexibility

A fascinating aspect to working with horses is the flexibility value. During a visit, patients brush the animal’s mane and other key areas. These repetitive and relaxing motions actually build muscle without the patients knowing it. Their alternative therapies consist of exercise that builds the upper body. As time goes by, the patients feel stronger with extra energy at the end of the session. Fighting off fatigue is one of the hardest parts of mesothelioma treatment. Gaining energy by doing something good for a unique animal is both physically and mentally appealing.

Mental Wellness

For many patients, dealing with a cancer diagnosis is mentally debilitating. Loved ones may support the person, but remaining positive during months and years of treatment can be difficult. Working with a horse changes that situation. The patient looks forward to the encounter with a huge smile on his or her face. Happiness alone has been proven to help patients with increased stress levels, which may lead to complications if worries overwhelm the person. Laughing, smiling and talking to the animal are all good therapies to help the cancer survivor thrive.

Alternative Support

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is frightening and isolating. Although patients may have a strong support system at home, those loved ones cannot understand every aspect of the struggle. As an alternative support system, patients depend on the relationship that they forge with these gentle giants. A horse has incredibly deep eyes that seem to penetrate a person’s ego. The calmness within the animal makes this patient experience a unique one. Because the animal is calm with a sense of stability in the world, patients feel the same energy as they brush, stroke or walk it around a stable or pen.

Mesothelioma treatment might include other naturopathic elements, such as strategic tea drinking and exercise. Ideally, a combination of different treatments is necessary to successfully fight off cancer. With a little help from the horses, patients can feel better than ever before.

What’s My Favorite Time of the Week? Equine Assisted Therapy at Mane Stream

AJ, Blaze and Miss Gina working on life skills that enabled AJ to enroll in public school in Fall of 2015.

Therapies at Mane Stream is not only a favorite time of the week for many of our participants; it also happens to be the most beneficial activity for many individuals with physical, developmental, emotional and medical challenges.

Parents of children with special needs often struggle to find a breakthrough therapy or activity for their child. Those who find OT, PT, SLP equine assisted therapies at Mane Stream witness first-hand the progress that is made when traditional therapy techniques are coupled with equine movement. Progress is seen in several areas including balance, posture, confidence and most importantly in activities of daily living.

AJ’s story is just one example of a young, vibrant, life-loving child with an extensive medical history and a continuous fight to achieve success with the most basic life skills that most parents take for granted. Even before AJ was born his parents knew that his physical and developmental conditions would make doing things other kids do more challenging so they set forth two top goals for AJ:

#1 – attend public school                     #2 – walk on the beach

After several years of therapy sessions with a variety of therapists and countless doctor appointments, AJ is the first to tell you how much he loves his therapy sessions with Blaze, one of the hard-working horses in the Mane Stream herd.  “Their personalities fit together so well,” says Mane Stream occupational therapist, Gina Taylor. “This really helps AJ’s comfort level and confidence as he takes on more challenging therapy tasks. His progress has been remarkable.”

AJ has made great strides towards those two top goals in the past six years.  His parents attribute the weekly OT sessions at Mane Stream as the most beneficial in his physical and emotional development – so beneficial, in fact, that AJ started public school in the fall of 2015 and is now able to run on the beach.

Mane Stream, located in Oldwick, New Jersey, is one of a few of the Premier Accredited Centers in the state.  Your help is needed today to help us continue to provide novel, engaging, and beneficial services to children like AJ. Please donate now to Mane Stream; all contributions are tax deductible.

If you know someone who could benefit from equine assisted therapy or adaptive riding, consider finding a PATH International Accredited Center nearest you.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.

Please visit
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

2015 Ariat Win A Grant Winners Announced

Fellow rider & Out Side In’s volunteer vet, Dr. Kristina Baszler, with Janet Jacobs (right) & Stanley, a rescued thoroughbred.

Three deserving equine charities were selected by random draw as the winners of the 2015 Win A Grant program thanks to the dedication of three volunteers and Ariat International, the sponsor of the EQUUS Foundation Champions volunteer program.

Individuals who volunteer a minimum of 24 hours in a year for an equine charity on the EQUUS Foundation Equine Welfare Network are recognized as Champions and automatically entered into a drawing where the winners have the opportunity to select their charities to receive an EQUUS Foundation grant. Thanks also to Ariat, each of the individual winners receive a $250 Gift Card towards any Ariat boots (tall boots, paddock boots, barn boots, endurance boots).

Out Side In & Champion Janet Jacobs
Grand Haven, MI

Established in 2010 as an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) facility serving a handful of children with borrowed horses, Out Side In today provides over 120 hours of therapy each month to families throughout West Michigan, including veterans, and is home to 16 rescued “off the track” thoroughbreds, which are retrained by volunteers and repurposed into new lives as cherished therapy partners.

Out Side In specializes in therapy services for those suffering from the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sexual abuse and domestic violence and is widely known as the facility-of-choice for treatment resistant individuals who have unsuccessfully sought other methods of dealing with their mental or emotional concerns.

Over 25 volunteers assist with the day-to-day operations and horse care. Among them is Janet Jacobs, who, at age 60, yearning to return to her life-long passion for horses and their welfare, discovered Out Side In. Not only does she assist with day-to-day operations, but as Director of Philanthropy and Volunteer Services at Mercy Health in Muskegon, Jan uses her professional skills as the charity’s president. She successfully led the effort to launch “Bringing the Out Side In”, a capital campaign to build a larger indoor arena to house their at-capacity therapy programs and their many equine friends. Ground breaking for the new facility is scheduled for this September.

“I have always been kidded about being a rescuer,” Jan says, “but I could not be more personally fulfilled by helping to transition horses from their lives at the race track to their new lives as therapy horses, and in turn, helping those who are struggling to find hope and healing. What a wonderful way to pay it forward.”

Board President Jessica Morrissey (left) & Any D. Bodelin (right), with Ruby
Board President Jessica Morrissey (left) & Any D. Bodelin (right), with Ruby

Horses Healing Humans (HHH)
& Champion Any D. Bodelin
Stonington, CT

Horses Healing Humans exists to help people of all ages and abilities with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges through Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).

Established in 2011, Any has been a key volunteer since the first year and “Mom” to its first Therapy Horse, Ruby (UC Broadway Show).

Signature programs at Horses Healing Humans are W.I.T.’s End (Women in Transition) and Equine Services for Heroes (US Veterans/Wounded Warriors) as well as traditional TR, EFP and EAL programs for children and adults.

“Life circumstances brought horses back into my life after a very long hiatus. Horses are just so very good for the soul. It feels like I am reliving my childhood. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my free time,” said Any.

Equicenter & Champion Laura Dustin
Honeoye Falls NY

“I believe ‘everything happens for a reason'”, said Laura Dustin. In April 2012, as Laura prepared to retire after 27 years as a physics and chemistry teacher, she read a story in the Sunday paper about Equicenter. My friend laughed when I mentioned the story to her. She was a volunteer there. Before I knew it, she had me in their barn, and I have been a volunteer ever since.”

Founded in 2005, EquiCenter, a PATH International Premier Accredited Center, strives to foster the personal growth and individual achievement of people with disabilities, at-risk youth, veterans, and their families using a wide range of therapeutic equestrian programs.

Left to Right: PATH instructor Marlowe Cline, Zeus, Laura Dustin & Karen Werth
Left to Right: PATH instructor Marlowe Cline, Zeus, Laura Dustin & Karen Werth

Laura had never really worked with horses, but, she said, “the staff taught me so much about caring for these special, patient animals, and they continue to help me learn how best to work with both rider and horse.”

“I could not have asked for a better retirement. I am often asked, ‘how did I fall in love with the EquiCenter?’ How could I not? In every lesson I see amazing interactions between people and horses – and there is nothing like seeing a rider’s great big smile or watching them hug their horse.”

“What better reason could there be for volunteering? Except maybe more smiles, hugs, and more horse kisses all around.”

About EQUUS Foundation

The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, enabling the therapeutic use of horses for those in need, fostering the horse-human bond, and educating the public about the horse’s unique ability to empower, teach and heal. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: equus@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Equine-Assisted Therapy on the Rise

Every horse lover knows that time spent with a horse can be soothing to the soul. Forms of horse-assisted therapy have been in use for decades and even centuries — there are records of the physical and emotional benefits of horseback riding from the times of the ancient Greeks — but now there is more interest than ever in harnessing the benefits of equine-assisted therapy to help those with physical, mental, and emotional problems.

Types of Therapy

What is equine-assisted therapy, exactly? There are a few different terms and definitions associated with the phrase. In the 20th century equine-assisted therapy focused mostly on helping those with physical impairments or handicaps; the term “hippotherapy” refers to physical rehab on horseback, utilizing the horse as the therapist. However, equine-assisted therapy has expanded to include equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP), which utilizes the psychological benefits of human-horse interaction to achieve specific treatment goals. It also includes equine-assisted learning (EAL), which “emphasizes education and learning specific skills as defined by the individual or group,” according to the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EGALA) website.

Continue reading Equine-Assisted Therapy on the Rise

Miniature Therapy Horse on TIME /CNN list of “History’s 10 Most Courageous Animals”

This week TIME /CNN published a list of history’s ten most courageous animals.

“Animals have often shown bravery in extraordinary circumstances. TIME takes a look at some of history’s most courageous animals.”

The Top 10 Heroic Animals included Bucephalus, the famed steed of Alexander the Great, Togo the sled dog who brought serum to save Nome when diphtheria broke out in 1925, Stubby the WW1 hero war dog who became a lifetime member of the American Legion and later became Georgetown University’s mascot, Simon the British cat known for her heroic voyage down China’s Yangtze River (her obituary appeared in TIME magazine in 1949), New Zealand’s Moko the dolphin and… a little Florida therapy horse named Magic.

Magic was also AARP’s 2010 Most Heroic Pet in America and on Newsweek/The Daily Beast Most Heroic Animals of 2010.

The tiny blue eyed mare works inside hospitals, assisted care programs, programs for Alzheimer’s patients, group homes and with patients in hospice care.  She also works with sheriff’s officers in high crime neighborhoods as part of a community outreach program and helps children with developmental delays and at risk and abused children.  From wearing tuxedos to a magical tea party for a child with a life ending illness to working with autistic children, Magic brings her special love where it is needed most.

Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=13506

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