Life Stories

Ed Rund, MSW, LISW

As a clinician, I have witnessed the impact that Equine Therapy has had on many of the consumers who have participated. The most notable is almost all have spoken about having more self confidence in their abilities, stepping out of their comfort zone and accomplishing something they felt they could not do. The partnership between the consumer and the horse is a bond which is lasting and noticeably magical at best!    

Kenna, Age Mid 40's

After many years of conventional therapy my therapist referred me to equine  therapy when she found out how much I love horses. I connected with the horse I  would be working with right away, finally, somebody who was big enough to bear  the burden that I carried! Things that were buried so deep I didn't even know  they were there just flowed out to my new horse friend, Promise. With the help of  Jennifer I began to understand how my relationship with the horse reflected  God's relationship with me. Finally I understood about grace and mercy in a way  I've never had before. I also began to understand love for me as never  before. All with Promise's help. My life was totally turned around, God used my  relationship with Promise to break chains that conventional therapy hadn't  helped with. Now I am stronger than ever before.

Nick Calzada, MSW, LISW

Equine therapy has been very beneficial to patients I have referred in so many facets. Working with the horses has given patients something to look forward, and to be a part of. Therefore, it has helped patients increase their sense of self-esteem, as well as decrease their stress levels, irritability, and assist with overall mood improvement. It has helped families to practice communication skills with one another, and a good, healthy bonding activity to conduct together, as a family. In addition, it has given patients hands on practicing skills needed in everyday life to include following directives, discipline, being active and working as a team member. Feedback I have received about Equine therapy has been very positive, and is something that I would  highly recommend for not only patients struggling with mental health needs, but for anyone who enjoy animals and being out in nature.     

Life Stories

Amanda, Age 17

My mom and dad were scared because I was always sleeping and staying in my room.  I did not want to talk to them about my problems.  I was thinking about hurting myself.  I did not like me and was sad all the time. I was nervous all the time and worried. I did not eat.  My counselor told me about horse therapy.  I found a horse that loved me and accepted me.  I spent a lot of time with him and took care of him.  I love me again.  The horse loves me.  I am able to get out and enjoy life.  I am on a journey and Dan, the horse, was the perfect counselor for me.  I will graduate this year and I am going to college.  Thanks Dan.

Joni, Age 9

Horses are fun.  I have a lot of fun when I go play with Crimson. He is a big horse.  I brush him and take good care of him.  When I ride the horse,  I feel strong.  At school people bully me but when I am with Crimson, he loves me and takes care of me.  I am so happy.

Jamie Johnson, MA, tLMHC

 I have found myself being drawn to horses my entire life, starting as a very young child, until now as an adult.  I remember feeling fearless around them when I was younger, brave enough to do anything with them or on them.  Today, as a mother that has changed and I no longer feel as brave.  I notice horses have helped me recognize my anxieties in general, and that’s the magical part I want to share about horses.  They have a way of telling humans, in a very honest way, what our strengths and struggles might be.  They speak to use through body language and seem to have this uncanny intuition to know just how we are thinking and feeling.  They have an excellent way of pointing out our thoughts and feelings to us or helping us through difficult moments.  There have been so many times when I have gone to my sweet gentle horse, Junebug, and she just stands there with me as I cry.  She somehow just knows when I need that.  And often times she wraps her neck around me to hold me or stands very close to me as if to say “I’m here”.  I often lose myself when I’m with my horse, focusing only on her and our relationship as we work together to do whatever it is we are doing.  I have found it is a precious and intimate dance being involved with horses, and that has been so sweet to my soul my whole life.