THE BENEFITS OF HORSE THERAPY
This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at a horse rescue ranch in Chino Hills. I have to say that I was quite impressed with the presentation while walking up to the front office. The grounds were immaculate with a peaceful energy surrounding me. I felt welcomed.
As I listened to the team members, I noticed two horses in the corral to the right of me and a donkey. They were playing, almost showing off for us; happily trotting around their corral, gently nudging one another with their noses. It brought tears to my eyes, it was so cute, for they were so full of life, spilling over with joy.
But their lives hadn’t always been that happy, for once they were on a truck headed to a kill farm, to be slaughtered. Prior to their new home, they had endured tremendous abuse and neglect, filling their lives with emotional scars. Most of these horses will heal, but there will always be some, with different personality traits and circumstances, that will never completely heal.
We’ve studied the positive effects an animal brings to an individual or a family. It has been said that a person will live longer when they have a fury companion because they love unconditionally and communicate using non-verbal communication.
Horse therapy seems to be a new study, but is it? Horses have a long history, going back to the time to the cowboy days. Native Americans found a spiritual connection with these wonderful animals long before anyone saw the great benefits these majestic animals bring.
Can there be a connection between people, primarily teenagers and horses? Can a damaged teen find healing from an animal; subsequently a horse? Someone once told me that a horses’ temperament is like that of a teenager going through adolescence. Their moodiness and stubborn attitudes, making them almost intolerant to be around.
This connection is what sparked our interest and motivation to start the Jewels’ Angels Ranch. We want to give rescue horses a second chance at love and peace, whereas, we also want to bring this to our teens in our programs. They need a place where they can feel safe again. A place away from the city and the stresses of school and social media. A place where they can be a kid again. A place where a teen will benefit from our horses, by educating them about self-love, self-care, self-esteem, confidence, copying skills, acceptance, and empowerment.
Isn’t it time for us to dream again, dream for a better tomorrow, in the hopes of bringing a better tomorrow for the young people in our community? This was Jewels’ dream and now it is ours.
I do believe the human spirit can be healed, but it takes a lot of trust and time. This is what our ranch and our horses will offer them; patience, kindness, and compassion. It won’t happen overnight but with time they will find the acceptance with in them that they never knew they could have and that is called self-love.
We don’t walk this journey alone!