Whether you use the proper term of equestrian therapy or the casual term of “horse”, this is another of those alternative programs that does not always, but can have healing, or at least greatly beneficial theraputic results depending on the individual. I previously posted about the amazing Island Dolphin Care therapy program and a couple of weeks ago I went to the Good Hope Equestrain Training Center to speak with two wonderful women who are working to spread the word about the programs they conduct. Like many organizations, these programs have seen a reduction in funding levels and they are planning two fund raisers; a Family Day and concert March 31, 2012 from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m., and a golf tournament on April 14, 2012 with registration beginning at 11:00 a.m.
I met with Peggy Bass, the Executive Director, and Betty Quinn, a woman who helps find employment for special needs adults, the day that I was at the Good Hope Center. Their commitment and compassion were palpable and I was amazed at the variety of programs they offered for special needs children, adults, and wounded veterans. I haven’t been on a horse since I was a kid visiting my grandfather’s farm, but I did used to take Dustin to riding lessons. Peggy, who has personally developed several of the programs, explained the mechanics of some of the therapies and Betty talked about the positive impact she has seen in participants and family members.
They took me for a stroll where the 12 specially trained horses are stabled and I watched the excited interaction with a class of adults who were helping groom two of the horses. There was no mistaking the delight on the faces of the group or the patience of the staff members. It was a rewarding afternoon and if you are in a situation where a special needs child, adult, or wounded veteran requires therapy, perhaps there is an equestrian center near you that you may not be aware of.