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Healing with Horses

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At Restoration Village, one of the most unique program features that we offer to residents is equine therapy. We have two wonderful horses here at the Village, Sage and Mel. Sage is our wild child, she takes a while to warm up to you but once she does, it’s magical. Mel is wooly, a sweetheart, and inquisitive; she wants to be involved in everything going on down at the barn.

Equine therapy allows our residents to learn, discover, and grow from the horse-human relationship. Residents here at the Village work through their feelings and emotions while the horses help “hold space” for them. “Holding space” is the philosophy that we are willing to walk alongside another person during their journey. It is judgement free. It isn’t trying to fix them, and it offers unconditional support. It is meeting the residents where they are at that moment and not demanding they change or fit in to what we think is best. Horses have mastered this ability, even where therapists might fall short.

It is my joy to guide residents to listen to their inner thoughts and feelings while connecting them with what is happening in the pasture. I have seen it build confidence in a child who has suffered at the hands of her abuser. It has given an addict a reason to stay clean. It has repaired the relationship between a mother and her son. I do not believe there is a limit to the power of smelling a horse’s mane and letting go of the day’s troubles.

Summer Glass, Counselor

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