Horses have a way of connecting with people who need them. These horse-centered organizations devote their time and resources to help veterans, individuals with limited abilities or autism, and adolescents struggling with mental disorders. Equine therapy and rehabilitation is changing lives for the better all over the place.
Heroes and Horses: This non-profit organization out of Montana pairs combat veterans suffering from PTSD with a horse for an expedition into the wilderness of Montana with other veterans to practice skills of self-reliance, teamwork, and perseverance. The objectives and tasks of the expedition provide challenges and inspiration for personal growth. Vets gain a new direction and useful resources to heal and make peace with their past all while creating new positive memories with their horse companion and friends and brothers made on the trip.
Stars and Strides Stables: Utilizing the great power that comes from equine therapy, this group is all about “Empowering our Stars to reach great Strides in life through the power of the horse.” Stars & Strides takes the holistic healing route with individuals who have physical, cognitive, or sensory/emotional disabilities through equestrian therapy. Their students are taught how to care for, ride, handle and manage their horse guiding people of all ages and abilities to being able to accomplish the what was once thought impossible. Based out of Weatherford, Texas this non-profit provides an experience for riders that create connection, trust and essential skills that improve balance, self-esteem, and friendship. Stars & Strides is a member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.
Madison House Autism Foundation: At their state-of-the-art therapeutic riding center in Dickerson, Maryland Madison House Autism Foundation has a mission to “foster a nurturing and healing partnership between the horse and rider to enhance the well-being of individuals with special needs.” The riding program serves riders with:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Developmental delays
- Speech/vision/hearing impairments
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Wounded War Veterans
Madison House Autism Foundation is a nonprofit organization and a member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and is dedicated to providing a safe, fun and effective riding session for their riders.
If you know someone who could benefit from the practice of equine therapy look in your area for other organizations like the ones you’ve read about. This approach has proven beneficial for troubled teens and kids with behavioral issues, individuals recovering from trauma, even people suffering from addiction or substance abuse.