Coping with a traumatic experience is most often time hard. Good thing there are organizations dedicated in providing emotional therapy to those in need of it.
Spring Reins of Life is a nonprofit organization established to help bereaved kids, veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, and at-risk youth cope with emotional stress. The organization provides emotional therapy to trauma survivors through the help of horses.
Spring Reins of Life aims to promote psychological healing and restoration as well as support for emotional well-being to people who had traumatic experiences. The organization also wants to nurture and enhance the unique and amazing bond horses and humans share. This bond has been known to exist for thousands of years, and the organization seeks to foster this bond further and use it as a method of enabling people to cope with emotional trauma.
Christianna Capra, the organization’s co-founder and a dedicated therapist and volunteer, states that the simple blinks and snuffling snorts of the horses can be translated as an emotional therapy. She says that people interacting with the equines somehow feel unburdened by their own those negative emotions. She further states that the bond people and horses share has some kind of miracle in relieving trauma and emotional stress.
During therapy, a licensed or registered mental health professional, an equine or horse specialist and, of course, horses are present to guide the client. The treatment team sees to it that their clients are escorted when fetching the animal since most of them have no prior experience in handling horses. The team also conducts activities that will help establish the bond between the client and the animal.
Capra said that most trauma survivors have difficulty trusting anything or anyone. Horses, at the same time, somehow sense such a feeling.
That is why it is important to establish trust first on both sides before a bond can be created. To start building rapport and establishing the fundamental foundation of the bond, clients are guided to fetch a horse. By doing so, without saying a word, trust is slowly established.
Once this trust is established, interaction commences. By gently touching or caressing the animal, clients begin to feel a sense of delight. The horse, in return, shows enjoyment in the gentle and loving strokes.
Spring Reins of Life provides their clients, mostly coming from Bonnie Brae, PTSD Unit of Lyons VA Hospital, and Hunterdon Youth Services, a way to cope and manage emotional stress brought about by their traumatic experiences. The organization is successful in giving emotional therapy to trauma survivors through equine bonding and interaction.