According to Equest CEO Lili Kellogg,
Independence, confidence, dignity, and strength – many folks take these attributes for granted, yet at Equest they are cherished by the children and adults who work hard to achieve them. When a child with autism, who is usually disinclined to speak a word, loudly tells their horse to “trot,” or an Army veteran missing two legs and an arm, mounts up, and rides off like he’s the Lone Ranger, one realizes that, although the clients at Equest have challenges, their achievements are amazing!
The human-horse connection is the power behind these accomplishments. The Equest therapy horses are effective therapeutic partners because of their physical and behavioral attributes. Their multi-dimensional movement mimics the human gait and when mounted, strengthens the human core and balance. As the horse moves, the human’s spine is massaged, joints are mobilized, and the vestibular system is stimulated. Imagine the freedom that a horse provides for those who are unable to walk, or those who have a multitude of other physical challenges.
Horses are herd animals; therefore, they are naturally social and often accept humans into their herd based on a trusting relationship. Horses provide clients with immediate, unfiltered feedback that can lead to increased self-awareness and emotional self-regulation. The calming comfort the human-horse connection creates for veterans coping with PTSD, depression or combat-related symptoms is amazing.
When we shut down our programs for a few weeks in March, we tried everything we could to serve our clients virtually. But, as we already knew, nothing could fully replace the power of the human- horse connection. Our clients asked to come back. They needed the horse influence. We have slowly reopened, with stringent protocols in place. It has been a joy watching our clients and horses reconnect, not only for the smiles it brings, but because of the important physical, cognitive, emotional, and social improvements that take place.
Over 800,000 individuals in North Texas have a disability and with your donation to Equest, you are helping to provide them with life-changing therapeutic services.
Visit our website at www.equest.org and click on Donate. It’s easy and safe to give online, and your donation is fully tax deductible.
Or mail us a check at Equest, PO Box 171779, Dallas, TX 75217.
A donation to Equest helps ensure that we continue to provide physical and emotional healing through equine facilitated therapies and activities, year after year. As always, I am available should you have any questions: 972.412.1099 x 222. Or by email at [email protected]. Thank you!
* Graphic and photos provided by Equest