The Healing Power Of Horses
Almost every evening, our small dog jumps up on my lap and quietly sits with me for an hour or so. I look forward to this every time. There is a therapeutic event that happens during this time and all the drama and stress of day to day living seems to melt away.
To me, there is a strong connection between humankind and members of the animal kingdom. That connection I hope is beneficial to the animals. In my experience it is definitely beneficial to mankind.
Havenwood Academy in Cedar City is seeing success in using animals to help in the healing process of the youth at their facility, and are looking to expand the availability of their Equine Therapy program.
Jessica Wayman from the Havenwood Academy joined us on the radio this morning to talk about the program and how they are trying to expand it. She told us, “horses have an outstanding ability to work with kids, adults, anyone who has gone through trauma.” Wayman went on to say, “horses have the ability to sense the emotions of those who are around them.”
All of the students at Havenwood are given the opportunity to have at least one equine group a week and for those who really gravitate to equine interactions can have regular advanced equine sessions.
To help expand the the Equine Therapy program, Havenwood is holding a block party / yard sale this Saturday at the academy. The location is 246 E. Fiddlers Canyon Road right behind the Cedar Fun Center and Sparkles Car Wash. There will be ranch related article for sale, along with a bake sale and other festivities.
Equine therapy, also known as horse therapy or equine-assisted therapy, is a form of therapy that involves interactions between individuals and horses. It is often used as a complementary or alternative therapy in mental health treatment, particularly for individuals with emotional, behavioral, or psychological challenges.
Equine therapy sessions are typically facilitated by trained professionals, such as therapists, counselors, or equine specialists. The therapy can take various forms, including groundwork activities, grooming and caring for the horses, riding, and other structured exercises.
The unique and powerful bond that can be formed between humans and horses forms the basis of equine therapy. Horses are highly perceptive animals that can mirror and respond to human emotions, behaviors, and non-verbal cues. Through interacting with horses, individuals can gain insight into their own emotions, patterns of behavior, and communication styles.
Working with horses can help individuals develop trust, empathy, and healthy relationship patterns. Horses offer unconditional acceptance, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have experienced trauma or struggle with trust issues.
Accomplishing tasks and overcoming challenges with horses can boost self-confidence and self-esteem. The positive experiences and achievements in equine therapy can transfer to other areas of life.
The calming presence of horses and the peaceful outdoor environment in which equine therapy often takes place can help reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression.
Havenwood Academy is a residential treatment center located in the north end of Cedar City. It specializes in providing therapeutic services for teenage girls struggling with emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges. Havenwood Academy offers a comprehensive program that combines therapy, academics, and experiential activities to help young women overcome their difficulties and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
If you are not able to attend the block party / yard sale on Saturday you can get more information on the Equine Therapy program and make contributions to it at this website.
You can listen to our interview with Jessica Wayman below.